Custom Manufacturing is the Key in Turnkey

Not every metal fabricator can handle turnkey projects. Because we are a full-service manufacturing company, turnkey projects are easy for us. What exactly is turnkey? A turnkey product is one where the customer delivers specifications and the manufacturer builds the complete item. In our industry it is a fabrication of a complete product, not just a part that is a piece of a larger item or component.

A perfect example is this turnkey project we completed recently. A customer came to us to produce a steel enclosure for a medical laser. The customer delivered the exact specifications and we took it from there. The first step in the process was creating the CAD programming followed by a multi-step manufacturing process that turned cold rolled steel into a 16” x 16” x 40” electronic enclosure.

It is projects like this that set Red River apart from other manufacturers. We can meet the expectations of customers through streamlined and cost effective processes. The list of materials we work with is wide ranging and includes aluminum, copper, alloys, Molybdenum, stainless steel, and titanium. Secondary services are available for many different finishing options. With short turnaround times and expert machining specialists, we offer precision and extremely high-quality results every time.

At Red River Precision our extensive capabilities allow us to work with a wide range of industries such as automotive, architectural, oil & gas, and medical. From individual components to completed products, there isn’t a challenge we can’t meet.

If you need a product made to your exact specifications, please give us a call. We will work with you from the beginning to the end to make sure that it is 100% accurate and exceeds expectations.

How to Attract the Next Generation to Manufacturing Jobs

Have you heard about the skills gap? The Skills Gap Report was first published in 2001 by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte. It was a “landmark study identifying the mismatch between the skills of available workers and skills that manufacturers demand.” The 2015 Skills Gap Report reinforces the findings of earlier reports that manufacturers will continue to face challenges in finding talent to prevent worker shortages in the near future.

Attracting the right workers to the industry is a must. As the Millennial generation enters the workforce, manufacturers will need to learn how to become more attractive to the next generation. One of the first steps is changing the view of the industry to potential employees. Manufacturing stills holds the reputation as being dirty or dangerous and providing little job security. Those of us in the business know that isn’t true. So, how do we appeal to millennials?

To become attractive to the workforce of the future, Motivated Monday offers insight into what Millennials are looking for in an employer. These 12 ways may help you understand this next generation to not only attract them but to retain them in the industry.  They are:

  1. Technology: Millennials have been raised with the best and newest technology. State of the art and cutting edge are where they gravitate to.
  2. Purpose: Millennials want to work for the greater good. A sense of community outreach and culture of purpose are what they are looking for.
  3. Work/Life Balance: Workplaces that allow employees to enjoy work, family, and fun are the most appealing.
  4. Feedback: Regular feedback is required to build employer loyalty. Communication is a key factor.
  5. Personable: Millennials want to connect and engage with bosses on a personal level.
  6. Training: This generation loves to learn new skills. Keeping this generation engaged at work takes training and development opportunities.
  7. Socialize: The 20-30 somethings want to build comraderies and loyalty. Outside of work socializing helps connect them to their workplace.
  8. Collaborative:  This group has been working in groups their whole lives. They thrive on working together to meet goals and having their ideas and input count.
  9. Challenge: They love to be challenged but require the right motivation to help them rise to the occasion.
  10. Charity: Raised in a community-service environment, they respond to companies that give back.
  11. Competitive: This group loves to win. A competitive atmosphere will drive them to hard work.
  12. Trustworthy: Trust does not come automatically for this group and must be earned. But, once they trust you they will give you their loyalty.

Our work with young people (see our April blog) has given us this insight into the workforce of the future. The talent is out there, but to maintain a strong workforce and eliminate the skills gap we must adjust to the changing times and understand where the next generation is coming from.  

Red River has the Tolerance to Meet Tight Tolerances

Precision manufacturing wouldn’t be precise if it couldn’t produce consistently reliable and accurate parts. At Red River, we put precision in our name because we have the capabilities to manufacture outstanding components for any industry, no matter the material or the complexity.

Our goal is to produce high-quality American made products, and we meet this goal on every project. As a full-service metal and manufacturing company, we work with a wide variety of materials, including aluminum, steel, stainless steel, titanium, copper, alloys, and much more.  Our Punch Press can handle the material thickness of 10 ga mild steel, 14 ga stainless steel, and 3/16 in. aluminum. Press brake capabilities can handle parts up to 12 ft long and has a maximum of 125 tons.

