PM Blog

Many shops look at inspection and quality assurance as non-value-added costs designed to simply verify that parts were made correctly. While that may be true, shops that look at the gaging station as a source of cost savings, parts must be verified anyway, can find value by applying an efficient inspection system to their process.

This article looks at one shop that adapted the idea of finding savings in its inspection operation and has seen a production cost reduction of 27 percent with 100 percent inspection. It’s success in achieving zero scrap has led to key industry approvals by becoming a preferred supplier to Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems. 

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Production Machining’s December Digital Edition is now available. This issue features emphasis topics of CNC Swiss-Type and Shop Management Software. For the cover story we visit a 102-year-old machine shop that has successfully applied appropriate technology over its long history, including the current use of CNC Swiss-type machines in lights-out manufacturing. Our other feature article covers a California shop, specializing in high precision parts for the semiconductor industry, that worked closely with its machine tool supplier to develop an app that drastically reduces setup times.

In our Special Coverage section, Gardner Intelligence provides an overview of the state of the industry and what we can look forward to in the coming year.

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As parts become more complex, so do the machines used to produce them. These machines can help save time and money, but as more capabilities are added, they become more difficult to use. Some CAM software companies are working to offset this complexity by making their products easier to use. The article “Machining Complexity with CAM” shows how Edgecam’s intuitive interface and automation tools help users produce intricate parts on advanced equipment.

One feature of Edgecam is its “Workflow” interface. Instead of using a toolkit design, Workflow reconfigures the same tools, so they feel like familiar products such as Windows and Microsoft Office. The program is also structed to naturally guide users through the programming process.

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Do you have a co-worker under the age of 40 who goes above and beyond his or her job description to improve a work environment or the precision machined parts industry at large? Do you know a colleague who is outstanding at his or her job who you think deserves recognition in the industry? If so, please nominate him or her for Production Machining’s 2019 Emerging Leader Awards.

The awards place emphasis on leadership and potential leadership, whether it is in the nominee’s company or their environment in the industry.

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The technology for adding a second or third workerless shift is available to any shop that is trying to reduce its cost-per-part while meeting quality and delivery demands. Choosing from the various technologies and making them work within the individual application is the trick.

This article, “Preparing for Lights-Out Production,” reviews some of the fundamental questions and practical consideration that should be asked and answered before taking on a lights-out production process. It’s more than just running an unattended shift or two; rather, it’s about doing the prep work to make sure the shifts run correctly.

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