Tag : machine shop

Energy efficiency as car speedometer. 3d illustration

Energy Efficiency – The Key to Success in Manufacturing

In today’s world there is a great deal of focus on sustainability and energy efficiency.  It seems everything, from cars to buildings, is measured by its carbon footprint, or environmental impact.  Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, have strict energy regulations in place for manufacturing industries and for machine shops.  The United States currently does not have any formal regulations regarding energy usage, but that should not stop the CNC machinist from doing everything in his or her power to limit energy consumption in their machine shop.

Limiting the amount of energy used within the machine shop has several benefits.  Of course, limited energy expenditure is more environmentally friendly, reducing the amount of electricity pulled from the power grid.  Reducing energy also has a trickle down benefit to the machine shop owner, OEMs, clients, and customers alike.  Less energy usage can reduce the amount of money spent on electricity, replacement parts and tools, and waste material.  Saving money in the manufacturing process is the key to success by allowing the shop to create an environmentally conscious product for less money.

Mindful Process Changes

One way a CNC machine shop is able to become more energy efficient is by making mindful and impactful process changes.  There has been a great deal of research conducted regarding the amount of energy consumed within the manufacturing process.  By making strategic and thoughtful decisions related to the process of creating components, it is possible to create a more energy efficient process.

Cycle Time

Selecting tools that can both increase a faster feed rate, while reducing feed time, is an excellent way to impact the cycle time between completed components.  In one study, simply selecting the right tool for the job made all the difference.  Consider the advantage to using multi-fluted tools.  This is a great way to deliver instant energy savings over the course of the manufacturing process.  The higher amount of flutes allows for a shorter cycle time, creating more parts per minute.

There is some trade off though, so the CNC machinist must be strategic in their selection.  More flutes, and thus more components, is not always better.  In some cases, while more flutes can certainly increase production, wear on the component can become a challenge.  Multi-fluted tools, or specialty tools, can be expensive to replace.  Further, more fluting can often result in irregular wear patterns which means the tool has an overall shorter lifespan.  Understanding the broader reaching purpose for the job, and selecting the right tool, will ultimately find a happy medium.  The key to cycle time energy efficiency is being able to balance the cycle time increases with the life expectancy of the tool.

Coolant Process

Another area machine shops are able to find energy saving changes is within the coolant process.  Often, coolant delivered to the tools via through-tool delivery help to prolong the life of the tool.  This method can increase how long a tool can be used, thus saving money and resources on replacement parts.  Further, using through-tool coolant can make the wear on the various tool components more uniform.  If the wear is uniform, it helps the CNC machinist predict the wear pattern, thus increasing the usability of the tool.

Further, there are methods to use coolant recycling systems.  These systems can easily be connected to the machine plant cell.  They work by combining a combination of recycled coolant with new coolant.  Studies have shown that by mixing recycled and new coolant there are no noticeable differences in performance.  Not only does this recycling method help to reduce coolant costs, but it has also shown to cut water usage by upwards of 10%.

Software Programming

Using various available software programs to better aid in the manufacturing process, particularly for custom machined parts,  helps to save energy.  Specialized programing is available to help create a custom tool path.  This allows the user to maintain uniform stress on the tool, keeping constant and even pressure, to create a curving, circular path.   Using this continuous, smooth motion allows the machinist to create the component with faster cutting speeds, without risk of tool damage with sudden, sharp turns, thus reducing energy costs.

Another software element indispensable in precision manufacturing is specialized programming that allows the tool to cut with uniform force.  Having a steady cutting force results in energy reduction without varying forces and additional electric input to adjust for changing pressures.

Machine Tool Selections

Aside from making logical and strategic processing decisions, the tools within the machine shop itself can be energy efficient.  There are several tools designed for energy efficiency, especially with the eco-friendly mindset of several companies and customers alike.

Limit Base Load

There are many energy-sapping functions within a tool that can go unnoticed, aside from the immediate energy load required to operate the tool during active phases.  Many auxiliary parts continue to run, even while the tool is in between phases.  The tool’s base load still consumes energy even while the tool is resting.  Luckily, there are many new tools that can be switched off during these non-productive phases which can help save on energy costs.

