Cryogenic components

Some subcontractors extend the service they offer to manufacturers by not only producing components but also stocking them free of charge for just-in-time delivery. An example of this is contract machinist Holifields, working for Thames Cryogenics Ltd (TCL), a UK manufacturer of liquid nitrogen transfer, storage and control equipment. TCL’s production director, Mark Evans: “Around three quarters of the parts, kits and sub-assemblies Holifields supplies to us are held on consignment at their premises after they have been machined. TCL shop floor staff visually monitor component levels in our factory and periodically call off further quantities to ensure that we do not run out. There are occasions when we run short, but Holifields can deliver most regularly used items the same day.â€? The big advantage to TCL is that it can run a near-perfect, just-in-time method of manufacture without having to tie up money carrying large stock levels and without the expense of employing a person to manage them. There are currently some 500 live part numbers at TCL, mostly stainless steel and brass. Examples are a safety valve kit and a nut nipple assembly, both made in three parts and a stainless steel coupling made from 41.28 mm diameter tube of 1.5 mm wall thickness turned down to 0.5 mm with profiled ribs to allow for expansion and contraction at temperatures approaching -200C.

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