SDS Aero CNC'd Parts

Discussion in 'Supplier / Manufacturer Announcements' started by rv6ejguy, Aug 6, 2018.

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  1. Aug 6, 2018 #1

    rv6ejguy

    rv6ejguy

    rv6ejguy

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    I created a new web page consolidating most of the photos and links related to our CNC'd parts to get most of it in one place and reduce the size of some of our other pages to allow people to better find the information they want.

    Things slowly get out of control over time as we add new parts to the line.

    The new page is here: http://www.sdsefi.com/sdsaero.htm


     
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  2. Aug 7, 2018 #2

    Tantrum1

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    You do fantastic work! I really wish you had a set of continental valve covers! Looking forward to getting a few things from you in the future!
     
  3. Aug 7, 2018 #3

    rv6ejguy

    rv6ejguy

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    Thanks. I don't see us making covers for the O-200 unfortunately. The O-200 stuff in general doesn't sell at levels even remotely close to the Lycoming parts. Given the design costs, we'd never make any money on them.

    Even though there are lots of O-200s flying in Experimentals, most users seem to keep their engine parts purchases on a tight budget.
     
  4. Aug 8, 2018 #4

    Tantrum1

    Tantrum1

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    Ross,
    That's understandable! Just saying if I had an unlimited budget I'd get you to make me a set just for the cool factor alone! HAHAHAHA but then again if any of us had "unlimited budgets" theres likely a lot more we'd all do just for the cool factor.

    All kidding aside you produce amazing stuff, we will be getting parts from you once our budget allows.
     
  5. Aug 12, 2018 #5

    Armilite

    Armilite

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    ==============================================================

    How can you say that if you have never made any and tried to Sell them? The same Valve Rocker Cover, from Continental
    works for MODELS: A-65, A-75, C-75, C-85, C-90, C-125, C-145, O-200, O-300!

    http://www.chiefaircraft.com/cont-40762.html

    People can't Buy what isn't listed For Sale!
     
  6. Aug 13, 2018 #6

    rv6ejguy

    rv6ejguy

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    Lycomings outnumber currently flying small Contis at least 20 to 1 and I know how many $115 Billet VCs I sell for Lycomings in a year. From being in this market for a while, I've seen that small Conti and VW guys are flying on a tight budget and I get that. This makes me believe that there wouldn't be enough sales of these to justify the design, prototyping and testing costs to get a return on investment. If I got 10 guys to promise they'd buy 4 each, then I'd consider it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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  7. Aug 13, 2018 #7

    Topaz

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    Small business owners, at least ones with years of business under their belts, don't make decisions like this lightly. They don't throw away opportunities to make money lightly, and they know that putting a product out there is a commitment to their customers, whether it's profitable or not. If the product sells a few, but not enough to be profitable, it creates ill-will with the existing customers and those few who might have been "thinking about it" when the product is taken off the market. A few replacements would need to be kept in stock for a long time, as replacements for any that were sold earlier and then damaged, whether by a clumsy mechanic or a botched landing. It could end up being the product that just keeps on losing.

    If Ross thinks there's not enough market for this product to be profitable, I'd tend to believe him, given his obvious level of experience in this area.
     
  8. Aug 15, 2018 #8

    Tantrum1

    Tantrum1

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    Ross,
    Good day, if your serious about the 10 customers, I might be able to swing that. If you can PM me a complete cost for 4, and if there's any customization available. I will see about getting a group buy. I will ask from the group buy that they pay half now and the remaining half when ready to ship.
    Let me know!
    Thanks
    Mark
     
  9. Aug 18, 2018 #9

    Armilite

    Armilite

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    It doesn't matter if your a Small Bussiness or a Large Corporation, You can't Sell Anything if you don't Make it, and Advertise it Right. If 30 different Companies are making the same Product, then your Sales/Profits will be limited. If Nobody is making it, then you have a good chance to sell a lot of them, but it always comes down to Unit Cost, Quality of Part, the Look(Bling), and if it maybe Fixes a known Problem with the STOCK Part, so much the better.

    Like this Cont O-200 use's (4) Covers, but their all the Same! The same Cover is used on many Different Continental Engines to spread Sales over! A Good CAD Person could Draw Up the 3D model in a very Short Time, like a couple of Hours! Today, you can even send the CAD File Electronically out and have it even 3D Printed for probaly less than a $100 to Proof it's fit & Look if you don't have your own 3D Printer. Bling Sells, like different Colored Parts, add Custon Names to Covers, like O-200, Continetal, Owner Name, etc.

