Why aluminium extrusion suppliers require a minimum order quantity

For small volume buyers or those buying lightweight profiles, the minimum order quantities (MOQ) required by the press can represent a significant unexpected expense or wastage. The most common reason for a small order is as a first off sample, this can often attract a premium of hundreds of pounds.

 

You might think that these rules are just the extruder's way of getting more out of each order, but there are significant economic and technical reasons why these rules exist.

It can be frustrating to have to pay a premium for a small quantity but these MOQs have been put in place for good reasons, that’s why we have come up with this guide to the reasons for MOQs and a strategy to help you mitigate them.

Overhead costs

Overheads soar for aluminium extrusion suppliers when small quantities are required, with die preparation, additional manpower and time taken away from the press which is geared towards high production, all these overheads add up which is why it costs more to order a small batch of extrusion and a good reason why minimum order quantities are in place.

Shape and size of the profile

The shape, size and weight of the profile will have an effect on the size of the press that a die can run on. This in turn will affect the minimum order quantity that is required for a production run, i.e. the larger the press, the higher the minimum order quantity.

First off quality checks

With the first run of a new die, there are always additional checks to ensure that the running conditions for that particular die are producing the quality required.  It is important to have any critical areas of the profile detailed on the technical drawing as these go through additional quality checks to ensure that the extruded shape meets the tolerances. 

Second and third attempts

It is not always possible to achieve the tolerances on a first run and in cases such as these, the die will need to go back to the die shop for cleaning, and sometimes for minor adjustments. The running conditions may also need to be modified to achieve the required results.  The expertise and time required throughout the extrusion process cannot be underestimated. 

How can I avoid minimum order quantities and set up charges?

  1. Request one of our free 3D printed samples to test your design instead of an extruded sample order.

  2. Order a larger quantity and put it into our stock holding facility to guarantee price and call off smaller amounts when you need them.

Check out our whitepaper 5 things to consider when selecting a new supplier.

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