In today’s competitive business landscape, it’s imperative to make the right decisions about product components. While stock tubing may seem like a convenient option, custom tubing offers unique advantages that can help your business gain a competitive edge. So, what’s best for your organization: stock or custom tubing? We’re diving into the specifics.
Custom Tubing Applications
Before we determine if your organization should use stock or custom tubing, we must first address common applications of the latter. Custom solutions find use in applications in various industries due to its ability to meet specific requirements. This includes but is not limited to the medical, aerospace and defense, automotive, industrial, food and beverage, plumbing, electrical, and renewable energy sectors.
Custom tubing is widely used in the medical and healthcare sector for applications such as catheters, IVs, surgical instruments, and medical device components. It offers flexibility, biocompatibility, and antimicrobial properties, making a custom solution perfect for these needs.
Aerospace and Defense
The aerospace and defense industry has stringent requirements for weight, strength, durability, and resistance to extreme temperatures and harsh environments. A custom solution is exactly what you need in these situations. Whether it be fuel and hydraulic lines, pneumatic systems, electrical conduits, or wiring harnesses, custom tubing is the right choice to maximize performance.
A custom solution can be engineered to withstand high pressures, vibrations, and temperature fluctuations, which is why it’s a common choice for the automotive industry. Fuel and brake lines, coolant hoses, air intake systems, and exhaust systems are commonly engineered for each specific vehicle.
Industrial and Manufacturing
Custom tubing is used for fluid and gas transfer, conveying chemicals, and it’s found in pneumatic and vacuum applications.
Food and Beverage
Custom tubing solutions can be food-grade, which ensures safety, hygiene, and resistance to contamination. Thus, you’ll often find them in beverage dispensing, food processing, and dairy product transfer, among other applications.
In the construction industry, you’ll find custom tubing in plumbing systems, HVAC installations, and water supply networks. It offers corrosion resistance, flexibility, and leak-free connections.
Custom solutions are commonly engineered to provide electrical conductivity, resistance to heat and chemicals, flame retardancy, and electromagnetic shielding. Thus, you’ll often find them in wire and cable management systems, insulation, and more.
Solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal systems rely on custom tubing to keep them operational. They aid in fluid transfer, heat exchange, and energy distribution, while providing resistance to UV radiation, extreme temperatures, and harsh weather conditions.
Considerations to Keep in Mind When Choosing Between Stock and Custom Tubing
When choosing between stock or custom tubing, keep these considerations in mind:
Specific Application Requirements
Stock tubing is produced using standard sizing and materials, which makes it great for general applications, but not for every situation. If your product needs precise dimensions, specialized materials, or another unique configuration, you should go with custom tubing. That way, you can tailor the dimensions, materials, tolerances, and features to exactly what you need.
Performance and Efficiency
Stock tubing can offer basic functionality, but it often doesn’t provide the best performance and efficiency. If you design custom tubing, you can include features like improved flow rates, reduced pressure drop, increased durability, enhanced resistance to corrosion, and better compatibility with high or low temperatures.
Stock tubing will be cheaper than custom tubing, sure, but what are the long-term implications of using a less-than-optimal tubing solution? You could run into operational inefficiencies, increased downtime, higher maintenance costs, and even potential product failures. Investing in custom tubing can help avoid costly recalls or replacements caused by suboptimal stock tubing.
Speed-to-impact may be key for your operation. If it is, you might not have time to wait for a custom tubing solution to be made. Therefore, you should go with the stock option. However, you could use the stock option as an intermediary, using it until you finalize the design on your custom solution.
Supplier Support and Expertise
If you choose to work with an experienced tubing manufacturer, you can draw from their expertise to make your product better. Custom tubing manufacturers often have experienced engineers who can offer insights and recommendations to optimize your design, reduce costs, and enhance performance.
Not Sure What’s Best for Your Business? Talk with the Experts
If you’re still trying to decide what’s best for your organization, talking with an expert one-on-one can provide some clarity. At Custom Profile, we’d be happy to have a consultation to help you understand what you should choose for your business.
But, why should you trust us? The answer is simple: our experience, dedicated team, and capabilities can’t be beat. For more than 30 years, we’ve been providing the highest quality profile extrusion services for companies across North America. We have three robust locations, an ISO certified class 8 clean room, extensive experience, and state-of-the-art equipment. All of those combine to create an entity that can take on even the most challenging tubing projects.
Want to learn more about what we can do for you? Reach out to us for an initial, no-strings-attached consultation today.