OEM appliance makers have a load of concerns on their minds when producing a design. They need to create an appliance that looks great, works efficiently, is the right size, and doesn’t cost too much for their target market. What they might not take into consideration, though, is what goes into their appliance handles.
Handle manufacturing is a potential production afterthought in the appliance design process, but a poorly configured or cheap handle can be the downfall of a consumer product. It could break, bend, or be uncomfortable to hold -- all good reasons for your end customer to look elsewhere next time.
To prevent this from happening, we’ve delivered you five tips for success when working with an outsourced appliance handle manufacturer:
What to Look for in Appliance Handle Manufacturers
1. Look for a supply chain that can support your business model.
Determine what’s important to your company and to your product’s success, and then look for an appliance handle manufacturer who meshes with your goals.
Are you looking for an environmentally aware company? Do you need someone who can help shorten the supply chain for you?
Or, is a “Made in the USA” label important for your product line, as well as your shipping costs and quality concerns? The best results in appliance handle manufacturing can be achieved by searching for a company that specializes in 100% American-made metal manufacturing.
These are all important questions to ask during the selection process.
2. Determine what processes you need in addition to fabrication.
While some projects require a simple fabrication process, appliance handles will probably require finishing. Depending on the appliance, the handle might require:
If appearance counts, you may also need to find a manufacturer who can powder coat, paint, galvanize, or otherwise finish appliance handles. Again, it’s less of a pain if the handle maker can do this in-house rather than having to outsource too.
3. Search for a company that can meet your OEM challenges.
Sometimes the OEM gets so focused on the appliance design itself that it can be difficult to transform the handle vision into a cost-effective reality.
You’ll want to pair with somebody who understands the pros and cons of fabricating each type of raw material in relation to your specific needs. It’s also important to find a company with the experience and in-house capabilities of producing the handle in sufficient quantities to meet your production time frames.
If you run into a production roadblock, an appliance handle manufacturer should be able to help you overcome any production inefficiencies.
4. Find a fabricator that goes above and beyond.
Most OEM engineers understand the intricacies of producing a high-quality appliance, but they might not be experts when it comes to the product’s metal fabrication needs.
Sometimes a design requires out-of-the-box thinking on the metal fabricator’s part. And sometimes a fresh set of eyes makes all the difference.
Get your metal fabricator involved early in the design process so that you can solve production concerns together and avoid production snags. If your engineers have created an appliance handle design that is not easily manufactured, find a fabricator that’s willing to go above and beyond to bring in new machinery or design new processes to meet your application’s needs. Of course, you’ll want to make sure they can do so in a fast, cost-efficient way.
5. Know your manufacturing needs.
If industry experience, just-in-time delivery, or a one-stop-shop experience is important to you, be sure to look for a custom metal manufacturer who can meet your exact needs.
In the case of “one-stop,” we mean a metal manufacturer that can help you from design through production -- keeping you from wasting time and money on transporting your project from place to place. A full-service fabricator can also give insight on metal manufacturing and tweak your design to improve:
Outsourcing is Scary
Trusting your project to another manufacturer, with millions of dollars on the line, can be quite an adventure -- but it doesn’t have to be. Learning what a full-service appliance handle manufacturer can do for you -- and demanding that out of your contractor -- will help you get a grip on your supply chain.
For more on why your contracted metal manufacturer should reside in the USA, click the graphic below.