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Thread: Short run production question

  1. #1
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    Short run production question

    Ran in to a guy who owns a motorcycle fairing company, all come from china and he's a online seller. He asked if I would be willing build from steel a tail section frame work that adapts a Suzuki GSXR rear tail to a Hyabusa frame. I guess it a new style. He said maybe there would be 50 at a time, but in the beginning he would want 2 ( I guess protypes). this would be a little above my pay grade but I could do it. As we all know the first one will kick my ***! If I got gig I would prolly need to make a JIG and it will be complicated as it needs to connect to the frame, the seat connects to it and prolly other things I haven't even thought of yet. Any suggestions on the money aspect? any info would be great!
    It seemed like a good idea at the time!

  2. #2
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    Re: Short run production question

    Do the first as time and materials. Get some good pics and measurements and post them up, perhaps we can give you some easy ideas for jigs.

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    Re: Short run production question

    Are there any drawings ? Half the work is in the measuring, drawing, ordering. I've made a few things that promptly got sent somewhere else for mass manufacture, even without giving a drawing to the customer. Most of the time I was aware of this, other times people lead you on a little bit just to get it done right away.

    Make sure your time, and material is covered.

    Hope it works out for you, a fifty piece straight run job would be nice, might be able to make some money with that number.
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    Re: Short run production question

    Definitely get money on front end for initial startup. Manufacturing will likely be nothing. The low volume may be a nuisance at frequency of only 50/ episode if you are doing things manually and solely--If you have other things going on. You may make sub it out yourself?

    Run through the fabrication procedure and manipulation. How much touching is involved? Is there machine work? Will it be chucked and unchucked flipped and rechucked? Fixed moved fixed in another fixture.

    Good luck.

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  8. #5
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    Re: Short run production question

    Thanks for the quick response's, knowing this guy does business with china it wouldn't surprise me if I made the prototype and he had it made over there for a bowl of rice. If the customer decides to move forward will talk about "initial engineering cost for fabing a prototype".
    It seemed like a good idea at the time!

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    Re: Short run production question

    When I've done bids like this (rare for me) I gave quotes for building the jig too.

    I got bids for lazer cut parts at 5, 50, 100, 1000 pieces.

    They cut better, faster and much more accurately than I can.

    Absolutley do not do a cheap 1st one on promise of more work.
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    Re: Short run production question

    That more work in the future line is a classic. I trust that as much as " the check is in the mail" or the classic " it just needs some minor work". In the OPs case it sounds like a lot of research, experimentation and headaches for something that will most likely amount to very little.

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    Re: Short run production question

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post

    Absolutley do not do a cheap 1st one on promise of more work.
    This excellent advice hold true for ALL jobs, projects, or quotations.

    Developers and contractors rely on this tactic to make money at the expense of the "little guy"

    Something I see all the time in all industries.

    New startups fall prey to this approach frequently.


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    Re: Short run production question

    I think you'd have to have some sort of official confidentiality/proprietorship agreement in place to protect your interests. You do all the design work and build the 1st and/or 2nd prototype and then he shops it around in China (or anywhere) isn't going to work. The agreement should have a section that specifically addresses this issue and if your design or any similar design (minor or major difference) is made by someone else, you get specific royalties for every one sold. The other thing to consider is that there is a limited number of these frame modifications that will be sold. Not every Hyabusa owner is going to want a GSXR tail. Still could be a money maker for you but you need to protect yourself and who's to say someone else won't copy your design and build it themselves.

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    Re: Short run production question

    What kind of finish, paint, powder coat, chrome, I would think that would need to play a role in cost etc.
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    Re: Short run production question

    Sounds like you should charge an hourly rate for the design, and mock up or build of the first couple you make. Who cares if the buyer goes to China to have them duplicated. He came to you with his idea. He is a paying customer and if you are not too busy knock em out when time permits. If he wants to cheap out and pinch pennies and haggle over the price for production runs then let him go to the next guy. Get your money up front for your time and figure out how long it would take to do production runs so you know how to charge properly. Get paid for all of it up front. If he is serious he’ll pay to have it done. He came to you not the other way around.
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    Re: Short run production question

    I forgot to ask. Do you have a minimum hourly charge to even begin a job that you get from your customers up front for the cost of materials & time? It would cover any losses of material and time should the customer change his mind or not like your initial renderings and choose to go elsewhere with out paying up.
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    Re: Short run production question

    Quote Originally Posted by welding1 View Post
    He asked if I would be willing build from steel a tail section frame work that adapts a Suzuki GSXR rear tail to a Hyabusa frame.
    Don't forget to get something in writing absolving you of any and all liability...and/or make sure your liability insurance is paid up.

    Just sayin ... in our lawsuit-happy ambulance-chasing society, lots of people who did nothing wrong end up getting fugly judgments against them because some fool did something stupid and some jury felt sorry for him...and there are plenty of fools riding Busas and GSXRs...
    Last edited by Kelvin; 08-15-2021 at 02:03 PM.

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  23. #14
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    Re: Short run production question

    Kevin's point should be front and center modifying 2 manufacture's product for general public use. No telling what someone can blame you for down the road. Good reason why over the road truck frames have "do not weld or drill" signs on them. Google search found this.
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    Re: Short run production question

    Original part from Suzuki is aluminum and powder coated and doesn't look like a small shop knocked a few! this guy seems to be like china things, cheap to produce and cheap for a cheap part!
    It seemed like a good idea at the time!

  26. #16
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    Re: Short run production question

    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    What kind of finish, paint, powder coat, chrome, I would think that would need to play a role in cost etc.
    He wants it out of steel and we didn't discuss paint which I dont do very well and dont want to set up a spray booth. Original is aluminum and powder coated.
    It seemed like a good idea at the time!

  27. #17
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    Re: Short run production question

    Quote Originally Posted by N2 Welding View Post
    I forgot to ask. Do you have a minimum hourly charge to even begin a job that you get from your customers up front for the cost of materials & time? It would cover any losses of material and time should the customer change his mind or not like your initial renderings and choose to go elsewhere with out paying up.
    I dont have a minimum hourly rate for such a project. This is one of those jobs that would be great I had a some negotiating skills like suppliers/manufactoring to automotive or similar industry were they deal with contracts and and upfront cost to build jigs. And who owns the jig who pays for prototype and price based on quantity... And other stuff I dont know. If he comes forward with the project I'll probably require that I have the Hyabusa and the GSXR tail in shop to make a prototype type and feel him out for what he's willing to pay. As complicated as this part is, with things that attach to it I could easily think $2000. for one. But he's comfortable with farming it out in china. So we'll just wait and see!
    It seemed like a good idea at the time!

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