Issues Manufacturers Must Consider when Ordering Metal Shims

Manufacturers are familiar with Douglas Stamping as a supplier of metal shims. These shims are used to adjust the location of parts in machine tools and dies. But the process of stamping shims requires large quantities to be cut to make it cost effective. Laser cutting the metal shims allows for a wider variety of shapes and doesn’t require the large quantity orders.

For the year 2012, one company that does exceptionally well at providing custom cut metal shims is Rentapen Inc. located in Waukesha, WI. Recently Rentapen discovered it can not compete with the stamping companies on large quantity orders. Rentapen found its niche in specialty orders. Custom cut metal shims of any quantity cut to order. For custom cut metal shims, Rentapen is the Shim King.

Manufacturers are able to order any shape they need in any quantity they need. This has saved many manufacturers and tooling companies’ money and time.

When the quantities are huge, stamping out the shapes with a die and stamping machine such as is used at Douglas Stamping, proves to be cheaper and faster than laser cutting. But, when quantities are smaller, that’s when laser cut shims, like Rentapen’s RAPid Shims™ are best.

Some manufacturers use hundreds of the same size and shape of shims. They buy the large quantities from a stamping house, like Douglas, and they keep stock in inventory. Maintaining inventory can be costly. Custom ordered laser cut metal shims reduce inventory costs because manufacturers and machine tooling companies buy only what they need, when they need it.

Rentapen can get shims quoted, cut, and shipped to their customers faster than most of the competition can get a quote. Rentapen’s Automated RAPid Order Processing System™ is fast and accurate. Rentapen has earned its title of Shim King. Since the turn-around time is quick (from order to delivery), many manufacturers opt to buy smaller quantities and reduce their inventory headaches by using companies such as Rentapen for their metal shims.

Just like Douglas Stamping, Rentapen offers Steel shims, Stainless Steel Shims, NAAMS shim shapes, Die sharpening shims, Adjustment shims, Reid Tool Supply shim shapes, and any Douglas shim shapes. Of course, with laser cut shims, it’s easy to get custom shapes and sizes by sending in a drawing of the shim with the request for quote.

A custom shim is any shim that doesn’t conform to the standard shapes normally used. For example, a shim that needs a corner chamfer would be custom, a shim where the holes aren’t in a regular pattern would be custom cut. Shims with holes or slots or a custom shim any size or shape that manufacturers come up with, is a custom shim.

Certain companies may use stamping to create the same kind of shim. Rentapen uses a 150 watt Kern Laser to create smaller quantities and unique quantities.

At Rentapen, custom shims are made to order. There is no minimum order. Need one shim, that’s OK with them.

Shims are often used in packs. A pack can be 2 to 10 or more shims of the same shape. Sometimes they are all the same thickness and sometimes they are different thicknesses of metal. Amazingly, one shim can be even thinner than .005 of an inch.

Rentapen not only custom cuts the shims but puts each shim pack in a bag and labels it with the part number.

While stamping provides fast production of thousands of shims, laser cutting, like that used at Rentapen is totally flexible. Manufacturers can create what they need, whether it is one shim or a thousand shims.

“What is interesting is that you can create about a billion different shim styles with just our part numbering system,” said Susan Straley, President of Rentapen. “And it doesn’t take much thought, just go to our web site and create 3D models of our standard shim shapes and you will not only have the 3D model to use in your CAD design, but you will have the part number you need.”

“So, if you need metal shims of the same shape and size in large quantities, then ordering from a stamping company makes sense. If you are trying to cut down on inventory costs or you a smaller quantity or unique shape, then you can order from a laser cutting company like Rentapen, Inc,” said Straley.

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About rentapen

Susan Straley, aka Queen of Lean Machine Design, is the President of Rentapen Inc. in Waukesha, WI. She helps manufacturers reduce costs through excellence in 3d desing services, RAPid Tooling Components(TM), and Just-in-Time Laser Cutting Services(TM). Susan can be reached directly at 262-542-8891.

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