Tool Selection

Addressed earlier while mentioning the practice of selecting the right tool to increase cycle times, tool selection can also impact the amount of energy consumed.  Of the many components, a spindle can greatly impact the tool’s efficiency.  If the spindle drive is run too slowly, below it’s intended operating speed, it can eat up a tremendous amount of unnecessary energy.  Further, throttling the tool to reduce the speed only increases the time it takes to manufacture a component.  Increased manufacture time leads to an increased use of electricity.  It is recommended that spindle motor efficiency is considered for the component in question.  Sometimes energy efficiency can be improved by using synchronous motors as opposed to asynchronous motors.

Regenerative Supply Usage

Lastly, tools are now made in precision manufacturing that have a regenerative energy supply.  Traditionally, fast moving tools require an internal braking system to slow down the acceleration.  In a non-regenerative system the power used to brake the tool is converted to heat, from friction, which is then lost in the overall process.  Regenerative tools are now available that redirect that lost energy into useable kinetic energy, sent right back to the power grid.

This regenerative supply can help save energy in several ways.  Not only can regenerative power help maintain consistent power to the tool, foregoing the momentary power loss sometimes exhibited when the tool starts and stops, but it can also help in processes that require multiple tool changes.  In systems that require one, or multiple tool changes within 100 seconds regenerative power supplies are able to keep constant energy to the system.  In a non-regenerative tool, the power it takes to restart the machine after a tool change spikes, drawing an excess amount of power from the grid.  This can be avoided with a regenerative tooling system.

Just because the United States has not fully regulated energy consumption by machine shops nationwide, does not mean manufacturers are not interested in the valuable savings associated with energy efficiency.  Conserving energy is a key factor for an original equipment manufacturer in the Denver manufacturing market.  Between prolonging the life expectancy of tools, saving money on energy costs, and making environmentally friendly choices it is clear that energy efficiency is the path for a successful manufacturing process.

Check out another article on renewable energy in Manufacturing.

CNC machine at work

Challenges Manufacturers will face and how to overcome them in 2019

Manufacturers are constantly faced with a variety of challenges and staying competitive and profitable requires the ability to identify issues and enact effective resolutions that can adequately provide a remedy. One of the biggest challenges manufacturers will face in 2019 is creating new markets for custom manufacturing. Perhaps a company can identify a need for a particular product for an emerging market, but creating the avenue to successfully engage that need and fulfill the gap poses a definite challenge.

Identifying Emerging Market Potential

The ability to identify an emerging market and firmly secure a place for custom and precision manufacturing companies within that market is one of the keys to promoting growth and remaining competitive in an ever-changing business landscape. Each year, there are new products and services being developed in mass for the consumer marketplace. If a manufacturer can get a lead on identifying the next big market in which they can provide custom or precision manufacturing, they will have an advantage over the other competitors.

The most effective way to identify these new emerging markets is through research. Part of that research may also involve engagement with a variety of potential consumers across several demographics to establish viability. Having highly trained and insightful staff who can accurately gauge the interest in a particular emerging market and focusing in on specific details that involve providing necessary manufacturing processes will allow companies to partner with new and exciting businesses.

Show How Custom Manufacturing Can Replace Traditional Methods

An effective way to secure the confidence of new clients in emerging markets is to show them how manufacturers can improve on a product and make it more appealing and of a higher quality. Replacing traditional manufacturing that can’t offer the same benefits will allow those products to be more well rounded and versatile. Adding better, high quality 1 features and making more versatile products will benefit all parties. Here are some key points to address and focus in on when presenting an argument for selecting customer or precision manufacturing for new emerging markets.

  •  Value

One of the most important topics related to manufacturing is value. Manufacturers should focus on proving their clients with value they can’t find elsewhere. The argument for value can be presented by highlighting the benefits of using specially created custom parts that add to the function, durability, and quality of a consumer good.

  • Originality

The best way for a product to stand out from the crowd is by having the originality factor. Businesses which feature products that are unique in design and provide specific features that other products in a competing market can’t offer will allow them to create a niche for themselves and provide an extra foothold. Manufacturers can also present their argument for providing originality showing examples of custom machinery that they can provide to produce unique features for a product that make a company and their offerings unique within the market.

  •  Quality

Quality is always a factor when consumers make a purchase regardless of the specific product or market. When working to create a new market for precision and custom manufacturing, highlighting the quality factor they can provide is essential to partnering with new companies within an emerging  market. Pinpoint exactly how the manufacturer can provide a high level of quality that sets their brand apart and makes it an attractive option to consumers.

