Raw materials

At Fine Tubes we are committed to manufacturing metal tubing products of the highest quality. To do so we rely on a network of raw material suppliers which we have developed using a rigorous selection process that takes into account quality, service, delivery and cost. As a result, we have built up a reputation in the precision tube market for quality and reliability, drive for innovation in materials and exceptional customer service.

We support our customers with initial design, appropriate material selection, actual production and test certification right through to delivery of our products. Our aim is to provide our global customers with a clear competitive advantage based on outstanding quality and innovation.

Raw Material Supply Chain

Our tube mill manufactures from three basic forms of raw material: precision bored or drilled solid bar stock, seamless extruded hollows, and flat strip metal. These are procured in a diverse range of corrosion resistant, high strength, nickel alloy, titanium and stainless steel and zirconium. What we purchase is governed by the needs of our customers.

Our long history in the market has enabled us to develop and manage a global supply chain for the base materials used in our precision tubes. We source raw materials primarily from European countries and the US, and everything we buy complies with our rigid purchase specifications which have been drawn up to ensure we meet your requirements.

Supplier quality assurance and development

We manage and control our list of suppliers according to the needs of our customers and regulatory requirements through a supplier QA and development programme. Its goals are to:

  • Increase regular two-way communication between Fine Tubes and its suppliers.
  • Understand suppliers and their capabilities.
  • Build mutually beneficial long-term relationships with suppliers.
  • Identify, prevent and mitigate risks affecting the supply chain.
  • Rationalise our list based on supplier performance data.
  • Identify supplier improvement opportunities.
  • Integrate key suppliers into product development projects.
  • Uncover hidden costs and cost drivers.
  • Improve our competitiveness by strengthening our part of the end customer value chain.

The Fine Tubes approach to supply chain management has four main themes:

Quality

Our quality targets have been outlined in our Supplier Requirements Manual, and we complete a Supplier Audit Schedule for each company we purchase raw and contact materials from. We keep an up-to-date approved supplier list and have procedures in place for assessing and approving new or alternative suppliers. Our on-going programme measures supplier performance and we take action when standards are not met.

Delivery

We seek to improve the receipt of materials by using defined lines of communication, and scoring our suppliers on delivery performance.

Service

To maintain the highest level of service, we used a balanced scorecard approach to assessing the service levels of our key suppliers. We evaluate how well they meet our requirements, and their reaction and response times. Fixed supply lead times are in place to ensure stock is held in order for us to meet delivery targets.

Cost

Developing partnerships with our suppliers enables us to be highly competitive on cost, and it is a critical measure within our key supplier scorecards.

All potential or proposed new suppliers are assessed in accordance with our documented processes and procedures, and existing suppliers are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Our process is outlined in the Fine Tubes Supplier Requirements Manual and must be completed before any new supplier can be added to our approved suppliers list.

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