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WHO DOES STAINLESS STEEL, AND DOES IT WELL?
- We are experts in Stainless Steel. In fact, approximately 50% of our business is Stainless Steel.
- We have perfected the art of stainless steel through years of continuous improvements and lean manufacturing techniques. We make stainless parts to print and we deliver them on time.
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About Stainless Steel
Customers who require stainless steel parts quite frequently experience unacceptable quality and delivery problems with their suppliers. For several reasons, working with stainless steel has characteristics that other metals do not possess. PFI has perfected the art of working with stainless and consequently, is a trusted manufacturer of stainless steel parts.
Due to the corrosion resistance and the durability of stainless, products made from it have a longer life expectancy than products made with other types of metals. Stainless steel is corrosion resistant due to a "passive", chromium-rich, oxide film which forms on the surface of the steel. If this oxide film is damaged, it virtually repairs itself. Consequently, stainless is often a designer's choice.
Why Do Customers Prefer Stainless?
Even though raw stainless steel is more expensive than other raw steel at the outset, the cost of the end product should be taken into consideration before ruling out the use of stainless. For example, since stainless steel does not need to be coated, in the long run, it may be less expensive because there are cases wherein the cost of coating a part is more expensive than using stainless, (since stainless does not need to be coated). In addition, thinner gauge stainless can be used in place of a thicker-gauge carbon steel or high-strength aluminum in structural applications, and be less expensive, especially factoring in the increased product life cycle of products made with stainless.
Since stainless is non-corrosive, it is best for products that will remain outdoors, products that are repeatedly exposed to elements that would otherwise be damaging to steel and any parts that are critical to function for extended periods of time.
CLEANLINESS AND COMPLIANCE
Stainless steel has a low contamination risk as compared to other types of metal. In addition stainless steel is designed for repeated sterilization whereas other steel deteriorates rapidly after just ten sterilization cycles. Also, since stainless is made with a pure chromium oxide surface, a passive (non-reactive) layer is created with no iron contamination. Also, stainless has no negative impact on critical environments; whereas carbon steels introduce particulate and iron contamination.
We not only speak to problems of Stainless Steel, we solve them!
Since stainless steel is a harder material, greater force is required during the cutting process. The quality of the cutting process will determine the quality of the parts made, as well as the finish of the part. PFI has thousands of hours of experience working with stainless steel bar and consequently, we cut it correctly the first time.
Manufacturers who are inexperienced using stainless steel will have difficulty maintaining a fine finish. As partially explained above, the proper cutting of the bar stock will determine the quality of the finish. Stainless is not only a harder material, but it is also a more brittle material. Because of these two factors, many machine shops will cut the bar stock haphazardly and then need to polish the part for the proper finish (you still may get a good part; however, costs are added by the necessity of the required polishing). At PFI, we cut the bar stock correctly the first time and thus, the part maintains its fine finish and also maintains it's integrity.
ENGINEERED HANDLING PROCESSES
Handling stainless steel parts is essential to maintain their integrity. At PFI, we take special consideration and care when handling stainless steel parts. If need be, we put a rubber cap on one end of the part to prevent damage and we clean and dry for protection right at the machine. Another extremely important aspect of handling stainless steel is to ensure that it maintains its finish during shipping. We know how to properly package stainless steel parts for protection to eliminate shipping damage. LATE DELIVERIES
Internal quality problems can result in late deliveries. For example, if the bar is cut improperly, more has to be ordered, thus slowing manufacturing time down. If the parts have to be polished because they were not cut properly, this affects delivery time. Also, if the parts are not packaged correctly, even if they arrive on time, they may be damaged and have to be returned. At PFI, we take all precautions to make sure your product is delivered on time—from the ordering of the raw material, to the cutting, to the proper handling during machining to the packing for safety and protection.
As a result of the above stated problems encountered when using stainless steel, much waste can occur. Waste can even be experienced before the bar stock is cut, because many times, the stock is received damaged due to improper packaging. Consequently, we at PFI request that our stock be shipped with special precautions. In most cases, this prevents shipping damage. Also, waste occurs even in the usage of the gauges used to measure the parts—if the part is cut improperly, it will have a rougher surface, and consequently the gauges are more quickly worn. Therefore, improper cutting, handling, packaging and shipping can all affect the cost and delivery of stainless steel parts. At PFI we are experienced with stainless and we can deliver a timely product at an affordable price.
Also of note, due to late deliveries and the quality problems experienced with stainless steel, many companies will order more than they need, or order before they actually need the parts adding to their inventory costs--another area of waste for the customer! With PFI, you can avoid all of this unnecessary waste.
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