Utilize Tax Credits For Research Funding

As mentioned previously, one of the keys to creating new markets for custom and precision manufacturers is through research. These companies can actually receive tax credits by using R & D tax incentives. They were enacted in 1981, and were designed to assist companies that are producing new products or even improving on an older variety of product. Harnessing these tax credits will allocate additional funding for research and development to help create and establish new markets for the manufacturing companies. The following are examples of how these tax credits can be utilized for manufacturers to create new markets.

  • Research conducted at institutions such as colleges or other research organizations.
  • Expenses related to employees who play an integral part of the companies research and development.
  • Third parties who are hired to conduct research and research related tasks on behalf of a manufacturer.
  • Tangible supplies that are used to conduct research and development. This tax credit covers property and land improvements related to these processes as well.

In order for a company to qualify for this tax credit, it must fall within the guidelines presented by the IRC section 41, which defines the protocol. Essentially, these guidelines are used to demonstrate how a manufacturer is creating new or improved products. This tax credit can also apply to new software, inventions, or techniques that can be used within the consumer market. In the case of software, there are additional qualifying criteria which must be met to qualify. These tax credits can prove to be especially beneficial for research and development of a CNC Company and American manufacturing companies. These credits can dramatically reduce the cost of staying on top of development of new machinery and equipment necessary for working within new markets.

Companies producing machinery and precision manufacturing equipment must constantly evolve to remain a competitive entity within their market. This entails the use of a combination of research, development, technology, and creative marketing skills. Creating new markets to work within may be one of the toughest challenges these companies face in 2019, but with some insight and a solid strategy to appeal to those key individuals working to establish emerging markets, they can rise to the occasion and provide quality products and machinery these new companies need to provide products consumers want to purchase. For more information, visit the Tag Team Manufacturing website and browse the blog. Tag team is a CNC company and American manufacturing partner dedicated to providing clients with the parts they need for their businesses.

Continuous Improvement Always Get Better Speedometer 3d Illustration

Improving your Machine Shop

A machine shop can be compared to the parts that are manufactured on a daily basis, with many moving parts, all of which needs to work together in synchronized processes to achieve the maximum efficiency in a machine shop. It’s a delicate balance to keep the machines running at tiptop condition and all the employees working efficiently as well.

 

Keeping Your Processes Updated

 

Machine shops of all kinds need to be aware of current trends and standards in their industry to increase your efficiency in the CNC machine shop. The Industrial Internet of Things or IIoT is a relatively new process to help revolutionized the way that we look at different prototype designs. It also monitors the specific customer feedback to newer products and with the rise in mobile connectivity; it leads to more networking possibilities. It also has a high level of connectedness between all of the equipment and machines on the shop floor.

 

Employee Education

 

All employees in a machine shop should be properly educated on the OSHA requirements that need to be followed in order to reduce employee injuries that lead to downtime. The employees should be aware of the workplace hazards for their particular part in the machining industry process and how to operate all machines safely in the manufacturing shop that they use on a daily basis.

 

Quality Control

 

The last step in most manufacturing processes include quality control checks to make certain that all parts in a product are the correct size and items such as pumps operate correctly. If your employees are trained correctly to do their jobs, there will be little errors in the final product. However, if one employee makes a mistake more than once, you can have them re-trained so this doesn’t keep happening. Making another component or part to replace a defective one costs your machine shop extra materials, time and labor and can be very costly. On the other hand, the QC inspector may actually notice that a setting on the CNC machine needs attention by finding inaccuracies in the products made.

Examining the Workflow

 

The process of examining the workflow in your local machine shops can lead you to realize that it is not running as efficiently as it could be. You may be able to improve your daily operations significantly after an inspection by analyzing your shop processes. Lean manufacturing processes are the route that the product travels through a machine shop in the manufacturing stages. For example, if parts are produced in a CNC Machine Shop and the process starts at the front of the shop, then the part moves to the back of the shop for the next phase in the process, then time is being wasted by the two workstations not being next to each other in the shop. It may not seem like a lot of time to walk several hundred feet from one area to another–but it all adds to the inefficiency of the entire workload in your shop. The best idea is to figure the route that is most commonly used for the majority of materials you produce in Local Machine Shops and place the machines accordingly.