We meet the needs of the precision industries we work with by providing them with fabricated parts that meet the tight tolerances specified. We routinely work to tolerances as little as ±0.005 in.

Red River Precision Manufacturing lives up to its name. Our customers rely on us for full fabrication services of high-quality components at competitive prices. If you need turn-key fabrication of prototypes, short runs, or volume production, Red River delivers precision every time.

Contact us to learn more!

Red River Precision Manufacturing Gets into Clean Energy

Clean energy is a broad term for less polluting energy sources, which include large scale energy supplying sources such as wind, solar, hydroelectric, and geothermal but also smaller energy reducing products such as LED light bulbs and electric cars. The clean energy movement is taking shape across the U.S. as Americans are looking for ways to reduce energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and dependence on fossil fuels.

Even though the recent Supreme Court decision ruled to put the EPA’s Clean Power Plan regulations on hold, the clean energy movement is well underway and gaining speed. Cities across the country are signing on for new solar energy programs and residential solar is continuing to grow. Wind energy has found a greater footing in Europe than in the U.S. but projects are continuing on land and in the sea to build viable wind farms. The most amazing part of this clean energy boom is that it is often supported by local utilities. The end game is to cut greenhouse gasses but finding renewable energy sources that are reliable, effective, and efficient are also a major benefit.

With the growth of the clean energy industry, we recognize the needs the industry will face as it continues to expand. Precision metal forming will be required to continue to build the solar panels, wind turbines, and specialized components that will deliver electricity to more homes in more diversified areas. Red River Precision Manufacturing has the capabilities needed to handle the challenging requirements of the clean energy industry.

As the energy industry continues to move into cleaner sources, the bending, cutting, and machining services provided by Red River Precision Manufacturing will continue to be sought after. To learn more about how our metal fabrication services can meet the needs of the clean energy industry, as well as any other industry, please feel free to contact us.  

Custom Metal Manufacturer For Your Semi-Conductor Fabrication

There is no question that technology is advancing fastermanufacturing semiconductors each year. Cell phones, tablets, smart devices, all have had rapid advances. Morre’s Law predicts that computing power doubles every eighteen months. That means that more and more semiconductors will be needed and semiconductor manufacturing will have to meet this increase in demand. Red River Precision is up for this challenge and dedicated to producing quality American-made products.

Whether it’s prototypes, short runs, or volume production our highly specialized personnel are ready and willing to serve the semiconductor market.

As full-service customer manufacturer or metal prototypes and products, we have a wide range of capabilities including bending, punching, machining, sawing, shearing, forming and welding, as well as waterjet cutting. We work with metal and nonmetal materials and when the water jet cutting services are applied secondary operations are reduced or unnecessary.

If you are in need of a custom metal manufacturer, don’t hesitate to take a look at our projects or contact us. We’re happy to answer any question and discuss which process if the right solution for you.

Manufacturing Trend Predictions for 2016

For those outside the industry, it often seems like not much ever changes with manufacturing. Raw goods go in, and finished goods come out. But, for those of us involved in the day-to-day aspects of the industry, we see how new technologies are having an impact on today’s processes.

With the coming of the new year, there is always anticipation and excitement about what changes may take place in the next 12 months. Surveys are completed regarding industry trends and how manufacturers will be working over the coming year. A new report by Citrix examined technology trends in manufacturing and found that most manufacturers are embracing some new technologies but the tried and true methods are still the mainstays of their business.

In 2016, the industry is predicted to embrace next generation materials for 3D printing and utilizing this process to design and manufacture more personalized products. Aluminum costs are dropping and the material is finding new applications in many industries (the Ford F-150, for example). Robots and high-tech manufacturing are also hot topics as connectivity and technology join forces with traditional methods.

Although the experts often point out the newest technologies as coming trends, we see the trends in combining the traditional manufacturing processes with the technology to improve their function. For instance, computer and software driven water jet cutting equipment handle both metal and non-metal materials and eliminates the secondary operations to obtain smooth, finished edges while improving on accuracy and efficiency.

