I find it interesting to hear how different shops quantify investments in new technology, equipment, and emerging processes that promise to reduce cycle time, increase spindle time, or otherwise provide improvement to the status quo of production machining. Anything new that requires an ounce of change in process, regardless of stated benefits, are typically vetted in two camps, the naysayers, and the believers. Depending on which side you find yourself on there are plenty of variables in manufacturing to argue whether a new product or service is good or bad for business. That said, there is rarely a single right answer and ultimately you need to decide what is right for your shop.
Assessing whether a product or service fits within your process is the easy part; justifying the investment and measuring the return is what will tell you whether you are making more money or just trading dollars. In my opinion, it is important to consult every department in your organization before investing in any product or service that influences process in any way. This will help avoid what I like to call the ‘Focus Trap.’ You focus so much on justifying a new product, service, or process that you fail to realize potential upstream or downstream ramifications that can easily cancel the positive ROI you are after. So, while focused improvement, with metrics to support it, can be good the bottom line is the bottom line. I like to look at both net gains at the point of implementation as well as positive effects to our overall business.
At TCI we present and sell our Machine-Ready Blanks to manufacturers on the bases of defendable value points beyond the obvious benefit of eliminating material prep. We encourage customers to do their homework and consider how Machine-Ready Blanks can affect their whole business:
- Elimination of material prep
- Improved quality with precision material – flat, square, parallel
- Reduction in machine set up time
- Reduction in scrap
- Reduced cycle time, chip-to-chip
- Increased throughput
- Ship faster, get paid quicker
- JIT inventory control support
Thanks for reading –