At MWES, we build production systems. We work with firms that need to upgrade or create manufacturing operations for the products they sell. Many times, products are designed without considering their manufacturability to the degree necessary to make production as efficient as they could be.
Over our 30 years of experience helping firms get the most out of their production systems, we’ve put together a few of the higher impact areas manufacturing engineers can investigate to lessen the complexity of production systems and increase throughput, as well as reduce automation costs.
Establishing appropriate tolerances
Knowing exactly how tight tolerances need to be can go a long way in reducing production system costs. Over-specifying tolerances will move integrators from more cost-effective machines to expensive, highly-specialized equipment when it may not be necessary to chase specifications that may be exaggerated or misrepresented.
Build on a firm foundation
The more the assembly needs to be moved during the manufacturing process, the greater the opportunity for issues to develop. The ideal assembly would build out from common datums and a single direction. Designing the process to build onto a single part in a single fixture is key to reducing misalignments and other issues that stem from introducing too much movement.
More part sizes mean more tooling, more changes and many times more fixtures. It may also lead to more machines. Focusing on areas like reducing fastener counts, types and sizes helps smooth out the overall production flow. Going a step further, combining components before assembly can make an even larger impact on reducing complexity both in-process and in automation needs.
The above areas of focus are only a few of the places where engineering a product for greater manufacturability will pay off in designing a production system. These areas can also lead to reducing quality issues in production and potentially over the life of the product.
If you’re working on bringing a new product to market or moving to automate a current one, consult with our highly experienced application engineers on readying your product for more efficient production. Contact us today.