According to an article published in Forbes, the manufacturing sector of the economy is growing even as unemployment remains above 8%. Technology has been cited as the main reason manufacturing is expanding. This is because most industries now rely on CNC machining, and people who can operate such machines are almost assured of a paycheck.
However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is threatening to slow the progress, and it’s more important than ever to know how to reduce the costs of manufacturing parts using this technology.
“Time Studies are always key to knowing what the cost will be on a job, along with tooling usage. If a company can focus on those two items along with material costs, that is the best bet to understanding how to save money on a project,” explains Tom Kohm, President CEO of Premier Equipment, a leading seller of used CNC machines.
Here are a few other ways to avoid spiraling costs.
Check Your Material Usage
Everyone wants to use the best materials in the market to manufacture parts. However, if there is an option to use something less costly, it can help you to save on the overall production costs. For instance, prototypes are simple parts that are used for smaller functions. Because of that, there is no point splashing a lot of money on creating them when you can access more affordable options. However, when working on parts that call for high-quality materials, you have to find them because they ensure that you come up with effective parts that prevent you from spending more money in the future.
You Can Reduce CNC Times by Optimizing Setups
Every downtime translates into the loss of money because your machines will stop working when you should be churning out new parts. If you have to stop the machines to change the setup, you should know that you will end up being less productive. To avoid this, you need to optimize the process so that some parts load automatically. The machine can be kept running when the number of setups is minimized.
Loosen the Tolerance to Lower Costs
The expenses will skyrocket if you always need more precision to finish a component. You will also find it difficult to avoid wastage when tighter precisions are not met. Because of that, you may want to loosen the tolerance and notice the difference. In addition to that, a lot of time is saved when you use standard tolerances. Be sure to check the machine’s specifications to understand what standard to use. Also, if you are milling multiple holes, you should consider using identical dimensions as this will save a lot of time.
Kohm adds one additional suggestion, “Of course, purchasing a used CNC machine over a new one gives an instant cost savings, if a shop needs to acquire the machinery needed to complete the application.”