A good question: What are the CNC technologies/processes that are going to make us compete more effectively?
Posted by Bert Maes on December 18, 2009
I’m following a discussion on LinkedIn with some interesting comments I want to share here.
The question comes from Udo Jahn, General Manager at Modern Engineering, Vancouver Canada:
What are the technologies/processes that are going to make us more productive in CNC machining so as to compete more effectively on a global basis?
A wrap up of the answers so far:
To compete we need to be one step a head of the competition we need better machines, better cutting tools, smart professionals with experience, smarter fixtures,… In fact all to reduce the cycle time of the component to improve on the productivity. The faster the machine, the less air cut time, the best tool sequencing, the smarters CNC programmers, the faster a piece is produced.
- Machines: Machines with higher accuracy, higher RPM, higher feed, in some cases its good to think about FMS first shift is setting up the machines, second and third lights out and the robots are working.
- Tools: tools that can survive the high speeds and feeds.
- Professionals: professionals with experience can contribute the knowledge for machining operations, tools, fixtures, CNC programs (Macros)
- Smart fixtures: equipment that don’t take time to set up in the machine. Fixtures that are design to work unattended all day and just the load and unload is necessary in the end of the shift.
- To compete you will need the best technology you can afford and attempt to stay leading edge. There are still companies out there who want a long term relationship, they are just hard to find… That’s the key to success.
- CNC shops will have to compete on business strategies (other than simply pricing), not on technical capabilities only. You need to focus on a total value proposition for your customers. Eliminate redundant spindle capacity of similar type and replace it with other types of capacity; EDM, Grinding, etc. depending on your mix. The customer is willing to pay some premium for single stop shopping.
Wouldn’t it be extremely valuable if we can start with
- improving the CNC departments in our schools (via long term industry partnerships)
- and educating our young people with the smartest, newest CNC equipment and business strategies?