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FAQs

Are there any grants available towards extrusion tooling?
Do you actually manufacture extrusions?
How much is an extrusion die?
Do I own the extrusion die?
What does a die look like?
How much extrusion do we have to buy?
How much is an extrusion sample?
How long does it take it take to run a sample batch?
How much do I get from a sample batch?
Can you make a sample extrusion without a die?
How long would a short sample take?
How long does an extrusion die last?
What tolerances can you hold?
I have a die, which I had returned to me from another extruder can you use this?
Do you offer machining?
What extrusion finishes are available?
Do you offer extrusion design help?
Is extrusion design help free?
What factors should I consider when designing an extrusion?
What aluminium alloy should I use?
Can you help with other materials or processes?
Why should we buy from Aluminium Shapes?
My colleagues tell me I can buy it cheaper in China, what would your comment on this be?
Are there benefits in buying from a stockholder, as they seem to be everywhere?
What credit terms do you offer and what payment options are available?
I need delivery to mainland Europe. Is this something you can offer?
Will Brexit affect your business and if so how will you address it?
Do you know the answer to the meaning of life?

Are there any grants available towards extrusion tooling?

As we were registered with the Manufacturing Advisory Service as experts in our field, grants of up to 30% were available for SME’s covering design, tooling and sampling costs.

During the October statement this support was removed without fanfare, but local enterprise schemes do exist to help you subject to location.

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Do you actually manufacture extrusions?

Yes we do. We are one of only two UK owned companies still making aluminium extrusions. We pride ourselves as being THE most responsive aluminium extruder bar none, a John Lewis in a sea of Tesco’s.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, try us and see how we can compare. Ring free 0808 168 9098 and talk to Aluminium Frank now.

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How much is an extrusion die?

It can be as low as £850.00 for a single cavity dies solid die. The cost is driven by the geometry, complexity alloy and whether it is a solid of hollow.

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Do I own the extrusion die?

You pay a part cost only and own exclusive use of the hole in the middle.

Unlike other more expensive forms of tooling such as plastic injection moulding or pressure die casting extrusion tooling is not portable and is specific normally to the press it has been designed to run on.

As long as material is run through it every few years to allow for die maintenance the die will be replaced at our cost should it wear out or break

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What does a die look like?

It looks kind of like this (add image – Aluminium Extrusion Die being finished)

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How much extrusion do we have to buy?

You can have an inch (25mm) or a mile. You will, however, pay more pro rata for an inch.

Many people come with a good idea for a product; how we manage that idea and the support we give in terms of tooling cost and minimum quantity determine often whether the idea gets off the ground.

We’re not clever enough to design a product as such, we need you to come up with the next generation of aluminium based products we can sell

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How much is an extrusion sample?

It’s refreshingly inexpensive!

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How long does it take it take to run a sample batch?

It can be done within 2 weeks subject to size and geometry. We try and work to the customer timescales; we pride ourselves in always going the extra mile, and then going another mile for good measure.

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How much do I get from a sample batch?

We use a 20kg billet so subject to the weight per metre of the section it will be the yield of that.

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Can you make a sample extrusion without a die?

We can make a short sample up to 200mm replicating the geometry of the section at nominal.

This is ideal if there is a need to check fits etc. off tool.

More importantly it gives a designer the immeasurable tactile comfort that only holding a physical piece can deliver. 3D Printed samples are ok but lack the characteristics of the actual material to be used.

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How long would a short sample take?

Generally it takes 2/3 days to run a short sample run.

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How long does an extrusion die last?

As long as material is ran through it every couple of years to enable essential maintenance, it will last many years; because only a part cost is charged, it is replaced at our cost should it wear or break.

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What tolerances can you hold?

We aim, wherever possible, to improve on BS EN 755, however designing for fit and function is by far the most sensible option.

It is always advisable to contact us as early as possible in the design process, invariably whatever the challenge we will have experienced it before.

Learn from our pain, not your own.

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I have a die, which I had returned to me from another extruder can you use this?

Normally extrusion tooling is made to run on a specific press and the lifetime guarantee is specific to that press.

We have occasionally been able to modify other tooling that suits our container size.

It isn’t something we do as a norm as the greater issue is that we don’t know the die history maintenance or storage history.

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Do you offer machining?

Yes we have a reasonable range of in house CNC machining and fabrication options.

We can handle large or small volume. This is an area marked for significant investment over the coming years so check back in regularly for updates.

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What extrusion finishes are available?

Innumerable finishes from paint, anodising, colour anodising, anodic paints, wood paint, chrome, plastic coating polishing and chemical brightening, and many more.

The important information to know is the key surfaces and whether it is protective or aesthetic, we can advise on any possible geometry issues that may impact the finish

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Do you offer extrusion design help?

Yes we offer free extrusion design advice; you can ring us on Free phone 0808 168 9808.

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Is extrusion design help free?

If you want specific end product related design help involving detailed drawing, there may be a small charge involved or we may recommend one of the portfolio of Product Design companies we work with.

We always take a view on how we see the potential and how much time is involved.  We are a customer driven company however and always look to say yes.

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What factors should I consider when designing an extrusion?

Symmetry, uniform wall thickness and depth to width ratio are key drivers.

Always talk to us as early as possible is by far the best advice we could give though.

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What aluminium alloy should I use?

Again talk to us. Wherever possible use 6000 series, as these are the most commercially available.

Often people will search the Internet and come up with what seems the perfect alloy solution. Often these alloys are not commercially available or have extended lead times, prohibitive pricing and punitive minimum runs.

Always check with us first is again the best advice.

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Can you help with other materials or processes?

We are experts in our field but over our many years regularly work with other processes.

As such we have a bank of reliable companies we can suggest if your product also involves other materials.

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Why should we buy from Aluminium Shapes?

We are the number one service extruder in Europe in our sector.

There are bigger companies who will on the face of it be cheaper, but if you want to deal with a company where you matter we are the only choice.

Ring us now on 0808 168 9098 and tell me otherwise

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My colleagues tell me I can buy it cheaper in China, what would your comment on this be?

Good luck!. Yes there are good companies in China, great companies in fact, but there are also horror stories.

We regularly cut dies in a week to bail people out when the Chinese promise doesn’t come through.

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Are there benefits in buying from a stockholder, as they seem to be everywhere?

Stockholders have a place. There are good stockholders who add value to the product and have vast knowledge across many metals and plastics.

However there is nothing quite like dealing with a manufacturer

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What credit terms do you offer and what payment options are available?

We generally expect the tooling and samples to be paid up front; terms are subject to satisfactory credit references

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I need delivery to mainland Europe. Is this something you can offer?

Yes

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Will Brexit affect your business and if so how will you address it?

With our small market share capacity for survival and ability to punch above our weight we were probably far more relaxed than most other extruders in the run up to the Brexit vote.

Whilst the most frequently voiced description post Brexit was “uncertainty” we felt optimistic as the only real risk or threat was being unprepared for either of the options and we were comfortable with our readiness.

With no one customer taking more than 8% of our 2500 tonnes per year output and a spread across all sectors, including export, we have tried to protect ourselves from the inevitable peaks and troughs that affect any commodity based industry.

Post Brexit we have seen an increase in the number of enquiries from companies that traditionally buy off shore, which is encouraging whether this is a short term over reaction is too early to say, but the scare mongering has seemed to settle down and it is very much business as usual.

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Do you know the answer to the meaning of life?

No but we are of the earnest belief that true contentment in life can only be achieved through the portal that is the beautifully designed aluminium extrusion…help us in our quest.

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