Composite manufacturing is a burgeoning industry that contributes $22 billion to the U.S. economy each year, meaning there’s no shortage of quality vendors out there.
But how do you know which one is best for your company? Do you pick a random credible name out of a hat and hope for the best? We surely hope not.
Instead, companies should look for a few key details inherent in all composite manufacturing vendors when finding the right fit.
What specific things should you look for? In this article, we’ll explore some of these factors to help you make the right choice when selecting a composite manufacturing vendor.
Quality Assurance Certifications
A telling sign of a reliable manufacturing vendor is their list of quality assurance certifications.
These documents show that an accredited institution reviewed that company, and found that their practices were in accordance with a specific set of industry standards.
Checking dates allow certifications no room for outdated products or practices. You don’t want to work with a vendor that hasn’t passed recent inspections.
Look for these certificates from organizations like the ANSI National Accreditation Board. They should be easy to find on a vendor’s main site.
Types of Composite Manufacturing Products
When deciding on composite manufacturing vendors, look at the types of products they specialize in.
A company might focus on one type of material over another, and it’s not uncommon for a firm to only make that one product. For example, firms may be better known for carbon fiber manufacturing rather than glass fiber production.
Sometimes companies show interest in one product. Or they might not want to contact several different companies to provide you with different composite materials. In any case, make sure you know exactly what a vendor’s providing.
It’s also good to look over how they make their products, especially if your company follows an environmental sustainability framework.
List of Clientele
A good way to judge the quality of a vendor is by reviewing their clientele.
Composite manufacturing companies are often B2B (business-to-business) firms that associate with other manufacturers or even the military.
Who a vendor has worked within the past gives you an idea of their products’ quality. Vendors working for the Department of Defense have products holding high standards.
These factors provide information on a composite manufacturer’s capabilities and their scope of work. The more other people can vouch for a company, the more comfortable you might feel taking them on.
Length in the Business
In a crowded market, how long a company has been in business can certainly help you choose the right one.
If a firm has been making carbon fiber products for over 20 years, there’s a chance they’ll have more industry knowledge than a similar company that’s only been at it for 5 years.
While you shouldn’t make a choice on this factor alone, it could sway your decision when trying to decide between two or three candidates.
To find out how long a company’s existed, check out their “About Us” tab for historical information.
Finding the Right Composite Manufacturer for You
Even with hundreds of vendors to choose from, these factors will help you make the most informed decision when selecting a composite manufacturing firm.
SMI is dedicated to advancing the composite manufacturing field by developing our core capabilities and providing informed decisions for our customers. For more information on composite manufacturing, check out our blog.