    Ways to keep Cost down, Buy Material in Bulk. Do your own 3D Modeling. Some Material can even be bought Very Cheaply off places like eBay, Craigslist, etc!

    Example: Any Billet Skidoo/Polaris/Yamaha/Arctic Cat Race Head Retails $400. A Block of 6061 large enough to make (1) Head $20-$25 Off eBay. Complete Head with Inserts to make 1:15 on Old 1st Gen CNC! Basically, $125 to make. $400 -$125 = $275 Profit! When I contacted a Sled Race Shop to make a One Off Head for my 670, sine no one has made any for years, last 670 made was 1999, $800 to Design and make (1) 670 Race Head with Inserts! Cost of a New Rotax 582UL Dual Plug Head then was $820.

    Successful Business are in Bussiness to make $$$$, not show one Brand Loyality, like only make Parts for one Brand like a Skidoo, Polaris, Yamaha, Arctic Cat!

    If your Plate/Time is full with the Products your making now, then just say that, but don't give a lame excuse they won't Sell, if you have never even tried! Any Good Shop has material on hand and once the Part is Designed, it's easy to pull it up to make a batch up, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, etc. Larger Orders usually bring the Cost per Unit down some. The Setup Time is what takes TIME. People can't BUY, what they can't SEE! This Site has a Free Place to Sell Things. He already has one possible Order for a Batch, for doing nothing!
     
  10. Aug 18, 2018 #10

    rv6ejguy

    rv6ejguy

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    I've been running my own businesses since I was 16 years old and this one for 30 years now. There are few people who'd buy $300 valve covers for small Contis and that's about what it would cost to make money designing and machining 4 parts. Machine setup time is nothing, design and testing are the big time hogs in this business. This isn't my first rodeo. We'll pass 35,000 CNC'd parts machined in late September, I think I have some clue how to do this and make money at it...

    cncpartsnew15.jpg

    We make over 115 different custom parts for aircraft and automotive now. Just a small sample above.

    I've PM'd Tantrum1 and we're working on finding a way to make this happen but it will involve at least 40 pieces if it's going to get into the design stage. And yes, I wear about 40 hats in my business and we are extremely busy continuously on R&D, design and building/ shipping product orders. Time is allotted to projects which will make us money and supporting our products and customer base, that's how we grow our brand and stay in business. There is no time to fritter away resources on low quantity machining runs.

    At present, CNC machines for one contractor are booked through to Sept. 27th on our jobs (over 450 pieces). The 2nd contractor is currently running 54 Lycoming valve covers and has 4 other new jobs which will take him to near the end of Sept. as well.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
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  11. Aug 18, 2018 #11

    BJC

    BJC

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    There is a simple solution to this difference, Armilite; you manufacture and sell them.


    BJC
     
  12. Aug 18, 2018 #12

    Topaz

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    It's not that simple, and you're being very unkind. Ross has been in business 30 years, and that's long enough to have a very good handle on the economics of a potential new product.

    I'm a relative "rookie" at 11 years in business. There is a data-processing function I provide to some of my catalog customers as a value-added service, translating their product database outputs to the needed format for the catalogs, and my wife thinks I ought to be selling that service on its own. "Your customers love it!" Yes, they do. They love it as part of the larger catalog-production service I'm providing. The kind of data-processing I provide, as a stand-alone service, isn't something I can bill enough for to be profitable once I factor in the customer support and administrative costs, without being subsidized by the higher-margin graphics work. And yes, I've run the numbers. Just like the O-200 parts for Ross, it's a very specialized, small-volume thing that I would have to continue to support even when it proved to be a money-loser, or I alienate every customer who tried it out. You don't build a brand and a reputation for being the "go to person" for what you do by just "trying things out" and dumping them when it doesn't make money.

    If someone wanted to dump a pile of cash into my lap for a specialized solution, such that all my development and overhead costs are covered for the time involved, and they'll pay for the costs of ongoing support, of course I'll do it for them. But most businesses in the size range I generally serve are more likely to go with a specialized vendor, and I'm not going to alienate a bunch of good people by using them as guinea pigs just to see if I can make money with a certain product or service. It's not nice to do that to people, and it hurts my business in the long run.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
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  13. Aug 18, 2018 #13

    rv6ejguy

    rv6ejguy

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    In my business, market evaluations and rough price points always get done before any design work is started. Even then, I've had some losers that took 2+ years to move off the shelf. The only thing that validates your good (or not so good) ideas is the marketplace and actual sales in the end. Certainly the Lycoming induction flanges have been hugely successful for us and that wasn't even my idea- I trusted the views of Mike Robinson (toobuilder here on HBA) because I know he's in tune with this stuff and realistic in his evaluations and ideas.
     
