In times of uncertainty, it is not common for many companies to invest in new machines and the expansion of their machinery. Often they first look at the internal process and how this can be improved. Where can profits be made within the company itself? Small improvements that are known in the organisation but weren’t executed because of the lack of time. Existing machines that could have more output but did not get optimized because they were needed for production. Or the expansion of the own portfolio to cover a different market segment. Growth that comes from within. Is automation an option?
Also older CNC Machines can easily be automated by an BMO Automation
Recognisable within your company?
During the current pandemic, these are many recurring responses that we hear from companies when we ask how they deal with the current situation. At BMO we also look at our internal process and how we can improve it. At our sister company BMO Precision Parts, a few steps have already been taken to get more output from the current machinery. Small software updates and mechanical modules have led to more possibilities, enabling them to serve a broader market segment. From a vacuum gripper to new milling holders. From a set of new centric gripper fingers to machining round products on a milling machine by using a hydraulic lathe chuck on a pallet. Process optimisation and capacity expansion.
Automation of existing CNC machines
It sounds logical but is not always obvious. Have you previously thought about automating the older machine in you workshop? The investment has already been made with a calculated return on investment. Automation gives you more output, more efficiency and more flexibility. The previous investment in the CNC machine can even be recouped more quickly. And what about the hourly rate at which you can produce with automation making your cost prices lower? One’s own competitive position will become stronger and there might be new markets that can be entered thanks to a lower hourly rate and a faster turnaround time.
Can my current CNC machine be automated?
With retrofit applications it is almost always possible to automate an existing CNC machine. From installing an automatic door to providing feed throughput on the machine table. There is no technical barrier, only a corresponding cost element that can steer the ROI calculation in an unfavourable direction. The existing machine is often not bought with the idea of automation and usually has a lower tool capacity. When buying new you consciously opt for a large tool magazine. But this does not necessarily have to be an obstacle to automation. There are many different milling technical tricks to producing multiple product series with a limited number of tools.
Regardless of whether automation is the key to growth within your company, it is always good to weigh up all the options. Take a good look at the internal process and try to undertake any optimisation that can be carried out.