Machining is a complex business. While some operations have sharply focused specialties, most apply their expertise and technology in a wide range of applications and types of jobs. As such, being efficient with varied jobs can be a challenge, but is paramount to ensure competitiveness. Here are some concepts that can be applied across even the most disparate of work:
- “Pre-stage” materials: receiving metals, plastics or other materials from suppliers is often an afterthought where the only concerns tend to be price and quality certification. However, how these materials are received can affect the efficiency of the overall operation. Some tips:
- Have suppliers pre-cut materials to sizes that ensure the least amount of “resizing” within the machine tool.
- Package and position materials in lots or bundles that allow for easy handling for the job by personnel or cobots. In this way, pallets or bundles can be moved right to the machining center.
- Use modern automation. Cobots, pallet systems, 5-Axis tools among other modern technologies can ensure continuous machining, less dwell or transition time and “open the doors” to lights-out machining, extending the use of valuable equipment investments.
- Use data acquisition and analytics to evaluate the running of systems and your processes. Measuring what is going on inside the machining center and assessing what is happening throughout the facility and processing will open eyes to opportunities to reduce waste in movement, tool operations and documentation handling.
Fusion Cobotics focuses on cobot integrations for machining operations, but also has perspective and experience from its in-house machining operations that we are happy to share. to learn more!