Stryver Manufacturing Inc. (Dayton, OH) designs and builds automated fixtures, custom production machines, material handling equipment and automated weld systems. Its success depends on the company's ability to find dependable, low-cost custom components with consistent lead times. The company tries to lower costs and development times by using standard, off-the-shelf components whenever possible. This approach, however, can only be taken so far.

"There are limitations because you can only use so many standard components before you compromise your designs," says Stryver project manager Ron Karka.

One of Stryver's regular custom-component suppliers is Misumi of the Americas Inc. (Schaumburg, IL). Misumi supplies custom mechanical components for factory automation. The factory also supplies press and plastic die components, cutting tools and gauges to customers throughout North and South America. The company accommodates short lead times and has no minimal order quantity requirements. It supplies free CAD data to cut down on the effort and expense of parts drawings.

Misumi has established a coding system that enables customers to specify the type of material, tolerances and finishes at the time of ordering, without the need for a design drawing.

One component that Misumi manufactures for Stryver is a series of locating pins for the company's automation systems. Previously, Stryver would design and fabricate the pins in-house. It would also outsource the parts to a local machine shop, at high cost. With Misumi, the company creates a catalog number and then places the order. Shipping times are 6 days or less.

Previously, when Stryver was employing a machine shop to fabricate the pins, the cost would be $50 or more per part. With Misumi, Stryver is paying around $10 for each pin.

"Misumi has mastered the ability to make custom components within a loose framework of a standard design, offering components with highly flexible size, material and tolerance parameters," Karka says.

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