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Table Support Tube – Small Batch Fabrication

At Hofmann Industries, Inc., we engineered a small-batch production model for a client in the office furniture industry.

A major manufacturer of office furniture approached us to supply them with custom steel tubing designed for use as table extension supports. The customer wanted to control costs, but also allow their sales team the ability to continually update and customize the design (length, bend, hole location, and hole pattern). The program eventually involved 165 discrete components with order quantities in the 5 unit to 250 unit range.

Although we are a batch manufacturer, we had no prior history with micro-batch processing. Taking on this project involved creative thinking, brainstorming, and problem-solving, to efficiently produce small lots without driving up the cost per unit.

An essential aspect of producing small batches reliably, repeatably, and profitably involved minimizing the time and labor costs of setup and changeover. We designed and built tooling that enabled us to fabricate tube in multiple configurations. This tooling allowed us to vary hole location, bend location, and tube length while upholding tight hole size and location tolerances. We also invested in dedicated equipment and developed application-specific quality assurance procedures to support this project.

Using the scalable production method and tools, we manufacture 1.375” square tubing from 13 gauge carbon steel and fabricate it in various configurations and lengths and are able to supply products in a maximum of 10 business days. The initial program has grown to the point that we supply a total of 20,000 pieces annually, furnished it small lot sizes. By developing an intelligent and cost-effective system for low volume production, we help our customer approach the market with both flexibility and speed. To learn more about this project or any of our custom steel tube manufacturing capabilities, contact us today.

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Table Support Tube

Project Name & Description
Table Support Tube – Small Batch Fabrication
Capabilities Applied/Processes
Tube Manufacturing, Fabrication, Drilling, Bending
Equipment Used to Manufacture Part
Bender, 60 Ton Press, Drill Press
Overall Part Dimensions
1.375″ Square x 13 Gauge Steel Tubing x Various Lengths
Material Used
Carbon Steel Tubing
Material Finish
Industry for Use
Office Furniture
165 Discrete Parts – 20,000 Pcs Annual
Delivery/Turnaround Time
Guarantee 10 Days
Delivery Location
Grand Rapids MI
Standards Met