Thermal Spray Exports

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Thermal spray coatings services shops are always looking for ways and means to increase sales. Exporting thermal spray coatings IS a viable alternative. We are not talking about exporting thermal spray consumables like thermal spray powders or thermalspray wires, gun nozzles and the like but rather of thermal spray coatings. Note that this is going to take a lot of work on your part. Obviously, it is cost prohibitive to make a component in China, ship it to USA, apply a thermal spray coating and then ship it back to China. Conversely, it is equally expensive to make a part in the USA, ship it to a flame spray shop in India, get it coated and ship it back to the USA – the shipping costs alone will eat up all the profits. If that is the case then how do you participate in the globalized economy being in the thermal spray coatings business?

There are two sure-fire and time-tested ways in which you can sell your thermal spray coating services to overseas companies – this is applicable whether you operate a metallizing shop in the USA, UK, China, Japan, India, Italy or anywhere in the world. The first method is to locate an end user in the country where you are located and a part manufacturer in the country of origin. For example, if you are located in the USA, then locate a customer in the USA that buys a component complete that has thermalsprayedcoatings as a significant operation. Now locate a part manufacturer in Asia who makes the part; in turn, you perform the thermal spray coatings operation and then ship the part to the local end-user – this way the importing is done on partially finished goods rather than a complete entity. Conversely, if there is a customer in India for example, that purchases a component that has thermalsprayed coatings from the USA, you act as the thermal spray supplier to the component producer in the USA and ship the part to India. This is the easiest approach to marketing your thermal spray coatings services to a global customer base.

Another method is to change your frame of mind as a thermal spray coatings supplier to a component supplier – the key being that the component you supply needs to have thermal sprayed coatings as a significant part of the component processing. So you need to first identify a component, get it manufactured up to the thermal spray operation, then you perform the thermal spray operation and then continue to outsource any subsequent operations and then ship the part complete. Generally in the thermal spray industry, the machining vendor takes on the major responsibility and simply outsources the plasma, LPPS or hvof thermal spray portion and hence thermal spray shops many times end up with making up the lost time and cost overruns incurred by the machining vendor. Turn the tables and your profits can soar. Of course, this involves a tremendous amount of work up front for you, the thermal spray operator. This technique brings with it other advantages too. Once you have identified a “widget” as discussed, you can have level loading of your machinery – in other words, if work is slow in your shop at some point, you can fill it with the “widget” work to keep equipment down time to a minimum. Why should thermal spray shops simply be the “special process” people – instead take complete control of the whole component – and you know what your profit margins can be higher because now you make a little bit more of a margin on every operation that you outsourced.

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