CNC Project Management Best Practices: Save Costs & Improve Quality
If you’re in charge of project management at a CNC manufacturing facility, you’re sure to be continually looking at ways in which you can increase productivity, save costs, and improve quality.
Therefore, you need to know about the following best practices.
Understand Manufacturing Workflows and Logistics
If you want to save costs and improve quality, it’s essential that you understand your facility’s manufacturing workflows and logistics. That means knowing how materials move through the production area and become finished manufactured products.
It is particularly important to keep an eye on parts or a batch of parts in manufacturing systems because machine shops with low production are often flooded with lots of different orders for various parts.
Quite simply, by having an overview of all your workflows and logistics, you can identify areas in which production is slow and take the appropriate steps to enhance productivity, improve quality, and save costs.
Ensure the Layout of the Machine Shop Is Set Up for Optimal Productivity
The layout of your machine shop and the placement of your CNC machines can majorly impact costs and productivity.
For example, if a worker needs to spend valuable time walking from one end of the workshop to the other in order to keep a close eye on two different CNC machines, such as turret punch machines and lathes, that will obviously slow down production and increase costs.
So, by simply creating a layout for your machine shop that enables maximum productivity and ensures high quality, you can make the most out of your CNC project management.
Use Enterprise Resource Planning Systems
If you’re not already using the software project tools known as Enterprise Resource Planning systems, which help with production management, it’s high time that you did.
ERP systems monitor which materials your facility has at any given time. In turn, that means you can ensure manufacturing downtime is minimal because you will always have the materials and instruments that you need in stock.
With ERP systems, you can also tell which equipment has spare time and which equipment is overloaded.
Utilize Intelligent CNC Automation Software
Many CNC manufacturing shops still only use manual operations, in which one person controls up to three CNC machine tools manually. While that has been the standard way of doing things in the past, it does come with disadvantages.
Typically, with a manual approach that involves the hassle of planning as well as non-stable processes and the possibility of missing resources like raw materials, a CNC machine will only operate between 1,000 and 2,000 hours out of a possible 8,760 per year.
CNC manufacturers can get around the problem by using more automation. For example, a robot can feed a CNC machine almost around the clock. However, problems can still occur with this approach, such as bottlenecks, which would slow down productivity and affect costs.
Therefore, it’s much better to choose intelligent CNC automation in which you use software that has the capability of knowing exactly what resources and machining capacities are required and can prompt operators to take the right actions at precisely the right times.
With intelligent CNC automation software, operators will also receive instant notifications if tasks cannot be carried out due to a problem such as a missing tool from a magazine.
Quite simply, when you use intelligent CNC automation software, you can ensure production is always doing the right things at the right times, all of the time.
In turn, that creates fast lead times, little hassle, and high productivity, which means your company can save costs and improve the quality of products.
Ananya Prisha is an enterprise level Agile coach working out of Hyderabad (India) and also founder of High Level PM Consultancy. Her goal has been to keep on learning and at the same time give back to the community that has given her so much.