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How to Choose a Flange Distributor

Sourcing piping system components—from flanges to other standard and non-standard pipe fittings—is easier when you have a dedicated distributor. We cover the 5-key points on how to choose a flange distributor. Flange distributors should ensure you’re getting the right parts, and you should look for a supplier who offers attentive service and helps you get the best price. Research the best option for your business when looking for a flange distributor or supplier. This often comes from the supplier’s professionalism, knowledge, service, and flexibility.

Flange tolerances

Customer Service and Communication

The ideal flange distributor or supplier provides excellent customer service and is available throughout all phases of the flange-buying process, including development, manufacturing, and fulfillment.

Production costs can be reduced when the manufacturer clearly understands flange requirements—and API International’s skilled employees ensure your parts are produced as defined by the relevant standards or to your custom requirements. Your flange supplier should be able to answer your questions regarding materials, flange features, temperature and pressure ratings, and connection types and provide recommendations to help you stay within your project budget and schedule.

Wide Range of Stock Items

Beyond flanges, explore the distributor’s other product options. Can you also source your fittings and other products from the flange supplier? Using multiple distributors can be a hassle and may cost more. Building a relationship with a distributor who can supply all the necessary items creates a more convenient, streamlined ordering process that is often easier on the budget.

Your distributor should be capable of sourcing or producing flanges and other products in various sizes, materials, and specifications. Having a direct relationship with their factories is also a huge advantage for your distributor. Because your piping system components come from one place, the distributor can better help you find what you need based on previous orders—and can bring attention to discrepancies or potential problems with new orders.

We distribute flangesvalvesexpansion joints, and other pipe fittings and custom parts for a variety of industries and applications, including:

Custom Machining Capabilities

If in-stock items don’t meet your application requirements, look for a flange supplier to manufacture custom products or machine stock items to your specifications. Oftentimes, your customer may need a flange with an overbore, counterbore, chamfer, taper, surface finish, or custom bolt-hole drilling or threading, so it is important to be able to do quick turn modifications to standard parts. Whether for a large order or to fulfill your customer’s requirements, a flange supplier should be able to produce and distribute flanges and other parts at a volume that meets your needs.

API carries stock items, but we can also fulfill custom orders to give our customers more options. Our custom machining capabilities include manufacturing large parts, reverse engineering, prototyping, and modifying stock items as needed. Because we stock and supply both AIS and imported materials, we can customize or manufacture the products you need to match your exact specifications while providing you with a quick turnaround time and a custom product with high accuracy.

A Focus on Quality Control

While some distributors may offer flanges and other pipe fittings at a lower price point, the difference in cost may be because the flanges are manufactured using lower-quality, lower-priced materials or because the distributor is less focused on the quality assurance process. However, high quality doesn’t always mean high costs. The knowledgeable machinists and quality control technicians at API International, Inc. are quick and accurate. They may even be able to produce your required products at a reduced cost—especially for high-volume orders.

We always begin the manufacturing process with quality-tested materials, and we examine the Mill Certification Report to verify that the material meets applicable manufacturing standards.

Short Lead Time and Delivery

API International inc. warehouse

Whether ordering stock items or fully custom components, delivery time matters. You must meet your deadlines, so choose a supplier that can fulfill your orders quickly and accurately. Our short lead time means you get your parts fast, whether for a specific project or OEM parts. Our warehouses are conveniently located throughout the United States, allowing for speedy distribution.

Product quality is a key consideration when selecting a distributor of flanges and other pipe fittings, but looking at employee skill, custom product capabilities, affordability, and turnaround will also help you make the right choice. API International, Inc. strives to provide incredible customer service, top-quality flanges, and support through every process step—whether you’re purchasing in-stock or custom items. 

Contact us with questions or order information.

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