 

Collaborate with Full-Time Employees

 

It’s a great idea to talk to your employees with the most tenure that are full-time employees. These people will have the best ideas to help you to decide about any changes that need to be made in your local machine shops. Most employees will just do their job and not create waves, but if you ask them for their opinion, you may find a goldmine of information to draw on and increase proficiency by leaps and bounds. This strategy also strengthens your bond with employees and encourages input from teammates in the future that will help the machine shop.

 

Keep Realistic Deadlines

 

When bidding on a job, make the deadlines for the products realistic. Employees don’t want to work so many hours that they have no family time to themselves and even if they are paid well for the overtime, they will eventually tire out from extra long hours on a daily basis, which leads to more workplace accidents. Planning the deadlines correctly will give you a bit of leeway in the deadline to account for machine downtime and employee sickness if they should arise.

 

Upgrade Machining Tools

 

For Quality Manufacturing you can upgrade your machining tools to take advantage of the newer processes of additive manufacturing and 3D printing to reduce the costs and time of having to do custom tooling by hand. These types of tools will cost you in the beginning, but your largest budget is usually the tooling needs and in the future when the tools are paid off, it will pay for itself in the lower amounts that you pay employees for labor and the time saved.

 

Routine Maintenance

 

Routine maintenance, preventative maintenance or PM, helps keep all of your equipment in functioning order in your Manufacturing Shop. It’s best to have all machines examined at the beginning of the workday to see if they are operating correctly and have employees fill out check lists. It’s much less expensive to have specific intervals for routine maintenance than to have a major setback when a machine goes down. Downtime is not only expensive because you need parts and labor right away, but the parts may not be available for a few days, which will delay you reaching your deadlines and it could cost you future jobs from a customer.

 

Machine Downtime is Your Enemy

 

Machine downtime is the leading cause of inefficiency in any machine shop. You can make some decisions if you keep good records on all the machines and tooling devices in your shop. Make a record of machine downtime on each machine and find the cause of it. Keep records on how many machines are down and for how long. If one goes down often and it has the scheduled maintenance that it requires to be up and running, you may think about a replacement instead. You can assign team members from a different area to do the inspections as they may notice something that isn’t right on a machine that took a long time to surface, whereas the member that uses the machine daily may not notice because the inefficiency occurred over quite a bit of time. Also, make note of the corrections that were made and if they were efficient or need to be changed.

 

Following these ideas can help your machine shop to operate efficiently by timely operations and lower labor costs, extend the life of your machining tools and help to keep great team members on board with you.

5S. Kaizen management methodology. Workplace organization method that uses a list of five words.

Enhancing Workplace Safety with 5S

5S is lean Six Sigma approach designed to reduce waste and maximize productivity by keeping an orderly workplace and achieving consistent results that can be checked via visual cues. Implementation organizes the workplace within its existing framework, and this is the first step toward a lean Six Sigma effort. However, in an advanced manufacturing environment, there are many benefits to adopting these practices outside the formal Six Sigma system.

Benefits of 5S in an Advanced Manufacturing Environment

Developing consistency and organization leads to a conscientious attitude and a safer, more efficient workplace. Conversely, when defects and waste aren’t measured and controlled, costs begin to pile up. Here are some examples:

  • Output falls short due to variations between crews.
  • Utilization is reduced due to longer-than-expected product changeovers.
  • Missing parts make it necessary to rush in a new one

Companies try to guide improvements via Six Sigma, Lean, or Total Productive Maintenance programs. However, studies show that up to two-thirds of such efforts fall below the expectations of stakeholders. Learning these methods is easy, but putting into action is not due to the following:

  • Process improvements decline.
  • Continuous improvement isn’t realized or prioritized.
  • The initiative isn’t global enough.

5S is One Solution

Companies like Danaher and Toyota went through the 5S program to develop positive cultures. 5S engages people to contribute to a visually-oriented organization, where cleanliness facilitates increased safety, productivity, and quality.

5S forms the foundation for more disciplined actions. Workers who put their tools back in place are more likely to follow production standards. Its visual nature makes it easy to spot items that are out of place. It lays the way for continuous improvement and provides:

  • Cleaner, safer work areas with fewer tripping hazards
  • Less wasted time searching for tools and materials that are more accessible
  • Unneeded items are eliminated so that less floor space is required
  • Improved self-discipline fostered by the visual nature of 5S, which makes abnormal conditions stand out
  • Improved culture due to 5S-motivated teamwork and motivation

What are the 5S’s?

