High volume machining of complex precision parts poses many challenges. Standard CNC lathe and milling operations can result in high cycle times and labor costs and may not meet precision tolerances. Use of newer Swiss style machines allows operators to process all sides of the part in one operation, significantly lowering costs. These Swiss style machines are very compact compared to standard lathes; less time wasted going from tool to tool can also result in faster cycle times.
Finding the right partner for large or complex precision machining projects can be challenging. Many precision machining shops are either priced too high, have long lead times, only cover part of the process, or lack the capabilities to scale up for mass production.
Ultimately, you need a partner that can do it all, from initial prototype to large-scale production. This is especially important for projects that require multiple machine types or parts.
Material handling, as a manufacturing term, encompasses a wide range of processes. It touches everything from machine tending and packaging to machine tending, press tending, picking, packing and palletizing. It is essential to the world’s supply chain capabilities and, therefore, a prime opportunity for integrating automation. As global realities, competitive pressures and consumer demands continue to shape (and reshape) the manufacturing landscape, automated material handling solutions become smarter and more advantageous than ever.
As executives increasingly comprehend the business value inherent in automated solutions for manufacturing, distribution and other related operations, it becomes clearer that automation is more of a “must-have” than a “nice-to-have” for profitability. Just because executives put forth the investment and effort to integrate manufacturing automation, that doesn’t mean they always do so strategically—even though the strategy piece can actually mean the difference between a successful automation implementation and one that fails to align with the company’s core business goals.
Automation has been a staple in various factory settings for decades. And since the beginnings of industrial automation, there’s been a major shift in both technology and affordability.
But for some manufacturing executives, there remains a perception that the expense and risk of implementing automation is simply too much to be practical or worthwhile. The problem with this assumption is that it fails to acknowledge the immense profitability an investment in automation reaps for businesses of many types and sizes.
Technology is everywhere. When it comes to staples in your life like your smartphone, your TV, or your car computer, the tangible gains are obvious and immediate. When you’re talking about the business of manufacturing, however, there’s likely to be more ambiguity about whether technology is worthwhile. In other words, what can it actually do for the company’s bottom line?