We’ve all seen the caution us not to do idiotic things or remind us of the obvious. “Remove infant before folding stroller” and “Do not use toaster while bathing” are two examples that come to mind at random. But what about warning labels that really do need to convey important, non-obvious information? They can be stupid too.
I recently saw a potential demand for a product that was essentially a seamless rectangular metal cup, about 1″ x 3″ on the open end and about 4″ deep. This sounded like a job for a process called “deep drawing.” In this process, a flat sheet of metal is punched through a die to form a cup shape.
Great, all I need are a few prototypes to verify the design, then a few tens of pieces for some tentative test marketing, and finally perhaps a few thousand a year for production. One problem: for a deep drawn part, a “short run” is considered “less than 60,000 pieces.” I could find only one company that could actually deliver sample parts, but none of their standard sizes were close enough to what I needed.