“The you posted was for something so out of the realm of
most metalsmiths on Orchid, it didn’t make sense to me that there
was any advantage.”
Yes, your right we all live in different worlds and often it is not
a matter of black and white but merely shades of grey. There have
been times that I didn’t reply to a post because I felt that my view
would not be viewed in the light it was intended. I realize that I
am considered a minority here but I am from the majority originally.
Now we are both more clear about our differences and our
similarities, it is obvious that we can both be right.
Their are many wonderful things about the jewelry industry. We get
to be creative in our own way. People use the gifts of jewelry as
expressions of emotions that may be difficult for them to put into
words otherwise. Sometimes we get to share our good fortune with
others. It also has it’s darkside.
My view of the jewelry industry is as a socio-economic leveling
device and as an indirect way of affecting the world. If I can help
companies operated by good people to become more profitable, then it
will likely trickle down to their employess. When companies are more
relaxed about their economic future, then they are much more
comfortable with changes that are more worker comfort, compensation,
and safety related. Life is good.
“I only cast about 500- 1000 pieces per week. For myself, and some
other metal artists, and a bread and butter charm line. I would be
interested in how you could save me money.”
There are simple applications of mathematics and physics that can
save even the smallest manufacturer more money than you may imagine.
Just the application of the most basic laws of liquid pressure
described by Blaise Pascale can save you tons of money if applied
properly. When I do this for large factories it can and has added up
to millions per year. For a company of your size, it may only be in
the hundreds or thousands per week. How much depends on what metal
your casting. I have found no situations so far where there was no
money to be saved. I have found situations where the ROI was longer
than a company could wait to benefit in their present financial
situaion. It is not unusual for a gold producer, at your production
level, to save enough money in one year to completly pay for new
equipment that would further enhance profitability for years to come.
There will be an article in the August issue of AJM magazine that
explains some of these mathematical quirks that may interest you.
Questions that I would ask you to make this determination might be,
are you centrifugal casting or vacuum casting? What is your dominant
metal for casting? What size flasks do you use? Gate to sprue
angle? Parts per flask? What is your part to scrap ratio after
casting? Do your products contain stones, and what kind? Do you
have a documented labor routing? Are you mass finishing? Should you
be? The list continues but I would imagine that our fellow
orchidians are tired of reading this email by now.
I will conclude by saying that with all the wonderful information
that I have seen travel through the Orchid website, it has been rare
that I saw something that was absolutely wrong. I think that is
amazing on how willing people are to share their methods for skinning
cats. (no disrespect to cats) For me and many others Donna
Shimazu’s comments on the use of “nickel silver” was music to our
ears. For other’s it was like banging on a trash can lid. Life is
situational, isn’t it great!!!
J. Tyler Teague
(Jewelry Engineering, Training, & Technology)