While predicting the future is commonplace at this time of year, many of those predictions are not yet viable in today’s manufacturing environments to improve upon the processes currently in use. The technologies that do make it are the ones that allow us to improve processes and reduce costs for our customers. At Red River, those are the trends we will be embracing.

Back to Basics: All About Sheet Metal Fabrication

In the world of manufacturing, name any industry—automotives to appliances, electronics to energy—and that industry relies on sheet metal fabrication. It’s where it all begins and ends, and is responsible for an infinite amount of everyday products

Within the topic of sheet metal fabrication, there are plenty of subjects to delve into; in the past, we’ve discussed such things as the advantages of metal finishing and looked at specific metals of choice.

But sometimes it’s important to get back to basics. Here, we’d like to look at sheet metal fabrication, and what it’s all about.

The Process
Simply put, sheet metal fabrication begins with a piece of raw sheet metal, which is shaped into a desired part through forming/deforming or material removal. The thickness of the metal sheet varies based on the specific metal being used and can range greatly—for example, up to 3/16 in. for aluminum, or 14 gauge for stainless steel.

By cutting, burning, and stretching, using special metal fabrication tools (such as band saws), the sheet metal is formed into any desired shape. Various processes can be used to achieve the exact shapes and specifications of the part. Rolling machines, for instance, form steel into round sections, while cutting torches are used to cut large pieces of metal easily.

To simplify it even more, sheet metal fabrication can be broken down into two categories: cutting and forming. To use the examples above, rolling machines fall under the forming category and cutting torches fall under the cutting category. Further processes used in metal fabrication include shearing, punching, hot and cold sawing, tapping, bending, and more.

Welding, one of the most common of the processes, forms fabricated pieces into place while protecting them from defects, such as warping. Once the fabrication is complete, various finishing processes can be applied, including painting, powder coating, and plating.

The Materials and Specifications
A wide variety of metals can be used in sheet metal fabrication. At Red River Precision, we work with alloys, aluminum, stainless steel, copper, titanium, molybdenum, and more. Using our press brakes can accommodate parts up to 10 feet long, weighing up to 125 tons. Extremely tight tolerances can be achieved—up to ±.005 in.

The Advantages
There’s a reason sheet metal fabrication is so common and preferred; it is a cost-effective way to achieve any number of desired shapes and sizes, creating the exact part needed in a short amount of time. Whether it’s a small part of the semiconductor industry or a larger automotive part, sheet metal fabrication meets precise needs and creates parts that are strong and long lasting that meet exacting standards.

To learn more about our extensive fabrication services, visit our website and feel free to contact us anytime with questions.

The What, Why, and How of Metal Finishing – And the Many Advantages

Metal finishing is one of those manufacturing processes that so many people and businesses use without knowing exactly what it is, or why it’s as prevalent and advantageous as it is. The fact is, it’s relied upon in countless applications and industries, and has brought the industry equally numerous benefits.

The What and Why of Metal Finishing

The manufacturing industry relies on a huge array of metals; from stainless steel and metal_fabricationtitanium to aluminum and copper, the vast majority of manufacturing equipment—as well as the products the industry produces—are made from metal.

However, what many people don’t realize is that these metals wouldn’t offer close to the amount of advantages they do without metal finishing. The process treats the exterior of a metal product by adding various layers, making the product exponentially better.

There are numerous types of metal finishing, but whichever the type and its specific process, the result is a product that lasts longer and looks better. Some of the types of metal finishing include:

  • Metal Plating
  • Metal Grinding
  • Sand Blasting
  • Powder Coating
  • Hot Blackening
  • Buff Polishing
  • Brushed Metal Finishing

Benefits and Applications for Metal Polishing

Most often, metal finishing is done to achieve longevity, resistance to wear, ease of maintenance/cleaning, and improved appearance. More specifically, advantages include:

  • Greater chemical and electrical resistance
  • Improved durability
  • Better electrical conductivity
  • Better tarnish resistance
  • Enhanced brightness, color, reflectivity, etc.
  • Improved corrosion resistance

As a result of the many distinct advantages provided by metal finishing, there are limitless possibilities for its use in manufacturing. Some of the many industries that use it include electronics, aerospace, telecommunications, automotives, appliances, and many more.

For so many reasons, the process of metal finishing makes good products great, and is relied upon by manufacturers of varying products throughout the world.