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  14. Aug 19, 2018 #14

    Armilite

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    Like I said Ross, if your Plate/Time is Full, I can understand that. Speculating on possible Sales Volume of a Part that you have never made, I disagree. This O-200 Engine alone came out in 1947 and there are a lot of them out there made in 71 years of Manufacture. You could easly Post on here for Group Buys for Orders for many different parts, not just these Valve Covers. It's You, who has to decide if you want to sell (4) Billet Valve Covers for one Engine only at $300ea = $1200, or maybe sell (400) Billet Valve Covers for 100 Engines at $200 each = $80,000. So what's your Profit Margin going to be for one Set for one Engine at $1200 vs one Set for $800 x 100 Engines?

    Some People are Good at 3D CAD Modeling and Fast doing it. But No, there isn't must Money in making limited numbers, or one off parts, as there isn't many Sales, if you Over Price a Part either, as many Manufactures do today. Last time I looked, a Stamped Factory New Valve Cover was $114 ea. This isn't a limited use Part, it can be used on many different Continetal Engines, MODELS: A-65, A-75, C-75, C-85, C-90, C-125, C-145, O-200, O-300, thats (9) different Engines.

    I'm out of town at the moment, and I may have this part already 3D Modeled and if I do, you can have it. It's in Inventor ipt format if I remember right. I got it from a guy doing his thesis for his Mechicancal Engineering degree, I think it's the complete O-200 engine. I didn't have a CAD program to open it till recently, so I haven't looked at it yet myself.

    I don't have a Valve Cover to measure, but I would guess looking at a photo it fits in about a 7" x 7" x 2" envelope.

    Block of 6061 off eBay!
    6061-T651 Aluminum Plate, 2.000 (2 inch), 7.5" x 10"
    Brand New
    $39.33 FAST 'N FREE Buy It Now

    So your going tell me, a $40 piece of 6061, Milled and (6) Holes Drilled is going to Cost $300ea for you to make a Profit? Ad Says more than (10) available.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/6061-T651-...732210?hash=item545cd53fb2:g:3TEAAOSwoKFbDYDw
     
  15. Aug 19, 2018 #15

    Armilite

    Armilite

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    Yes, it is that Simple, and No, I'm not being unkind for calling him on the carpet for making a statement about the possible Sales of a Product he, and no one else has ever made and tried to to Sell that I know of. If you Over Price, any Product, you can Kill it right off the bat. That's called Poor Marketing. There's 8 Billion People in the World and if you can't sell even Small 50, 100, 200, etc., Quantities your not Marketing them right. It happens all the Time. How many 100's of Thousands of Brand New Cars do you think are sitting in New Car Junk yards around the World right now account they Over Priced them?

    Ross is a Businessman who provides a Service of making different Parts for a Profit, not some GOD who can foresee the future Sale of a Product! Every Bussiness has a Profit Margin they operate on, for some it's a 100% markup, some 200%, some 300+%, etc., Markup! It''s You and I, as a Consumer that has to decide if you want to Pay his asking Price, or Shop around for a better Price. If he's the only one making a certain Product he can ask for the Moon, but if there is other People offering the same Product in the World, he has to stay competitive in his Pricing. There isn't anyone making any Continental Billet Valve Covers that I know of, but there is a few making some Lycoming Billet parts.

    Maybe it's not simple to you, maybe not to even Ross, but I doubt it, he's out to make large Profit Margins as a Businessman. He's not totally Designing a New Part from scratch, he's taking a Stock Designed Part that someone else Designed, OF these Valve Covers in point, taking it's basic Dimensions and Drawing them into 3D CAD and then just CNC Machining it out of Billet Stock. Is he Tweaking it with some lettering added to the outside, Yes. Is he offering it with different finishes, Yes. Is he maybe adding to the Design an O-Ring Groove, Yes. But none of that is that hard to do. Anybody, can put any Hourly Wage to their TIME to do anything to make it sound hard and difficult to make! If it was that hard, you wouldn't have kids making parts on Hobby CNC Machines.

