Posts tagged #custom sheet metal

Old School Custom Trunk Duct Fabrication

Currently I am fabricating some custom transitions to marry a new heat pump system to this existing trunk duct. The customer emailed these this morning to give me an overview of what I would be hooking the new duct transitions up to. Always helpful when a customer is willing to take the time and snap a few shots of what the job looks like.

Know The Tendencies of Your Customers

Many of our customers have done business with us for years and we appreciate every order they place here at the shop. Part of the reason they come back, besides stellar work, is the fact that I do my best to learn there tendencies and little idiosyncrasies. This does not mean I am at everybody's beck and call 24/7, but I do make an effort to give each and every customer the best service possible. 

Custom Duct Transitions For AC Coil

Installing a new AC coil

There are times when installing a new AC coil to existing duct work can be simple and times when the task can be difficult. Usually you can get the proper cased AC coil for the furnace you are installing and either easily transition the duct to the existing duct line or you can have a custom plenum made fitting the coil to the furnace.  

Then there are times when you need to transition from your furnace to the size of the uncased AC coil and then back again to the custom size of your existing duct work. When this happens your first call should be to us, K & E Sheet Metal, because this is exactly why we exist. Custom plenums and transitions are our specialty :)

New YouTube Video: Cold Air Boot Cutting Process

Our newest YouTube video showing the cutting process of our custom cold air boots. Our new CNC plasma machine has sliced our cut times in half helping to quicken the assembly process here in the fabrication shop.

Introducing Our New MultiCam 1000 Plasma Table

Introducing our new MultiCam 1000 Series CNC plasma table!! The last few months of hard work have paid off with the full installation of our new plasma table, finishing up late last week with today being the end of our first full week of production. The table is fantastic and has already saved us time with the multiple jobs that we have already completed. With the installation of our new equipment we can provide customers with faster production times and reduced prices.

Scroll down to see some more photos of the new CNC plasma table and a video of our new toy in action.

 

Plasma_Table_1 Plasma_Table_2 Plasma_Table_3 Plasma_Table_4

 

If you have any questions about your sheet metal fabrication needs or items you may need cut, please visit our contact page to send us your requests.

 

Small Time Logisitics

My naive assumption is that logistics was just another word for shipping. The actual definition from Merriam-Webster is as follows: 1 : the aspect of military science dealing with the procurement, maintenance, and transportation of military materiel, facilities, and personnel 2 : the handling of the details of an operation

So clearly, not shipping per se, just dealing with handling of details in a military sense.

Who cares! Something you may be telling yourself right about now. The above is a long winded and relatively interesting ( at least for me, because I was unaware ) way of getting to something I have thought about company wise for some time.

The reality, or non-reality of shipping our products around the country, the logistics if you will are completely foreign to me. Obviously, I understand that packages are shipped, but as far as making it viable for business is surely something new.

To date, we have shipped one, count them, one order to somewhere in the lower 50. That place was Kansas and the whole transaction was a great experience. The customer was willing to be patient with our maiden shipment and the headaches which could undermine the whole project.

I had the fabricated fittings strapped flat to be packed at the nearest UPS store, communication was good with the customer and the shipment went off without a hitch. I didn't want to deal with any complications of securing and packing, so I left it to professionals.

A few days later the package arrived to a thankful customer and a giant sigh of relief from the shipper.

Could this be a viable option for our business going forward, especially with new (expensive) equipment about to be up and running? Are the costs of shipping and time needed for packing worth the trouble? Would only advertising local shipping to a mile radius work better for a smaller company like ours? These are just a few of the questions I have been asking myself over the last few weeks.

To be perfectly honest, the shipping costs alone are something that could sink the whole idea. In order to ship a small supply air plenum and two small transitions, flat packed to Kansas, the total shipping cost was roughly $44 for packing, materials and shipping. That's a tough pill to swallow for customers that are used to free shipping from the likes of Amazon. Not to mention the fact that this was a small order of minimal size fabricated fittings. What would that shipping cost ring up on something a bit larger? Would we be looking at freight costs instead?

The UPS and FedEx commercials make the whole process seem so easy with their no nonsense marketing of packages flying all over the world with seemingly minimal problems. However, when you go to the websites of either the process can be very confusing. It's not just as simple as zip code and weight.

We are moving toward a non-localized world which depresses me as a very local business. Nevertheless, these are things we need to take into account as a business that builds items for customers. If we can find an economical way to get our products into the hands of people that need them, why shouldn't we try? The trick is not to inflate your greedy little head and understand the limitations of the business. There is one thing I have learned over the years in our very niche micro business. Getting too far ahead of the game can be disastrous in the long run, bogging you down and making everything seem insurmountable.

This doesn't mean stunt ambition, goals or growth of the company. These are the reasons we invested in our new CNC plasma table and why we have struggled with the possibility of adding shipping to our normal business repertoire.

The last few years have been a challenging time for our company, more positive then negative however in regards to understanding the business from multiple angles. Ideas like the one I have briefly outlined in this post are something that never happened for our company, keeping us stuck in neutral. The goals have changed, the attitude has changed and ideas are bandied about frequently around the shop.

Whether or not we decide shipping is viable for us is still up in the air. However, we have run a successful test and know it's something that can be done.

Logistically speaking.