How do I Choose the Best Cladding Suppliers?

Carol Francois

There are three items to consider when looking for the best cladding suppliers: quality, delivery, and price. Cladding is the process of combining two metals together into a single product. The methods used range from extruding the metals through a die to rolling the sheets of metal together using a high pressure roller. Cladding suppliers are firms that supply the finished metal as a single product.

Cladding can be manufactured from metal sheets.
Cladding can be manufactured from metal sheets.

The term cladding is a general one that can be used for metals, telecommunications, nuclear products, and more. Take the time to review the types of products the cladding suppliers offer to ensure you are talking with the appropriate type of firm. Look for firms that advertise in industry-specific publications, and talk with your staff about cladding suppliers that have been used in the past.

Material quality is an essential aspect of the selection criteria when evaluating cladding suppliers. Think about what type of material you require, and provide all suppliers with the upper and lower tolerances. This information will help them to provide an accurate bid for the appropriate type of material.

Include the quality details into the contract and set up a quality assurance process around it as part of the contract negotiations. Set up a mutually agreeable timetable for random testing of product quality and define the remedy options available should the quality drop during the contracted period. These steps will go a long way to avoiding any issues and provides a framework to resolve quality concerns, should they occur.

Delivery is a complex issue for cladding suppliers. This material is heavy and involves a lengthy manufacturing process. Set up a delivery schedule in the contract, and negotiate the minimum lead time required to request additional materials. Determine who is responsible for shipping costs, and how they will be billed.

Price is always a consideration, and this is especially true with cladding suppliers. Due to their reliance on natural resources, the price for this type of material is subject to fluctuations due to changes in seasons and commodity trading. This type of contract often has a flat rate and a maximum tolerance percentage to accommodate any changes within the industry. For example, a firm may agree to a price of $5 US Dollars (USD) per kilogram, with a 4 percentage allowance during the length of the contract. The purpose of this type of pricing is to minimize distribution and allow both firms the confidence to sign long-term contracts.

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