Staying competitive means constantly seeking out new ways to improve. Anybody who thinks that their business is perfect as-is, is probably missing something and risks getting left behind.
Of course, there are lots of areas to look for improving your business: innovating better or cheaper products, beefing up customer service, or even attempting new marketing angles.
But one of the best ways to improve your business is to identify and eliminate waste in your product manufacturing system. Waste comes in many forms: wasted materials, wasted time, and wasted effort.
It’s not a well-kept secret that eliminating waste is easier said than done. Machinists and engineers already know the importance of maintaining and improving efficiency, but what can you do to streamline your systems?
One area of manufacturing to pay attention to is selecting new tools and keeping track of their various parameters and attributes. Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) technology has already improved and continues to improve the process of designing and simulating new components, programs, and products.
However, advances have not always been uniform or coordinated. As a result, various players in the overall system – whether they are tooling supplier or a machine tool builder – have developed their own systems for recording tool attributes. As a result, we all end up performing redundant work trying to translate from one naming system to another.
Some forms of redundancy provide security against error and failure. But in cases like this, it is simply wasted effort and actually increases the chance for error. Why spend time and money interpreting information from one system to another if all parties could agree on a single approach?
Fortunately, there are ready-to-implement solutions to this problem. These kinds of issues are prime candidates for international standards as well as the libraries and databases to reference them.
Take for example, ISO 13399 for data on metalcutting tools. All kinds of tool attributes like radius and width are consistently defined in this standard. Furthermore, the Adveon open platform library provides access to information on tools using this standard.
With the open library, operators can find all of the tool information in one place instead of having to track it down piece by piece. And with an agreed upon set of standards, they don’t need to waste time translating it from one manufacturer’s system to another in order to asses compatibility.
Standardized tooling data can have a big positive impact on your manufacturing system’s efficiency. With less wasted effort and less chances for error, you can move from virtual concept to finalized product faster than ever before.