SoloPoint Insights

Design 2 Part Show Highlights American Manufacturing Services

On May 20, SoloPoint Solutions attended the Northern California stop of the Design 2 Part (D2P) Show held at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The D2P Show was originally started in the mid ‘70s by Ben Edwards to show USA’s capabilities in manufacturing innovation and technology. 39 years later, it still is the hub for showcasing true American manufacturing services.

At the venue, there were hundreds of companies displaying the latest innovations in manufacturing and the different product development solutions they each have to offer. With increasing news that manufacturing is being brought back to America, SoloPoint chatted with some of these manufacturers to learn why it’s beneficial for engineers to entrust their production to local companies versus overseas.  The resounding answer among the people we spoke to is the high quality level of service, speed in production and accessibility provided by local manufacturers.

Sitting in Booth #416 was San Jose-based MOS Plastics, a key provider of injection molding solutions to companies within the medical device and life science industries. Jason McLoud, Director of Sales, said choosing a local resource allows customers to have a more active working relationship with the company performing services for them. “What our customers appreciate is the capability of being close to the engineering and manufacturing teams that are partnered with them in bringing in new programs. I think it’s important to them that we’re able to sit down with them, face-to-face in close proximity,” McLoud said.

Interpersonal communication is not the only benefit of going local. In production, time is always of the essence. One of the questions that design engineers are concerned about is how fast can their designs go into production? SoloPoint caught up with John Ritelli, a member of General Foundry’s Business Development Team. Ritelli discussed about how each job order has a specific process and with local manufacturing, secondary operations such as machining, powder coating and screen printing can be accomplished in a fraction of a time compared to overseas manufacturers. “Depending on the geometry, it can take us 4-6 weeks to get parts made: including tooling, machining, and surface finishing,” Ritelli said.

With General Foundry, a leading provider of aluminum casting services, they are accountable for every step of their process.  “From melting the aluminum to surface finishing, we’re a true turnkey solutions provider,” Ritelli said. “We have been in the Bay Area and only in the Bay Area for 69 years so we’re a big local presence and we love working with local companies.“

John Ritelli and Dan Kelley of General Foundry. Image by: Sara Almario-Brice
Sample Parts at the General Foundry Booth. Image by: Sara Almario-Brice
Sample Parts at the General Foundry Booth. Image by: Sara Almario-Brice

Shipping is a big factor when it comes to manufacturing. One of the people SoloPoint spoke with at the show was Rafael Grimaldo, Vice President of Sales and Engineering for Responsible Metal Fab. According to Grimaldo, working with overseas companies, waiting for parts to be shipped can cause delays in the production processes. An error on the part itself or in shipping can be even more costly in time and money. Those errors can take up to 8-9 weeks to resolve.

Responsible Metal Fab performs sheet metal fabrication and assembly in-house in their Sunnyvale facility. Grimaldo said their customers value the immediate response they provide in carrying out orders and when it comes to any errors on the products: “We’re ‘Johnny-on-the-spot’ and we fix the issue in a timely manner.”

Sample Parts at the Responsible Metal Fab Booth. Image by: Sara Almario-Brice


Sample Parts from the Responsible Sheet Metal Fab Booth
Sample Parts at the Responsible Metal Fab Booth. Image by: Sara Almario-Brice

As a Bay Area resource for engineering staffing services, SoloPoint Solutions has attended the D2P Show each and every year, not only to see the latest and greatest in manufacturing, but also to support local manufacturing providers.