Dynamic Thinking: Establishing a Strategic and Technology-Based Mindset
Few industries are evolving as quickly as manufacturing. To stay competitive, shops have to be open to trying different approaches and evolving along with technology.
Part of this process is budgeting for improvements. The first cost to take into consideration is training. Any technology is useless if its operators are underusing it or struggling to use it at all. Many customers have an application engineer come to their shop every quarter to recommend refinements, outline the latest software advancements, and select specific goals to achieve before their nest visit. As productivity increases, they can reduce how frequently the engineer visits.
The right technology can lead to long sequences of unattended single setup machining. One of the most powerful technologies available currently is 5-axis machining. With 5-axis, operators can run complex parts with a fraction of the setups used with 3-axis. This not only reduces cycle time; it reduces the chance of human error during the process.
Tools like Dynamic Motion Technology make the 5-axis machining process even more efficient by maintaining a constant chip load. Dynamic toolpaths are a safe, high-speed material removal solution that lengthens tool life and maximizes feed rates without sacrificing stock material.
Shop managers should also consider setting up specialized cells for manufacturing certain types of parts and bringing in advanced machining centers that will work flawlessly with their software. When establishing these cells, it is important not to waste one employee’s time by tasking them with getting the entire section up and running, especially with no training on the subject. Ask your primary suppliers to form a team with representatives from your machine builder, your cutting tool supplier, and Mastercam to install these cells. These multi-discipline teams will ensure that your work cell will operate efficiently immediately after installation.
Establishing a strategic, technology-based mindset in your shop should be a part of your long-term plans for manufacturing success. If you are a Mastercam user, run a machine shop, or are simply looking for more ideas to keep a shop running at peak safety and productivity, check out additional content in our Dynamic Thinking series. This series includes training opportunities, webinars, and more to help you find ways to adapt to changing conditions and expectations in manufacturing markets. [https://www.mastercam.com/dynamic-thinking/]