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Small Diameter Aluminium Extrusion

Extrusion machine in Tianjin, China
Small diameter aluminium extrusion in Tianjin, China

Last week I received a question from a start-up about aluminium extrusion who is new to manufacturing. Not the big stuff, but small diameter. Here’s what I said…

“Metal tubes are made by extrusion. To get your exact size, you need the extruder to create a mould/die. Generally these are only a few hundred USD if done in China while in Taiwan they are more expensive. You need to get a drawing and specify the tolerances. For something of the size you want to probably go with a tolerance of ISO2768-1f. The minimum you should accept is 1m. You can find these standards listed for free now through a web search. The only problem is you are going to have to meet a pretty high MOQ if you were to get it made as per your specifications. You also got to be careful about material choice and do regular testing if it is coming in contact with the human body.

The alternative is to find an existing tube on the market. You might want to do a search for extruders who supply make-up brush manufacturers. They should have a number of moulds in your size range. Then you might be able to get the MOQ lower by purchasing existing stock or by checking in one of the many wholesale markets in China. I am afraid though that extrusion for brushes seems to be done mostly in Jiangsu province. Anyway, hopefully these tips will point you in the right direction.

Lastly, when I care about quality and after-sales service, I do my extrusion in Taiwan. Definitely I prefer it there not to mention often there is more flexibility than China when it comes to the minimum order quantity. I find that the savings from a much higher post production inspection pass rate, reduced delays, etc. often outweigh the added unitary cost of producing in Taiwan.”

The individual inquiring about this asked if I could suggest some suppliers. I would be happy to, but that comes after a Production Assessment Report where we interview all short-listed vendors. It takes about two to three weeks and at the time of this posting, we charge $1,365 USD for the report with named vendors and contact information that meet your required production capabilities. Please see our Manufacturer Research & Assessment service for more information.

March 15, 2019

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