When a machine's suitability for a new part-producing role is marginal or in question, you must weigh the cost of bringing it up to spec (with new controls) against the benefit of avoiding requirements for operator retrai n ing by living with the machine and its "known" control.
METAL FORMING & FABRICATING WOMB TO TOMB: REDUCING LIFE CYCLE COSTS BEYOND “KEEPING IT UP AND RUNNING ” D urable goods manufacturers can face major strategic conflicts between Lean practices, downsizing, concentration on core competencies, and transformation of machine main- tenance from reactionary to preventive/ predictive and ultimately to proactive. Real-world data demonstrates that proactive maintenance can produce huge cost savings, minimize machine down- time and lost production, and enable By Ron Hoffman higher process control and overall equip- ment efficiency (OEE). However, the transition can appear daunting when using internal (and increasingly limited) resources. Progressive companies are finding a solution in outsourcing machine service and support to a single, expert organization that addresses all aspects of optimizing the capital equipment investment. Specialists can help your manufacturing management discov- er and deal with the root causes of chronic problem areas. The big picture goes beyond “keep it up and running” factors and encompasses long-term decisions regarding machine rebuilds, upgrades, and relocation of equipment. This “cradle to grave” approach can simultaneously minimize the total cost of owner- ship while maximizing life-cycle ROI. Companies in the aerospace/aircraft industry, for instance, are working diligently to reduce their vendor base. They are begin- ning to enter into far-reaching agreements that place all machine support services for a given process/component with a single out- group side company — a single-source service/support partner. of front- For example, Lockheed Martin has contracted with our firm for line people global service and support of machining equipment and systems from a single at all its major plant locations around the world. The agreement source understand is comprehensive in scope, providing for interactive diagnostic your business objectives help, preventive maintenance, field service, training, replacement and production program and spare parts, productivity improvements, machine rebuild- goals. By integrating these people ing, and even machine and system relocation and set-up. into your current process and process When a single source supplier can take responsibility for a evolution, your manufacturing staff gets part machining process, from application engineering all the the benefit of proactive advice, the expedi- HOW TO REDUCE THE of the machines, way to re-assignment or disposal TOTAL COST there are ency of established relationships, and the efficiency of having OF efficiencies that make a OWNERSHIP to the manyMACHINE TOOLtangible contributionVIA over- the outside source already equipped with comprehensive records SINGLE-SOURCE SERVICE/SUPPORT SERVICES. all objective of reducing the cost per part. Savings can be real- on specific machines and systems. If that source is involved with ized from greater operational and maintenance efficiencies to multiple activities, the information at their fingertips can include purchasing/management cost reduction. certifications, preventive maintenance records, evaluations of the Harder to quantify, but still very real, is the benefit of having a machines, as well as general machine specifications. 30 FABRICATING & METALWORKING • March 2009 • www.fandmmag.com Contrast this to a supplier that is brought in only occasion- ally to provide one service “by the book” and then leave. The broader the awareness of customer requirements and of the people within the customer plant, the better the care that can be taken of the equipment. If a service/support partner knows your future production plans, they know what level of proactive maintenance or upgrade is appropriate for a given machine. They can also offer advice on future relocation issues. Using the same single-source supplier across all manufacturing operations enables sharing of best practices for continuous improve- WEB-BASED REPORTING TOOLS NOW DISPLAY AROUND-THE-CLOCK ment and optimal efficiencies. Here are some of the specific areas MACHINE ACTIVITY IN INTUITIVE, EASILY-ACTIONABLE FORMATS TO where a total machine life-cycle partner can be an advantage, begin- HELP PRODUCTION AND MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL QUICKLY GET ning with front-end support for your part/process development.
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