Efficiency and quality are the cornerstones of successful manufacturing. Amidst the pressure of a rush order, our team faced the challenge of not only reducing the cycle time for an actuator housing but also enhancing its quality. Here’s our story of commitment and innovation under pressure.
The Dual Challenge
For many, a rush order means prioritizing speed over quality, but we sought to excel in both. While we were under pressure to deliver the parts faster, we also noticed a quality concern from the first batch: 9 parts had pitting marks caused by the jaws’ grip. The stakes were clear: reduce cycle time without compromising the integrity of the part.
The Machinists’ Approach
Jordan and Alex were the game-changers in this narrative. With the depth of their experience, they believed that solutions lay in a meticulous review of both the program and the physical handling of the parts.
The issue of pitting marks required immediate attention. Recognizing that chips caught in the jaws were the culprit, Jordan and Alex machined a 10″ radius onto the face of the jaws. This change minimized gaps where chips could get lodged, while simultaneously exerting a more concentrated force on the workpiece. This modification led to a significant quality improvement, with subsequent runs having no parts that needed rework. Additionally, the increased chuck pressure resulting from the more concentrated force provided further opportunities to decrease cycle time, as will be discussed in the following section.
Optimizing Cycle Time
To address the cycle time, Jordan and Alex employed a two-pronged approach: increasing the depth of cut and adjusting feed and speeds. The catch? Pushing these parameters too far could lead to parts bowing or spinning due to inadequate chuck pressure. After several iterations and tests, they found an efficient balance, ensuring the part’s roundness was maintained, resulting in a reduced cycle time from 9:28 to a commendable 7:13.
- The Right Balance: In manufacturing, the delicate balance between speed and quality is paramount. As demonstrated, with the right expertise, it’s possible to achieve both.
- Continuous Improvement: Even under pressure, the spirit of continuous improvement can lead to outstanding results, not just in efficiency but also in quality.
- Commitment Under Pressure: Despite the rush order and initial challenges, our commitment to the client and to our craft never wavered.
Our journey with the actuator housing was a showcase of our team’s adaptability, skill, and dedication. With every challenge, Jordan and Alex iteratively found solutions, ensuring that future runs will be smoother and even more efficient. This project wasn’t just about fulfilling an order; it was about setting new standards for ourselves.
Call to Action
When you work with us, you’re not just getting a product; you’re tapping into a legacy of excellence and continuous improvement. If you have questions or want insights into our processes, we’re eager to share.