The components of 5S are sorting, simplifying, systemic cleaning, standardizing and sustaining.

  • Sorting activities eliminate unnecessary items from work areas in order to clean it.
  • Simplifying arranges the work area for safety and efficiency.
  • Systematic daily inspection of facility and equipment helps determine if corrective action is needed.
  • Standardizing makes abnormal conditions stand out so that the workplace organization is sustainable.
  • Sustaining aims to keep current improvements to allow further progress to be made.

Implementing 5S

5S is not a housekeeping activity. Instead, 5S has to be a team effort and everyone should be able to tell instantly what’s out of place. With organization forming the crux of 5S, it’s vital to start with getting rid of unneeded items.

Sorting

During this phase, employees can sort and clear their work areas. This can take weeks in each department as everyone works to establish criteria for what to throw out. Much like cleaning your closet, anything not used for a year can be removed or put in a holding area. Disposing of uneeded items may mean transferring them elsewhere in the company, selling or discarding them. Then, the employee can conduct an initial cleaning.

Simplifying

Simplying gives everything a home and places each item in order of efficiency. Frequently-used items, for example, have to be close to where they’re used as possible. To accomplish this task:

  • Pick a spot for each item arranged in order of frequency of use and take safety precautions into account.
  • Label items so that there’s a home for everything.
  • Create a process to replenish supplies.
  • Document the equipment, layout and plan to replace supplies.

Systematic Cleaning

Systematic cleaning creates a document that enables inspection of the area. Everything should be swept, mopped and dusted and kept neat and clean with rags or brooms. Daily cleaning and inspections should be easy. Inspections include:

  • Identify points to check.
  • Define acceptable condition.
  • Mark equipment that has visual indicators such as gauges.
  • Conduct cleaning and visual check parameters.

Standardizing

Standardizing ensures that all workers understand the expectations.It is the workplace team that establishes the set of standards they will follow. It’s crucial that everyone has some involvement. Here are the steps to standardize the 5S processes.

  • Establish a checklist for the work area. The checklist should show everything the team checks during self-audits.
  • A multi-level audit system helps to make sure that the organization fulfills the overarching 5S goal of sustaining the work areas so that the system can evolve to more stringent controls and process improvements.
  • Establish and document a single source of truth as to the 5S processes for the company
  • Add new standards to the master document.

Sustaining

Sustaining is considered the hardest “S.” However, it shouldn’t be if you let the 5S system work for your advanced manufacturing company. At this point, you should have engaged everyone in the work area during 5S activities and have a “tell at a glance” visual workplace. If this is so, then sustaining is much easier. That is important, but not sufficient. A more systematic way to prevent backsliding and to foster continuous improvement is needed. The steps of sustaining are:

  • Define the 5S overall grade.
  • Perform routine 5S checks via the 5S checklist.
  • Address new opportunities that are uncovered during routine checks.
  • Conduct scheduled, routine checks by supervisors or someone not directly from the work area in the machine shop that is being inspected.

Perform higher-level audits to evaluate how well the 5S system is working overall. For example, are there systemic issues with sustaining 5S? Often, the company’s safety committee is an excellent body for conducting these audits.

When you develop sustaining activities everything that follows becomes part of the 5S process and future refinements. When items are returned to their place, the entire operation is smoother. When something is out of place its cause is probably that the organization needs to be tweaked so that it’s convenient. The work team should be the ones who safeguard the sustainability of 5S and improve morale, safety, and productivity.

CNC machines at the plant for the production of valves. Factory workspace

10 Amazing Benefits of One-Stop Machine Shop Employment

Have you ever thought about pursuing a career in manufacturing? Whether you realize it or not, there are lots of hidden benefits for working in a CNC Shop. Like buried treasure in a forgotten hill, machinists and manufacturers have lots of career perks that most people overlook. Let’s review the Top Ten benefits of working at a machine shop that can do just about anything!

1. An Easy Educational Foundation

Many jobs in the medical, educational, and legal industries require at the minimum a bachelor’s degree, but you only need a degree from a technical college as a foundation for a great machining career. From there, you can enroll in a state sponsored apprenticeship at a machine shop. This combined time is about the same as getting a master’s degree, but it’s a lot more affordable and you’ll already be working by the time you become a journeyman and the apprenticeship ends.

