Depending on the scope of the project, engineering costs could spiral into thousands, millions, or even billions, of dollars. (The United States’ interstate highway system cost $459 billion in total, making it the most expensive engineering project in history.)
It's no wonder, then, that more engineers are using value analysis -- a systematic review of an upcoming engineering project to keep sheet metal costs down. If you're planning a project of your own, here are five ways to use value engineering to reduce sheet metal costs.
5 Ways Value Analysis Reduces Sheet Metal Cost
1. Lower Expenditures
Making some simple changes to your project specifications could reduce material costs significantly. You can save on shipping costs by sourcing sheet metal from a local supplier instead of a company abroad, for example.
Alternatively, look for ways to save money on construction and labor.
2. Buy in Bulk
Buying sheet metal in larger quantities will also help you save money. Bulk sheet metal suppliers could work out cheaper than if you bought sheet metal in small quantities, for example. You can save any excess material for future engineering projects.
3. Consolidate Materials
Using the same type of metal throughout your engineering project -- perhaps even the same exact grade -- will reduce costs. It’s also easier to buy in bulk if that’s the case.
Companies who use a single grade of a material instead of three different grades may not only save money, but also avoid costly welding defects.
4. Choose Cheaper Materials
Choosing the right sheet metal can help to keep the costs of your project down. For example, steel is cheaper than aluminum and will still provide you with the strength and flexibility you need.
Just make sure your project fits with the cheaper metal you’ve chosen. If your project needs to be lightweight and you’ve chosen a heavy steel, your project could fail and you’re stuck with a huge bill for the redo.
5. Hire an Expert
Hiring an expert will help you with your value analysis.
A professional can source the right sheet metal from the right people, which will reduce production costs. A fabricator with an experienced team of engineers should have no trouble providing you with the guidance you need.
Follow the five tips on this list if you want to keep the costs of your next engineering project down. Remember,
Lowering your expenditures,
Buying in bulk,
Choosing cheaper materials,
… could save you thousands of dollars.