You have an idea — it’s a rough nugget. How do you forge this shiny piece of conceptual gold into a working prototype of reality?
And most importantly, how do you launch that prototype into high production, so every fin tube flows off a manufacturing line with consistent reliability?
Easy. Work with a fin tube manufacturer that has the machining, engineering, and work cell capability to take an idea from conception to prototype to mass production with fluid efficiency.
When a uniform process takes place on the same manufacturing floor, consistency is weaved into the entire production. The result is flawlessness at a high volume capacity — a flowing production of fin tubes consistent across the entire line. And in the process, you save time and money because the entire line of fin tubes is sourced from the same center, a central resource.
A One Way Ticket to Success
It’s rare to find a fin tube manufacturer capable of traversing every step of that journey. Finding one that can take you from conceptual prototype to high production is like a golden ticket. It’s the best way to ensure consistency, control costs, and maintain a successful production run, perhaps even for multiple generational rollouts of a favored fin tube.
To be able to fulfill that journey, a fin tube manufacturer needs the machinery, ample access to supply lines, and experienced engineering know-how that’s distinctly rare in this industry.
The first step is to achieve a prototype that delivers a reliable test result. Once that’s been achieved, the prototype needs to be ramped into full production at a high volume stage. This requires dedicated work cells that utilize tooling processes that are repeatable and consistent. That way you can purchase tubes from tube mills instead of tube distributors. You get the exact fin tube you need — and you save money because you’re buying from a wholesale resource.
To ensure a successful process, communication, planning, and testing are critical to accuracy and consistency.
Machine Shops, Savings & Cost Control
Working with a manufacturer that utilizes an in-house machine shop can drive down prices significantly.
At Energy Transfer, we make the necessary parts at our own machine shop so we’re not starting from scratch. We can build a prototype using already existing equipment to save on startup costs.
Since we make all our own equipment, we can readily manage different sizes and styles. We can retool our machines to handle a variety of challenges and product configurations.
Because we do all our own tooling in house, we’re able to manufacture at high volumes that not everyone can meet. This results in significantly lower costs to our customers.
We also make our own custom boxes so you can be sure your fin tubes will arrive in one place.
Dedicated Work Cells & Repeatable Consistency
Dedicated work cells — areas of a plant dedicated solely to the production of a single tube or set of tubes — are rare in the fin tube industry. But they can make all the difference.
Once a prototype has been established and approved with the desired test results, the production can be aligned to a dedicated work cell — rather than manufacturing a product in six different departments.
Dedicated work cells are established for a particular customer in order to focus and simplify the manufacturing process with cohesive reliability.
For Energy Transfer, dedicated work cells help us fully meet our customers with repeatable consistency, from one part up to millions of parts.
There’s no need to tear down and reset a system multiple times. The system remains consistent and unchanged, capable of rolling out high production in the face of steeped demand.
To achieve a repeatable product, you need an engineer in the driver’s seat — consistently on hand to tweak and continuously improve the machines that roll out the fin tubes. This consistency is built into the drawings and tooling that is then carried out in dedicated work cells to ensure accurate results.
That’s why at Energy Transfer, we have a mechanical engineer who works on hand to design or refabricate equipment to ensure consistency. They work with the customer and the machine shop to sustain a reliable process every step of the way.
Communication is key to that planning process. Is this a one-off specialty product for prototyping, or a million part OEM product line that cannot be shut down?
Internal engineers must work hand in hand with equipment designers. We work closely with our customers to precisely determine the tolerances and scales that will ultimately deliver optimal results.
At the end of the day, each part must be repeatable, quantify expectations, and meet or exceed customer demands in order to continue production without shutdowns or interruptions.
The end result is a reliable line of fin tubes, fluid and capable, ready to rumble.