2. Creative Problem Solving

Machines are anything but boring! Smart career machinists look at manufacturing problems that pop up as career opportunities. If you love to tinker with parts and find new creative ways to engineer things and solve intricate problems, a machine shop career is the perfect fit. You just might solve a production issue that other machinists won’t have to encounter again in the history of manufacturing!

3. Lasting Relationships

One of the most important things about a manufacturing career is building lasting relationships with your customers and those who work in your environment. With this in mind, you’ll enjoy new opportunities that open for you if you carefully cultivate these relationships.

4. Opportunities with Innovation

What an exciting time to be in the manufacturing industry! Each year, new technologies are implemented in manufacturing plants that produce more products faster and make workers safer. From tool and die to robotics, young career mechanics and machinists have awesome things to look forward to at a precision machine shop as products in many industries are becoming more automated for the Internet of Things, a not-so-distant future where many common household items like cars, appliances, and even clothing will be connected to the internet. And as a machinist, you know what that means – more things to fix!

At Tag Team, automation is coming alive through the CMM and Smartscope.

Meanwhile, Tag Team Manufacturing has innovation right inside the CNC Shop. The Smartscope and the Coordinate Measuring Machine offers remarkable precision and ensures quality for checking thousands of parts in a single day. This helps ensure that the high demands of delivery schedules are met for each client we work with. These innovations and more are what make the manufacturing industry all the more exciting!

5. A Steady Income

Dedicated machinists who have completed their apprenticeships and become nationally certified enjoy good and dependable wages. Depending on where they work, they may also have good health insurance and vacation time benefits too. These factors help secure a steady income and a good retirement down the road. For more information about Tag Team Manufacturing’s competitive benefits package, contact our CNC Shop for more information.

6. Consistent Work

Thanks to an increasing interest in American made products, demand for skilled manufacturing has gone up, and that’s not diminishing anytime soon. In fact, manufacturing companies are seeking to fill more job openings now than ever before. In some cases there are more spots to fill up than they can keep up with! That’s good news for the career machinist. Work certainly won’t run out for a very long time.

7. An Active Lifestyle

Can’t stand the thought of being chained to a desk job? Do you like to get your ‘hands dirty?’ Manufacturing just might be your thing. Work life on the plant floor and job sites connected to manufacturing is as different from an office like night is to day. It can be very physical and hands-on. You’re very much a part of the action, so to speak. There’s a lot of strategy and critical thinking involved. And machine grease. Lots and lots of machine grease.

8. Made in America – by You!

Whether it be a old school metal machine shop or a modern CNC shop, there’s something wonderful that happens inside the first time you make something all on your own with your hands. A spark ignites, and you feel satisfied that you made it. Right here in America. And your customer will use it to suit their purposes. No matter how long you’re in the business, that feeling never gets old. That alone is a great reason to start a manufacturing career!

9. Making a Difference

It’s one thing to do a job well, but it’s completely another matter when it’s a job that makes a difference in society. A one-stop metal machine shop can make parts for many industries, from hospital cardiac devices to aerospace plane parts to decorative ironwork that makes a homeowner feel good about where they live. A machinist’s valuable skills can do a lot of good in American society, in many ways. And that’s what makes this industry a rewarding experience.

10. Work with a ‘Smart Robot!’

Who says you can’t have fun with manufacturing? Meet Sawyer, the Smart Robot at Tag Team Manufacturing. With his state of the art technology, Sawyer directly communicates with the machine at the CNC shop to perform multiple tasks at metal fabrication, procedure testing, box assembly, and more with his robotic arm. With Sawyer’s help, Tag Team Manufacturing has multiplied annual productivity and workers are safer. Plus, it’s just plain fascinating to watch Sawyer work on his own!

As mentioned before, now is a great time to begin a rewarding career in manufacturing! Did you know that Tag Team Manufacturing is hiring? Check out our positions here to see if we’re a good fit together. You can also contact us directly. We’d love to get in touch with you!

If you’re a potential client interested in Tag Team’s manufacturing services, you can find out more of what we do here. Thanks for visiting! We look forward to meeting you soon.

OEM concept blurred background 3d render illustration

Benefits of Working with an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)

Original equipment manufacturers (OEM) parts make a difference and that variation is amplified in precision machining. The benefits of OEM parts are important and will make a difference in any industry, some are just more pronounced than others. To make this case obvious, we should begin by looking at the difference OEM parts make in general.

