THE SECRET OF PRODUCTION CAPACITY IN A FOUNDRY

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I often visit aluminium foundries. To stay ahead in today’s market a foundry must be modern, efficient and consistent. All the companies I visit have high-tech presses.


Incredible
metrology labs… Logistic systems that DHL would kill for…


But there’s a problem….


I never (or almost never) get to see the finishing department.

The person who shows me round the foundry doesn’t want me to see it.
Up until a few years ago, I thought they had something to hide … now I know why:

The majority of companies have invested in casting machines, but very few have invested in cutting and deburring technology!!

The finishing department is made up of a team of operators who improvise!!!


I’m pretty sure that this also applies to you; but it’s not your fault.

This was fine in the past; you didn’t need to invest in cutting and deburring machines.

Today things are different; today, if you don’t invest, you will find yourself facing an array of problems. You’re throwing away profits that could help your company grow.


Your competition is already doing better than you, and competitors can take work away from you whenever they want.

Below is a list of the problems in your company that are stealing money from your wallet.

It’s not too late; in order to improve and keep up with the market, it’s enough to recognise and admit these problems.


The problems caused by manual cutting and deburring are:
1-
Bottleneck at the end of the process
2-
Non-compliant products
3-
Uncertain production capacity
4-Uncertain delivery times
5-
Unable to increase deliveries
6-
Unable to certify the process

1-
Bottleneck at the end of the process

I often hear:

“The important thing is to melt the metals, the rest just follows. THE REST isn’t important”

True.

First the metals have to be melted…but it’s not enough.

It’s kind of like a Ferrari. The most important thing is that the car has a great engine; but it is not a Ferrari if it doesn’t have a spectacular body, a perfect interior and sports suspension.

Would you buy a Fiat Punto with a Ferrari engine?

This also applies to a foundry.


Your end customer does not understand anything about the casting process,
they are not aware of the difficulties involved in making the mold, temperature control or lubrication.

Your customer opens the box of items that you have delivered and what do they immediately see?????

They see if they have been well cut and well deburred.

My grandfather used to say: “Clothes don’t make the man.”
But I’m not so sure.


I’ve seen well-known companies casting items with very questionable methods, but they cut and deburr them perfectly…and the customer doesn’t complain.


By this I don’t mean you should neglect the casting process.

I’m just saying that finishing is just as important.


2-
Non-compliant products


The presence of burrs on a piece makes it just as much of a non-compliant product as one that is deformed or shows porosity.
Tell me how you can think that an operator is 99% reliable.
If you work with the Automotive industry, you should be able to discard just 3 parts per one million parts delivered.

You wouldn’t be able to achieve this result even if I you were to do the job personally.

Automating the process is mandatory.

If you want to cast the items, you have to buy a press; if you want to cut and deburr them, you have to buy a cutting and deburring machine. There are no shortcuts anymore.


If you don’t want to invest, or can’t, then you will go out of business.



I know it’s brutal, but I want to be honest with you:
It won’t be long before someone steals your customers. 


3-
Uncertain production capacity


When you produce items with a press, the time needed is always consistent. When you have to deburr manually… the deburring time depends.

It depends on many factors.


In some companies it depends on the Champions League: watching the Champions League on Wednesday evenings is sacred, and on Thursday morning your operators are either half asleep or don’t even come to work.


In other companies it depends on Ramadan: for 40 days the department is full of zombies. They drag their feet while impeding your production capacity.

These are just two examples…but I could give you thousands more.

If your production capacity depends on people so much, how can you plan? How is it possible for your customer to be satisfied?

4- Uncertain delivery times


If your process ends with a manual operation, there is a high possibility that mistakes will be made, and it is therefore impossible to calculate production times.

One afternoon, I sat in a corner while a company tested one of our machines.


My machine was operating and I had plenty of time to analyse what was happening around the machine where the items were still being manually deburred.

A number of work benches with various people at work.


There were many operations to be carried out on the items; they worked in pairs and were passing the items to each other. When they had finished they carried out a quality control.


The first person took the product from the container and started deburring. The second person continued deburring.
The item was then put back in a container and passed to another pair of operators. Finally, a fifth person controlled the result. If the product did not comply, he marked it and put it in a container to be repaired by a sixth operator.


It was a complete disaster!!!


In the first two hours they produced two containers of compliant items; in the next two hours they produced just one container.

If this is the situation, how on earth can you tell your customer when you will be able to deliver?
You have to tell him that you don’t know … that you’ll do your best.
But actually you’re at the mercy of your operators, who don’t understand these problems at all.



5-
Unable to increase deliveries


This is something that only very few people take into consideration, but it is really crucial. Those who have understood have started to make a lot of money.


If you have a machine you know exactly how long it takes to produce an item.
If you have trained your operators you also know how to reduce the cycle time.


Do you want to increase your productivity?


All you have to do is optimise the cycle and increase the hours of production.
There’s no need for skilled labour to operate it, not even at night. You just need a trained person to load the items and do what the machine tells them to.

If you’re a shrewd entrepreneur, you can dramatically increase your profits. One machine can do the work of 10 people. How much do 10 people cost you? How many problems arise from employing 10 people?

6- Unable to certify the process


This is something that is convincing many companies to automate their cutting and deburring process.

Companies that purchase a product from you want you to certify the process. They want you to explain how you guarantee that all the items you deliver will comply. It’s not enough that you guarantee it with a piece of paper or your word; IT’S NO LONGER ENOUGH.

They want to know everything and if you are not willing, they will find another supplier.

Now you’ve spent millions of euros on presses, warehouses, various machines … but you have not invested anything in cutting and deburring.

It’s not just your fault.

But you have to act now so as not to regret not having done so before.

What do I suggest?

Install automatic machines that replace the operator.

My team and I have developed truly innovative and reliable solutions for every type of company.

Over the years I have worked with many companies.

Together we have improved the way they work. I helped them grow by supplying them with cutting and deburring machines.

Contact me now and find out how you can change your company and stay ahead of your competitors.

piercarlo@castingautomation.com

Piercarlo Bonomi
The Main Expert in Robotic Cutting and Deburring Machines

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