Click image to enlarge

Improve nesting strategies; reduce hit counts

by Peter Visser

There seems to be a disconnect between how companies find ways to save on production costs in their turret departments. Along my travels to sheet metal fabrication shops I constantly hear two things.

The first is that the production manager of a company has an agenda to get more throughput out of his machine or shop, without spending more money from the budget. The second thing I hear is that the purchasing department wants to cut costs through less spending. Unfortunately, many times these two things cancel each other out. Companies need to create better communication between these two departments to determine what their “real” cost is once a job is complete.

Shops can do a simple analysis of the cost of the tools versus the money it will save in creating higher production yields. Managers and fabricating shop planners forget that these things are affected by better programming and punching parts through the purchase of “special shapes,” throughput, or “green light time,” greater return on investment (ROI), and reduced expenses from operations (REFO). Many forget they can cut machine cycle time down drastically, which means they can produce more parts per day, per month, and per year. This is where they can increase their sales and capacity.

At almost every company I visit each year the manager will say the shop needs another machine to keep up with demand. Upon investigation of the parts punched on the floor, I typically see most of the parts being produced with at least 30 to 50 per cent more tool hits than necessary. I also see machines being run on the slowest speeds, due to incorrect tool selections, dull tools, and fatigued springs. Most shops are only running at 50 to 60 per cent of their potential capacity, not to mention that the next machine down the line is waiting for parts (“bottlenecks”).

I haven’t found many shops that measure their savings versus final cost by using special shape tools; maybe less than 20 per cent of shops utilize this philosophy to its fullest potential. Special shapes enable customers to nest parts together and use common lines to reduce hit counts. If I were to “nibble” a  6.000 in. circle with a small round punch, it could take approximately 500 hits, not to mention the “scallop” that would have to be removed from the parts, which of course is a unnecessary secondary operation. If I were to produce the same feature with a special shape, I could cut the same feature in about ten hits. The average machine has a hit rate (depending on material thickness) of about 300 hits per minute. By purchasing a special shape, it would reduce almost two minutes per part, which means that it is possible to reduce a whole day’s work over the course of punching a few hundred parts. You can now start to imagine how many more days could be taken back each year just by spending under $500 in tooling.

The average turret costs a company about $50 an hour to run. Imagine saving hundreds, even thousands of hours a year in production; this can translate easily into five or even six figure savings each year (REFO). As well, companies now have the ability to produce more parts per year, which could mean the average sheet metal shop could produce millions of dollars more worth of product each year. This also allows companies to take the savings and invest it in other equipment and tooling for even more increased profits and reduced manufacturing costs. SMT

Remember, time is money. 

Peter Visser is a sales engineer with Mate Precision Tooling.
www.mate.com

 

Waterjet Productivity

by John petras

Best practices to optimize waterjet cutting efficiencies

Fiber laser cutting: Beam Me Up

Everything about fiber laser technology is fast, forcing the rest of production to keep pace

3 Ways to Optimize Your Turret Layout

by Thomas S. Weir 

Reduce downtime, increase productivity and get better punching and forming results

ESAB restructures North American operations

ESAB Welding & Cutting Products is restructuring its operations and will integrate ESAB and Victor regional operations and facilities. The restructuring will be deployed in phases throughout this year and 2016.

Energy Fix

By Noelle Stapinsky

Despite challenges in Canada’s energy and resource sector, future holds opportunities

Vertical automation for fabricating

Mazak Optonic Corp.'s Hi-Speed Modular Vertical Automation system designed for job shops, OEMs or production facilities. Suction cups and forks work independently to reduce cycle times.

Direct Diode Lasers

by Nestor Gula

No Robots Needed

by Kip Hanson

Automation only one piece of the press brake productivity puzzle

Union welcomes Chrysler $2 B investment in Windsor

Chrysler's announcement that it's investing $2 billion in its Windsor, ON, minivan plant was welcome news by workers in the automotive industry.

All Hands on Deck

by Noelle Stapinsky

Old school manual rules allow an east coast machine shop to maintain its quality standards

Maintaining your MIG gun and welding costs, by Grant Peppers

Selecting the right MIG gun for your welding application, and maintaining it properly, is just as important to your overall productivity as any other part of the welding operation.

KUKA's school of robotics

KUKA Canada is once again offering its KUKA Canada College in 2017. Courses will be offered in January, February and March.

SLM expands additive offerings in Canada, partners with Spark & Co.

SLM Solutions is expanding its additive manufacturing footprint in Canada and is partnering with Spark & Co. to sell its offerings in Ontario and Quebec.

High speed laser cutting for tube and pipe

Mazak Optoincis Tube Gear laser for high speed cutting in tube and pipe applications.

Stay In Touch

twitter facebook linkedIn