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ResourcesCase StudiesCase Study: Working with Xometry Helps 557 Form Keep All its Parts in Motion

Case Study: Working with Xometry Helps 557 Form Keep All its Parts in Motion

Tricia Contreras - Xometry Contributor
Written by
Tricia Contreras
 6 min read
Published June 7, 2024

Learn how this Michigan-based custom manufacturing company used the Xometry Instant Quoting Engine® to deliver an automation solution for one of its clients in the automotive industry.

557 Form used CNC-machined parts from Xometry to build this SPC check station (Image: 557 Form)
IndustriesManufacturing Services UtilizedProject BriefSolution
Industries

Industrial automation

Manufacturing Services Utilized

CNC Machining

Project Brief

557 Form was tasked with creating an automation line for a bearings manufacturer that would be used to machine parts for the automotive industry.

Solution

Using the Xometry Instant Quoting Engine®, 557 Form was able to quickly source the parts it needed for the automation line, at a competitive price.

Automation can be a game-changer for manufacturers when it comes to increasing speed and efficiency, but creating a system that runs smoothly requires organization and vision. With more than 30 years of experience in the automation arena, Mark Matheson understands what it takes to keep a complex operation moving. 

Mark started his New Baltimore, Michigan-based business, 557 Form, in 2022 after inspiration struck while tagging along with a friend to a facility where a cable management system was being manufactured.


557 Form logo

“They were visiting a customer’s facility and my dad saw this guy at the facility walk all the way down this long building, grab a piece of basket, bring it all the way to where the equipment was located, dry fit it, walk all the way back because it didn't fit, cut it again, walk all the way back,” said Ryan Matheson, Mark’s son, who is a co-owner of 557 Form along with his father and brother, Shane Matheson.  

After looking at the project drawings, Mark felt confident that he could deliver an organized and efficient cable management kit, which Ryan likens to a piece of IKEA furniture.

“IKEA is known for giving you a desk in a box, and every single piece in it is labeled so that you can build it yourself. They make it really easy on you to build these kits. So that's what we do – on a manufacturing scale,” he explained.

“We saw there's an opportunity to capitalize on this part of the project that no one wants to deal with – it is really intricate and labor intensive.”

This opportunity led to the creation of 557 Form. The family business’ unique name is inspired by Mark’s late father, Ronald Ray Matheson, who had a Formula boat with twin 557 cubic-inch motors that he built himself. “That's how we got the name,” Ryan said. “That boat went over 100 miles an hour. And we deliver for our customers in a fast and efficient manner, so our logo and name are very fitting.”

That need for speed prompted 557 Form to search for a partner that could deliver custom parts faster and cheaper than their local shops, and a YouTube ad led them to Xometry.

Xometry Image
Xometry Image

557 Form used CNC-machined part from Xometry to build this SPC check station, which is used to verify that in-process parts are meeting specs from the machining cells. (Image: 557 Form)

Custom Solutions for Projects Big and Small

“I first heard of Xometry through YouTube. I was researching how to possibly design something, and an ad came up for Xometry and I thought, ‘Oh, I like this. I like where this could go,’” Ryan said. “We finally had an opportunity to use them [for a] project, and I am so beyond glad we did.”

Xometry’s ability to compete on price was a big driver for 557 Form, since “getting stuff locally here is pretty expensive and it's only getting more expensive,” Ryan said. “I saved quite a few thousand dollars going through Xometry.”

“We used the international option of getting these parts made and I am just blown away by the lead time and the quality. I didn't have to talk to one person, and I had zero issues with specs on the parts. It is just unreal that I was able to have that happen and not talk to one person. It saved me a lot of time.”

“We used the international option of getting these parts made and I am just blown away by the lead time and the quality. I didn't have to talk to one person, and I had zero issues with specs on the parts."
Ryan Matheson,
President and Co-owner, 557 Form

557 Form worked with Xometry for several one-off orders of miscellaneous spare parts for customers. When the company took on a new, complex project Ryan knew Xometry could handle the large order. 

Bearings manufacturer CW Bearing hired 557 Form to create a three-robot automation system to work on ball nuts that would ultimately end up in Toyota vehicles. 

“We helped them design an automation line so that when the raw material comes in, the robots bring this part to each machining center to get machined, and then we pack it out,” Ryan said. To complete the project, 557 Form ordered more than 50 custom CNC-machined parts from Xometry.


Xometry Image
Xometry Image

557 Form used CNC-machined parts from Xometry to build this laser enclosure, which is used to laser etch part numbers, info, and QR codes for tracking in a safe manner. (Image: 557 Form)

Technology Plus the Human Touch

In addition to using the Xometry Instant Quoting Engine for the CW Bearing automation project, the Mathesons turn to the tool often when preparing quotes for other 557 Form customers.  

“It saves me because I know whatever part I'm selling to my customer, I'm going to be making money on it now,” Ryan said. “Without Xometry, you're just playing darts — a quote for the intricate spare parts our customers’ want is just a shot in the dark.  You don't know how much this part will truly cost you unless you go to your locals, and then you have to wait and waste a week waiting on the quote.  And then before you know it, your customer is already bugging you, 'Hey, where's my quote?" 

While the ability to receive a quote without needing to schedule a call or talk to a person was a selling point for Ryan, he also noted that Xometry backs up the efficiency of automation with the human touch.

“There was a point where something on my drawing didn't correlate to what was in the model. And Xometry came back to me and said, ‘Hey, this doesn't match this. Are you sure?” he said. “They're not only just accepting the work, they are checking the work.”

"Without Xometry, you're just playing darts — a quote for the intricate spare parts our customers’ want is just a shot in the dark. You don't know how much this part will truly cost you unless you go to your locals, and then you have to wait and waste a week waiting on the quote. And then before you know it, your customer is already bugging you, 'Hey, where's my quote?'"
Ryan Matheson,
President and Co-owner, 557 Form

The Power of the Xometry Instant Quoting Engine®

Xometry’s AI-powered platform makes it easy to build your next big idea by giving you instant pricing, lead times, and DFM feedback for your custom parts.

With the Xometry Instant Quoting Engine®, you can instantly access the production capacity of over 10,000 manufacturers with wide-ranging capabilities, including CNC machining, 3D printing, injection molding (manually quoted in 24-48 hours), laser and sheet cutting, sheet metal fabrication, and more. In addition to our self-guided instant quoting experience, we also offer sales-assisted quoting requests. Learn more about requesting a quote.


Xometry Image
Xometry Image

557 Form used CNC-machined parts from Xometry to build this over/under conveyor, which carries parts from one operation cell to another. (Image: 557 Form)

“Xometry is definitely always going to be my go-to for custom parts."
Ryan Matheson,
President and Co-owner, 557 Form

Quick Fixes Keep Timelines on Track

In addition to competitive pricing and fast turnaround times, Ryan said Xometry “customer service has been great.” He noted the careful packaging of each order, with each part packaged individually.

When one order got damaged during shipping, Xometry stepped in with a fast solution.

“There was a package that came from overseas and the box was broken. Two parts had fallen out. And I reached out to Xometry said, ‘Hey, these two parts are missing,’” Ryan said. “They shipped them out in, like, two or three days from that, and I received them the very next week.”

Being able to count on on-time orders and quick fixes for any problems empowers 557 Form to maintain the reputation it has built for quality and speed. “Xometry is definitely always going to be my go-to for custom parts,” Ryan said.


Tricia Contreras - Xometry Contributor
Tricia Contreras
Tricia is the Executive Editor at Thomas and Xometry.

Read more articles by Tricia Contreras

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