Methodology for Optimized Efficiency Through Batch / Unattended Machining
When companies produce a batch of parts, they usually have an operator in front of the machine for an entire shift, producing work-pieces one at a time. The operator takes raw stock, puts it on the machine bed, machines the part and then removes it — repeating the entire process for eight hours. Therefore, the operator is dedicated or “tied” to a single machine. This procedure is known as “one-up” production.
Based on an 8-hour day, labor costs about $0.40 a minute and a machine costs about $0.20 a minute to operate. Therefore, if you tie an operator to the machine with one-up production, your total cost will be $0.60 a minute. If you were to run two shifts, the machine would cost only $0.10 a minute, while the labor cost remains the same at $0.40 a minute. Although it’s a savings, it falls short of maximizing the impact on a manufacturer’s bottom line … and more can actually be saved. By empowering the machine do the work without operator intervention during the second shift, the reduction in the labor cost brings the machine cost as low as $0.05 a minute.
“A machine center featuring a large machine bed, Quick-Pallets and possibly a pick and place system, offers a complete solution for batch machining that directly and positively impacts a manufacturer’s bottom line.”
This paper focuses on batch machining as applied to high-speed machining with micro-tooling. It demonstrates a direct correlation between batch machining (as an alternative to one-up production) and profitability, and how effective implementation relies on the presence of CNC machining systems featuring large beds that facilitate “lights-out” production.