Last Updated on Oct 20, 2022 by James W
Optimizing machining is instrumental in maximizing throughput in any manufacturing process. Finding ways to ramp up machining productivity without need for more complex machinery can be just what your business may need to bolster its competitiveness. There are several best practices for optimizing machining processes. Here are some pointers you can employ to scale up your machining productivity:
Assess the current workflow
You cannot make impactful changes if you do not have a clear picture of how the existing systems operate. Scaling productivity starts with a thorough assessment of the current workflow points, visualising all the inputs and outputs of each process. Understand the procedures, resources, and other metrics for each step. That way, you can pinpoint the areas that could use potential improvements. Your solutions have a better chance of moving the needle when they address relevant issues with the current processes.
Invest in proper maintenance
You cannot achieve optimal machining productivity if your tools and machines have seen better days and are worn out. Optimize tool life to get the most out of your manufacturing processes. Regular maintenance ensures that your machinery works in excellent condition and you get maximum tool life from them. However, that is not to say that all attempts at prolonging machine life are justifiable. You need to know when it is time to get new tools. Replacing machinery that has reached its lifespan goes a long way in streamlining workflow, minimizing downtime and ensuring trouble-free maintenance.
Bottlenecks occur when processes slow down owing to an overwhelm in the manufacturing process. Bottlenecks lead to increased production costs and far-reaching delays. Bottlenecks may be short-term or long-term, depending on whether they cause temporary backlogs or if they result from a fundamental delay. In most manufacturing processes, bottlenecks are due to delays with people, such as contractors and staff. These are called performance bottlenecks. They could also be system bottlenecks caused by software and technological delays. Regardless of the underlying reason behind the bottlenecks, they will undoubtedly throw a wrench in machining productivity. Eliminating bottlenecks starts with evaluating the workflow in an exercise of process mapping. Process mapping will help you identify bottlenecks which need streamlining for optimal machining productivity. Another excellent pointer for unclogging backlogs and bottlenecks would be ensuring that all systems operate in liaison. A substantial part is employing tool data management to ensure seamless communication between all the different processes.
Prioritize employee training
Your best chance at getting the most from your machinery lies with your employees’ skill level. The manufacturing industry is prone to constant evolution. New technologies and ways of boosting machine productivity are mushrooming every day. Ergo employees will require some brushing up of their skills every so often. Investing in employee training ensures you leverage optimal capabilities and functionalities of your machine tools and their peripherals.
The place of human resources in the manufacturing process cannot be overlooked. The human element is necessary for navigating the complexities and intricacies of various machines. However, automation sure comes in handy in reverse engineering repetitive, identifiable tasks. Identifying areas to automate will go a long way in bolstering machining productivity.