Flexible Production: the first step for those using CNC machine tools
The Flexible Production is known worldwide as Lean Manufacturing and represents a complete system that allow production according to the Just in Time concepts.
That means produce only the sold quantity, without stock, to make the production more efficient.
Obviously, the goal and purpose of the system is proven and valuable, so much so that a lot of companies are applying its basics.
The same system, however, at first glance, is difficult to adapt to the context of users of CNC machine tools, because of this many production facilities are behind on adopting these concepts.
This is how the Flexible Production method was born
For this reason, I developed the Flexible production method, which helps you and those who are part of this sector to adapt the concepts of Lean Manufacturing to the context of Machine Tools, such as Machining Centers and Transfer Machines.
But is Flexible Production good for everyone?
Honestly speaking NO, because we must first of all start from an essential element, without which we would get less results.
What is it?
This essential element is the concept of PRODUCTION FOCUS, that is to say a detailed analysis and in-depth study of the numbers that your Production Department reveals, to choose the so-called Focus.
The Production Focus is the totality of articles that bring positive results to your production, slowly eliminating those that are instead non-productive or even often harmful.
The analysis of the Production Focus for the definition of the correct production strategy is the fundamental starting point, which can help you to really make the leap in quality to bring your company to success.
Once you have defined this point you move on to the next one, that is the definition of the Machine Tool Fleet, to go to identify the machine tool models that can lead you to achieve the maximum result in terms of automation-productivity.
For example, today you could have a machine floor full of Machining Centers, which is a business model that I call “Machining Centers in battery”.
By analyzing the numbers and your production you could instead highlight the need to introduce another type of machine tool, to achieve the balance between flexibility and productivity.
There are production departments that only operate with Machining Centers and others that may have for example:
– 5 machining centers
– 2 flexible machines
– 3 transfer machines
It obviously depends case by case, but one thing is certain, today more than ever it is essential to understand that the business model with only Batteries of Machining Centers is no longer sustainable.
But let’s get back to us.
Once you have better defined these 2 steps you can finally start accelerating, to see the results and the power of Flexible Production.
The problem with most manufacturing companies is that they do not have a Production Focus of products to work on and develop their strategy.
There are a lot of production companies that want to get results without Production Focus, but even if it can bring some results in the short term it will turn out to be a suicide for a long-term production strategy.
If you continue to produce everything for everyone indefinitely, you will never have a production department that is free from the warehouse, flexible and productive at the same time, and that earns well, in a correct and planned manner.
Identifying the Focus in Production brings with it a host of multiple benefits, among which the main ones are listed here:
1. lower fixed costs
2. fewer variables and waste
3. more flexibility
4. more productive on the parts in which you are focused
5. increased margins in production
6. decreased stock
This is just a glimpse of the positive affects you can achieve with a correct production strategy and with the application of the Flexible Production method.
I do not speak by hearsay, but rather I’m proposing the same strategy from which I started to get the results I’m getting and that are extraordinary.
In fact, I myself am the first to apply the Flexible Production method and I am the first to have started precisely by choosing a Production Focus strategy.
I made a careful analysis of the numbers and I was able to make the right choice.
Here’s what I proposed before (all to all):
– TRANSFER MACHINES with fixed units with horizontal axis.
– TRANSFER MACHINES with fixed units with vertical axis.
– TRANSFER MACHINES for high production nuts.
– TRANSFER MACHINES with manual or CNC adjustable units.
– TRANSFER MACHINES with built-in broach.
– MACHINE TRANSFER MACHINE with integrated cutter.
– TRANSFER MACHINES with machining centers.
– Flexible TRANSFER MACHINES with revolver.
– Flexible TRANSFER MACHINES with tool change.
– TRANSFER MACHINES with LATHE unit with rotating piece.
– SINGLE SPINDLE MACHINES for prototyping.
– Hydraulic broaching machines.
– CNC broaching machines.
– CUTTERS with rotating table.
– SPECIAL TRANSFER MACHINES ON CUSTOMER SPECIFICATION
Potentially with 15 products in the catalog I could satisfy everything and everyone
Through the analysis of the numbers of my company I chose my Production Focus, the Flexible Machines, and from there I developed the production strategy that today is allowing me to obtain the results I’m getting.
In particular, I focused on the production of my flagship model, i.e. the MULTICENTER “The First Flexible Machine Built In Series”, which today represents a large part of my turnover.
Of course, it is not easy to do this analysis and requires certain skills that I first developed over time and through long study and a lot of experience.
I do not mean in the most absolute way to say that you too must do exactly like me, that is to upset your production, because maybe in your case it is not absolutely necessary.
But I want to help you understand that Flexible Production is the right way and if you want to achieve extraordinary results and correctly develop the concepts of Flexible Production a Production Focus is the first step and starting point.
Less is More
This is a sacred concept, which, if applied well, can explode your production to the Nth degree, bringing your production department to success.
The starting point for best applying the concepts of Lean Manufacturing and Flexible Production? For the users of CNC machine tools it is undoubtedly the Production Focus concept.
If you want to go deeper on the topic of “Flexible Production”,
My book, dedicated to users of machine tools that want to make the leap in quality & productivity, is waiting for you!!!
MASTER TRAINER Method FLEXIBLE PRODUCTION