    If you have a Paper/PDF CAD Drawing of a Part, you can post it to some web sites like www.Grabcad.com is one and somebody may 3D Model it for you, for Free, or they will Draw a Part for very few dollars, even make changes to fit your needs. You can even have it 3D Printed to Proof it for fit. You have a one Time 3D Model Design Time, say 2 hours, probably less time for a competent 3D CAD guy/gal. e-mail that 3D CAD file to 3D Printing Service a one time fee, say $125, 3D Part returned in 7 days or less depending on your Shipping options if you get it all right the first time. For this Part say $40 for material. Every CNC Shop has a Machine Time Cost that is different, Avg around me is $80hr or $80/60 min = $1.33 a minute. So, say a Part takes :45 to make. That would mean :45 x $1.33 = $59.85 + $40 Material Cost. But they all have a Minimum of say an Hour or so many Parts, beside what Ross said, Machine Change Over and Setup Time, does Cost Time & Money, so one off Parts Cost more than Average. Some large CNC Machines have Pallets, or they have Jigs to quick Index Billet Blanks. Many CNC Shops won't even talk to you unless you make 500+ parts. That's WHY, One Off Parts cost way more vs having say 100, 500, 1000, Parts made, etc! Usually, the more Parts you have made the cheaper they get per Unit, and each CNC Shop is different on their Price Breaks, 100 parts, 500 parts, 1000 parts, 10,000 parts, etc! If Machine Time is say $90hr = $90/60 Min = $1.50 a Minute! So once you have the 3D Model Proofed, and then convert it to G-Code for the CNC Machine, how long does it take to really make that Valve Cover, 4 Valve Covers(1 Engine), 20 Valve Covers (5 Engines), 40 Valve Covers (10 Engines), 80 Valve Covers (20 Engines), 120 Valve Covers (30 Engines), etc? How many Valve Covers to Cover that Initial CAD Time, 3D Printing Cost, G-Code conversion Time? Once perfected you can pull it up at any Time to make 100's more if needed.

    You have a choice in Business, Pass the Design/Proof Cost onto the Consumer or Offer that Service for Free, account your going to make a Profit off them, and recoup that Cost soon and off other Parts you sell very soon.

    There is People/Shops offering CNC Machine Shop Services, Fast Prototyping, Contact for Quote, Short Lead time on eBay even!
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/CNC-Machin...713708?hash=item41e4a243ec:g:uF8AAOSw1ZpbBiNb
     
  16. Aug 19, 2018 #16

    BJC

    BJC

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    It amazes me that some people are so willing to tell other people what they should do and how they should spend their time, money and efforts.

    If a person knows what should be done, how it should be done, and believes that it is a good opportunity, then that person should do it, and not criticize others for not doing it.

    BTW, what is the purpose of the random capitaliztions and the string of “=“ signs, in your posts?


    BJC
     
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  17. Aug 19, 2018 #17

    Armilite

    Armilite

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    I don't care if he makes them or not, BJC. My whole Point was, he has no frigging idea if they would sell or not, he has never made or Sold any, and it really comes down to his actual Unit Cost vs Profit Margin and doing some proper Advertising if they would sell! At $300 each vs a Stock Steel Cover at $114 each, I doubt they would sell very well. But he knows, and I know, that $300ea Unit Cost is BS! I suggest you Google, Lycoming and Continetal Billet Parts. If I needed some, then Yes, I would make my own on my own equipement for Material Cost and my Time! I'm Retired now, and Setup fairly well, that I don't need to make and sell parts to others. But who knows, maybe I'll pickup another Hobby and may need some extra Cash Flow down the road!
     
  18. Aug 19, 2018 #18

    gtae07

    gtae07

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    It doesn't matter what you think the parts should cost. What matters is whether or not Ross and his company will make a profit. I bet he could sell a whole bunch of them for $75... but if he's losing money at that price point, he's not going to make them, no matter how well they'll sell. ("We're losing money on each one, but we'll make it up in volume!")


    But it's even more than that. Maybe SDS could make money selling these. But resources--time, money, manpower--are finite. If SDS can make more money making and selling something else, why invest those finite resources into a product that will only make a small profit instead of using them to make products with a big profit?
     
  19. Aug 19, 2018 #19

    rv6ejguy

    rv6ejguy

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    Armilite, as someone already suggested, you can go and build these yourself and become richer than you ever imagined...
     
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  20. Aug 19, 2018 #20

    Topaz

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    I always get a little smile when someone tells me they can sell something for 'Z' dollars, since materials are 'X' and labor is 'Y'. After all, "it's just simple math." X+Y=Z

    Yeah, it is. But you forgot an entire alphabet's worth of additional terms to you equation, good sir. Utilities, the building, taxes, down-time, non-billable customer support, putting away a rainy-day fund for the company... maybe even paying yourself and your employees a living wage... The list is long and distinguished.
     

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