Whatever happened to manufacturers taking on equipment customization? It seems fewer and fewer companies are…
Customization is becoming harder to find, but not at LTI
Whatever happened to manufacturers taking on equipment customization? It seems fewer and fewer companies are willing to take on projects that require building to specs that are outside of their capabilities.
If you’re a foodservice operator and this is what you’re feeling, you aren’t necessarily wrong. Fewer manufacturers are taking on projects that require customization simply because their engineering systems include pre-set limitations for the work they can do. By doing work within certain parameters, they can stock only the items they need, speeding up production time and allowing them to more easily mass produce their products. However, when a job comes in that requires customization, they’ve hamstrung themselves and simply can’t take on unique jobs.
But not every manufacture has moved to this production model. As you might be quick to guess, LTI continues to offer customized serving equipment solutions to fit the needs of our customers. Call us old fashioned, but we prefer to do our engineering “by hand.” More specifically, we do our engineering within a system that provides us with ultimate flexibility. This gives us the ability to take your project to the next level and to offer a truly customized product.
The customization process is simpler for the customer than one might think. It can start with as little as a napkin sketch of their design. With that we’re able to interpret the customer’s biggest needs, which helps us establish a quote. If the price is within their range, we put together a design based on that budget. The customer reviews the design and offers any detail that may need to be included. LTI uses those notes to re-draw the design, which is then approved by the customer. Our drafting department ensures all the engineering is 100% accurate and then manufacturing begins.
What’s important for customers of customized projects to understand is that customization does not just refer to the design. Your equipment will be customized throughout the production lifecycle, down to the on-the-fly changes that may occur on the manufacturing floor. Having a skilled long-term labor force (an 18-year average at LTI) is what makes this level of customization even possible. Without an experienced workforce, you just can’t get the level of fit and finish that you’d expect to get on high-end, high-budget jobs.
When it comes to finding ways to make equipment more durable, more efficient with space, more aesthetically pleasing, customization is far and way the best approach. More manufacturers continue to favor mass-producing stock equipment instead of customized jobs. However, there still are manufacturers out there that really care about turning their customers’ ideas into reality. LTI is one of them.
For more information, including case studies, on some of our recent custom serving line projects, visit www.lowtempind.com/product/custom.