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As Seen In Modern Machine Shop.

Eliminating pre-machining operations is often the difference between winning bids and profitability.

While trimming labor costs is difficult and sometimes personal, it has become a necessity to compete in today’s worldwide economy. Typically, reducing labor costs, which are the largest portion of a shop’s costs, requires an upfront capital investment in new machinery or processes. However, shops can reduce labor costs 20 percent or more without an investment by using machine-ready blanks. They are furnished to net sizes, ready for final machining. This eliminates fly-cutting and squaring up, as well as extra clamp changes, tool changes and fixture offset adjustments. Shops using machine-ready blanks are more efficient and lean, which significantly cuts the overall cost of parts.

The operations eliminated by machine-read blanks usually blend into the program, making it difficult to calculate their full cost. Yet eliminating time-consuming, non-value added pre-machining operations is often the difference between winning bids and profitability. Calculating the true value and cost savings of machine-ready blanks is dependent on identifying all the pre-machining operations.

Gain Machine Time

As a recent example, a machine-ready blank eliminated more than 11 minutes of in-house pre-machining on a rough blank and 15 minutes of operator intervention time, including five clamp changes. Machine-ready blanks cut $5,000 off the complete cost of the job even though they cost slightly more than starting with raw stock. Using machine-ready blanks in this application reduced machine time by 32 percent, or 216 hours in this case, and freed a month of production time that could be used for more parts or jobs.

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