How does providing your clients with more products at shorter lead times sound?
How about improved manufacturing productivity, repetitive accuracy, manufacturing various complex parts in different markets, and reduced scraps? Your manufacturing business using manual methods can reap these benefits when you update with CNC (computer numerical control) machines.
Technology keeps moving forward, so don’t get left behind. Set your goals right now, plan out strategies, and consider these tips to update your manufacturing business through CNC machines.
- Take the First and Small Steps
- Calculate Fixed and Variable Costs
- Maximize Factory Space
- Evaluate Your Current Setup for the Appropriate Equipment
- Assess Your Manpower’s Capabilities
- Consider the Raw Materials for Machining
- Search for the Best CNC Systems
- Research and Talk with CNC Machine Companies or Suppliers
Here are the tip details.
1. Take the First and Small Steps
Starting is always challenging. You just have to take the first step and continue with a small step at a time when updating your manufacturing business through CNC machines.
P&T Precision Engineering started with a vertical milling machine and updated to another CNC machine every two years. Over the years, they were able to update to the most sophisticated CNC machines doing the most complex processes.
According to USC, you should replace the most heavily manual machine first for the highest cost and time savings and faster return on investment (ROI).
2. Calculate Fixed and Variable Costs
Don’t get overwhelmed by the dreadful costs or flattering results. Costs can be manageable when you consider the fixed and variable costs for updating your manufacturing business with CNC machines.
Take into account the capital expenditure you would incur in purchasing the machine. Include in your computation the machine’s depreciation value and the interest in case you opt for a loan.
Consider also the following variable costs in updating through CNC machines.
- materials you use
- operators, personnel training, and other manpower expenditures
- maintenance and servicing
- machine spare parts
Calculate well because cheaper CNC machines do not secure the effective production and profitability of your manufacturing business. To obtain promising results, devise short-term and long-term plans and properly implement your strategies.
3. Maximize Factory Space
Does your factory have room for new machines? Does your factory space facilitate the productivity and safety of workers? A negative answer to these questions entails an effort to maximize your factory space, including room for expansion.
A maximized factory space ensures efficient worker movements from one machine or process to another. The efficient flow and movement of raw materials and end products from one place to another, as well as collection and disposal, must be ensured.
You must also provide power sources to strategic locations in your factory. And most importantly, provisions for workers’ safety must be in place.
4. Evaluate Your Current Setup for the Appropriate Equipment
Your existing machine needs updating to a CNC machine when it no longer functions according to its intended purpose. Evaluate if the CNC machine replacement is cost-effective, including the machine’s current gaps and life span. Your evaluation will enable you to select the appropriate equipment to purchase.
Update to CNC machines based on your existing manufacturing services and clientele. As mentioned above, you can gradually upscale to more advanced machines depending on your manufacturing business’s growth.
CNC machines process parts with complexity and precision. If you invest in more advanced machines, you will be able to manufacture other types of parts and use different kinds of raw materials, thus entering new markets and creating new income streams.
If your goal is to manufacture parts for aerospace, automotive, defense, or medical industries, you may consider machining centers with 3 to 5 axes or turning centers with 2 to 8 axes. For the standard to highly complex processes or batch production, choose 2 to 5-axis horizontal or vertical CNC lathes or 3 to 5-axis milling machines. If your manufacturing business is geared toward heavy industry and machinery, horizontal boring mills are for you.
5. Assess Your Manpower’s Capabilities
CNC machines need different skills and expertise compared to manual machines. Assessing the prior knowledge and capabilities of your machine operators and personnel lets you identify if they need training for the new machine. You can consult with your CNC machine supplier if they provide the appropriate training.
Automated manufacturing machines require lesser human intervention, but you need not lay off workers. You can assign your personnel to other income-generating roles and tasks in your manufacturing business.
6. Consider the Raw Materials for Machining
Whether you machine aluminum, copper steel, titanium, or even plastic, note that the type of raw materials affects factors like machine design, spindle to be utilized, durability, performance, and precision. The maximum spindle speed and the needed spindle motor power and torque also depend on the physical characteristics and optimal cutting conditions of the raw material.
7. Search for the Best CNC Systems
You may say that all CNC systems are the same. The processes are different from one manufacturing business to another. Match your machine to the appropriate and most practical CNCs. The best CNC systems have effective, reliable, and user-friendly controls and stable software.
8. Research and Talk with CNC Machine Companies or Suppliers
Be aware that you have to do prior research before talking with a representative of a CNC company. Doing your research first allows you to formulate questions and ask any concerns you will have to ask.
Reach out to multiple suppliers and discuss with them the details about your business and your manufacturing business goals. The decision will be up to you after comparing the products and services they offer.
Carry the Day with CNC Machines
Don’t be left far behind your competitors. Don’t let the opportunity for your manufacturing business’s productivity, accuracy, repetitiveness, and new income streams fly. Embrace technology. Update through CNC machines by following these tips, and carry the day!