Sheet metal fabrication is a delicate form of manufacturing. This is due to the level of precision that is demanded in producing thin walls, getting internal angles right and maintaining sheet thickness. Be that as it may, client of sheet metal fabricators may demand faster output to meet stringent deadlines. For this reason and more, businesses are often looking for ways to optimize production, cut costs, please clients and deliver quality. Here are 5 great things to do to lower your sheet metal production lead times in China.
1. Automate your factory Depending on how your workshop is currently setup, automating processes can help you cut down production times by over 50%. This is because robotic inputs are faster and more precise than human labour. Automation also helps you save costs attributable to labour and speeds up production as there are no breaks or fatigue during manufacturing. If you do not currently have the scale to go fully automated, consider some semi-automation, introducing robotic labour into repetitive processes. This will save you time spent on quality control and enable you to optimize the skill of your workforce where it matters. Again, if your finances accommodate it and there is a feasible business case, consider expanding your workshop and investing in additional machines to lower your lead times even further
2. Redesign your workshop to optimize processes Another way to deal with common bottlenecks and transitional processes is to invest in some composite machine that has a linear flow of the manufacturing process. While this is usually cost intensive, it is well worth the money once completed. In the absence of this type of financial power, consider redesigning your workspace in such a way that the distance between machines that perform concurrent or sequential processes is greatly reduced. Although the transitional processes may not seem to consume a lot of time, they rack up to translate into significant minutes in every production run.
3. Upgrade your workforce skill Upgrading your workforce doesn’t have to mean letting people go to recruit more experienced people. In fact, a better approach is to educate your employees about the processes and how reducing production times impact the business. Depending on their individual level of skill, invest in training programs that will help you increase their knowledge and skill. Also, ensure that you carry out cross-process training, ensuring that members of your workforce are skilled in multiple processes. This way, the unavailability of some employees doesn’t spell doom for your business. Another way to increase the level of skill in your workforce is to employee highly skilled personnel that will be able to supervise and train lower skill forces.
4. Use a steady supplier/metal fabrication company This tip is particularly for the customers. Using a dedicated metal fabrication company like Firstpart in China will not only help you reduce cost; you will save significant time and effort on job setup times. This is particularly true for repeat production, as the metal shop already have most of the specificities and job specifications for the project. Their employees are more in-tune with the process and have already mastered it. This will mean faster, consistent and higher quality output. Furthermore, ensure that you choose a one-stop workshop like Firstpart’s to help you eliminate project transfer, transportation cost and bottlenecks. Sheet metal fabrication companies like Firstpart have an array of machines that can perform all your fabrication processes in house from A-Z.
5. Plan efficiently Finally, efficient planning will save any workshop time, effort and money. Ensure that your business logistics is well setup to deal with material sourcing, transportation and pricing. Assign a supervisor to each project for accountability and make contact with your suppliers as soon as your client commits to the project. When you can, prioritize projects. This may involve you suspending projects with later deadlines to accommodate pressing jobs.
Contact us for your Sheet Metal Services today FirstPart’s expertise and experience in sheet metal services provides customers with a one-stop shop service on all sheet metal projects. From design to fabrication, finishing and post-fabrication, our latest technologies, engineering workforce and machine investments ensures that we stay ahead of our competition to provide high quality parts at the most competitive prices. Contact us today for sheet metal services and take a look at all of our other services including 3D printing, CNC machining, Rapid prototyping, Aluminum Extrusion, Die and Vacuum Casting and much more.