Clients of metal fabricators are often in search of the fastest production times. Metal fabricators are always looking to please their clients and churn out the maximum number of projects. For these reasons, fabricators are always looking for ways to optimize their processes for greater efficiency in order to reduce lead times. We’ve compiled a list of tips that can help metal fabricators cut down on production times.
Automating processes can significantly cut down production times. Robotic labor works faster than people and can maintain a consistent speed. They don’t need breaks like human workers do and can run all night when people aren’t around. Consider automating your processes, especially repetitive and time-consuming processes, to speed up your production times. Automation will also lead to fewer errors than human labor; meaning less time needs to be spent on quality control. When you can cut down the time spent checking and fixing errors in production as well as the actual work time, your overall production processes will be significantly reduced.
2. Educate Your Employees
It’s important to educate all employees about all of the processes in your shop, not just their job. You should also invest in cross training if you’re looking to improve your production time. When employees are cross-trained, processes will not be disrupted when people are missing. Additionally, your employees will be thinking beyond their job in the production process. They will be less likely to cut corners because they’ll know how it will affect the process down the line. When your employees understand all of the processes at work in the shop, they’ll be better equipped to make suggestions to improve efficiency. Cross training and educating your employees will lead to more efficient work and more suggestions to better optimize your processes.
3. Minimize Transitional Processes
During the fabrication processes, parts will need to be moved from one machine to another for the next stage of the process. Often times, products will need to be moved from one container to another, such as a soft PVC-coated basket to an Inconel-based heat treat basket for a processes involving heat application. To avoid this extra time, consider using a custom metal basket that can withstand every process. Making this change will eliminate the time spent unloading and loading baskets between steps. You can also consider rearranging equipment to shorten the time it takes to carry parts between machines. Although these transitional processes seem short, over time they can add up to significantly lengthen the production process.
4. Invest in Smart Manufacturing
Technology for automation is not the only technology that’s advancing in manufacturing. New technology is developing to help manufacturers monitor and analyze their assets. They can use this information to optimize workflow. This technology can also be used to create simulations that will help manufacturers gain insight into their systems and procedures. With this insight, they can make adjustments to processes. Manufacturers should always be looking to update and improve their processes to become more efficient. Smart manufacturing can help manufacturers gain insight and work toward these goals.
5. Use One Shop for Your Whole Project
If you’re looking to hire a metal fabrication company for a project and are concerned about lead times, you should hire one shop to handle your entire product. Using different shops to complete different stages of the fabrication process will take extra time. You’ll have to deal with each shop individually to plan and strategize, and there will also be extra time added to transport the part to different shops. Choosing a single shop to handle the whole fabrication process will eliminate time between individual processes. It will also reduce the chance for error and damage, which will reduce the likelihood that extra time will be needed for repairs.
CAMM Metals | CT Metal Fabrication Company
It's crucial to do your research when choosing a metal fabrication, as not all companies are capable of completing the same quality of work. CAMM Metals has years of experience, honing our skills across the board to deliver a quality product and measurable bottom line value to our customers.