December 2018 - How to Cut the Cost of Sourcing Heatsinks
Published on: 11/12/2018
We share our top tips to saving time and money sourcing heatsinks
Sourcing customised heatsinks can be a time-consuming and impractical task when requiring low volumes or needing to source a large run in a short space of time.
1. Choose a manufacturer that has sufficient stock of material
When sourcing heatsinks you should always try to use a manufacturer that has the material you require already in stock, this will help you secure the best possible price. Although this isn’t always possible, depending on the profile and length you require. Occasionally a heatsink manufacturer may need to order material in for your sample, you should confirm with them at the point of order, the lead time on receiving the full production run.
2. Establish the manufacturers experience in heatsinks
Research the manufacturer and call their office to establish their heatsink experience and capabilities. If they are near by, visit their factory and ask to see their manufacturing process. This simple yet effective exercise could help save you time and prevent you from having to change supplier later down the line. At GD Rectifiers we encourage our customers to come and visit our heatsink facility to understand our capabilities and how we work.
3. Customisation vs stock on the shelf
It is often more cost effective to pick from the manufacturers existing heatsink profiles than to create a customised heatsink. Check with your supplier If they have a similar profile in stock to the one you require and ask for a quote on both. Often if the material is in stock and there is little design difference to the customised heatsink, the quotes might not be too dissimilar. At GD Rectifiers we have over 160 heatsink profiles in stock and where possible make sure we have enough material in stock to fulfil customised orders.
4. Sample quantities or large orders
A sample will almost always cost more than a full production run, this is because of the machine set-up costs associated with manufacturing the sample. A full production run is usually more cost effective because there is only one set-up with little downtime throughout the job. It’s always best to discuss your projected annual usage and on-going heatsink requirements with your manufacturer so they can decide where or not to give you a discount or complimentary sample, depending on material availability.
5. Consider your finishing options
The cost of your quote will vary depending on your chosen finishing option. Most manufacturers will be able to cater to your requirements, at GD Rectifiers we offer a wide range of finishing options including: natural, clear, black and red anodised finish, powder coating, alocrom, electroless nickel, bright nickel, zinc and clear passivate and bright tin. We can also offer customised finishing options to our customers if they require a different finishing option. Usually the most expensive type of finish is electroless nickel and the most cost effective finish is bright tin. When placing a large heatsink order the finishing option you select can dramatically affect the price of the quote, it’s important to discuss the finishing options available to see if choosing a different finish could help save you money.
6. Try to order ahead of time
Buyers that place scheduled and call-off orders tend to secure better pricing on heatsinks from manufacturers, this is because they are ordering the material in one drop and avoid any foreseeable future price increases. The cost of aluminium is always changing and buyers can monitor this on London’s Metal Exchange, our advice is to work closely with your manufacturer and place orders ahead of time so that they can order material at the right time, at the right price, ensuring you receive the best quote.
7. Place a call-off order
Call-off orders are ideal for medium-large heatsink production runs, they give buyers the flexibility of having the material in stock and an agreed number of heatsinks on the shelf at all times. Call-off orders are usually held at the manufacturer’s factory, allowing buyers to call-off their heatsinks in real-time and receive them on the same or next working day. GD Rectifiers offers call-off orders to a large number of customers, this is an extremely useful tool when demand suddenly increases, allowing your business to continue its supply in fulfilling customer orders.
GD Rectifiers provide a wide range of standard and custom-made heatsinks, heatsink accessories and heatsink assemblies, they have been manufacturing heatsinks for over 10 years. We stock and machine the largest range of heatsinks suitable for LED lighting applications and stud, modules and capsule semiconductors.
Experts in thermal management, we offer an extensive range of aluminium heatsinks, including custom heatsinks, forced-air cooled heatsinks, hollow fin heatsinks, IXYS UK heatsinks, Semikron heatsinks, solid fin heatsinks and water and oil cooled heatsinks.
We benefit from having our manufacturing facility in-house, offering a wide selection of high quality heatsinks readily available with material in stock at competitive pricing and on a next day delivery service.
We offer a full service from design to production, our technical team of engineers are available to answer any questions you might have.