The OEM Difference

From quality, fit, and time, there are many benefits to working with an OEM, regardless of what industry you work in. The difference is evident right from the start, from the moment you order your first part…

The Right Parts Faster

When ordering from an OEM, the time it takes to find a part is generally quicker because so many other variables have been eliminated and part identification is that much easier for the clerk. This also means it takes less time for the warehouse or stockroom to locate and pull the part. On the shipping end, an OEM will generally always be able to have the part packaged, labeled and shipped faster than a broker or distributor. That is in large part due to the aforementioned factors and the elimination of needing to order a part from a supplier because the OEM is the supplier. 

The Right Fit

Nobody should knock the concept or use of “universal” parts, they can and do serve a very important purpose in many different sectors. It isn’t that universal parts don’t work, they do. The question is, do they work best? This isn’t an issue of aesthetics and function. This is a matter of performance, efficiency, durability, and money. The right parts are the parts that were made to fit, specifically designed for a machine, motor, component or part. We don’t have to look far to find out why OEM parts are the best option, the reason is quality. OEM manufacturing affords customers parts that perform better because of the advantages of having the original part design. That performance is often recognized in efficiency as the right parts promote the best possible operation of the tool or machine the part is for and the better the part works the more durable it will be. This all eventually results in savings, from lower production costs to increased profitability because of parts that help motors and systems run precisely as they were designed and built to.

OEM Quality

Original equipment manufacturers are putting their name on every part. They work directly with their customers and they have the original design, plan, and blueprint for their parts. All of that adds up to simply being able to produce the highest quality parts possible and more than a few reasons to do so. OEMs depend on keeping their customers satisfied and their parts working properly because that is their business and the business relationship depends on being able to deliver. The robotics, medical, electrical and aerospace industries are just a few of the fields that rely on quality parts that do more than work but work exactly how they were designed to work. That is the quality difference and this is where quality and precision machining go hand in hand.

OEM in Precision Machining

The best technology and software, the most advanced CNC, Lathe or machining tools and even the highest quality materials aren’t enough to deliver the finest in precision machining. It doesn’t matter how smart your system is or if you are working with plastic, stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum or brass. Getting the best results won’t happen without the most talented machinists who know how to utilize today’s technology. It is this mix of talent, that kind of technology and the best machining equipment that set OEM parts apart.

The Little Things Matter

It could be the precision used in billiards, the precision required in the medical arena or demanded of space exploration, the little things in precision machining matter. Reaching out to an OEM will mean getting that kind of precision for your parts, the parts that make you tools accurate, your motors run perfectly or that enhance your efficiency and production. A little part on an assembly line can stop everything. Small parts in a motor that aren’t perfectly calibrated will reduce efficiency and increase cost by creating wear or causing the engine to work harder than it should. Businesses and organizations everywhere and from every industry rely on parts to fix, replace, upgrade or improve their tools, their motors, their operations and in the end, their business. It’s the little things.

From ball racks to perfectly measured calipers, small factors like calibration and tolerance range measurements determine if a part works and how well it works. Working with an original equipment manufacturer helps companies to not only get parts that work but parts that work properly and well. When companies can operate, run and work at optimal levels, how big do those little things become?

The OEM Advantage for Tomorrow

Keeping your business and your operations running smoothly today also means being prepared for tomorrow and the future. With upgrades to equipment and tools and the need for companies to continually upgrade and keep up with competition, the benefits of working with an OEM go far beyond the here and now. An OEM will always have an advantage when changes or improvements are made or needed to existing parts because they have the original plans, molds, designs, and measurement. This simply results in being able to more accurately adjust or update parts to meet whatever changes are needed. This benefits those who are using OEMs by getting faster updates to parts, by having more accurate adjustments or changes made and by receiving those parts sooner.

People choose to work with an OEM because of their quality, expertise and the relationship they forge. Having a partner who understands what your business does, what it needs, and with the tools to help is an advantage of working with an original equipment manufacturer – not just today but for the future too. There is a place for aftermarket parts but the front of the pack is reserved for OEM parts. 

Where is your company at in the race and how can the OEM difference make a difference for you?

Industrial man clicks a button trends with gear surrounded by specific icons. Modern Industry 4.0 Tendency Development. Manufacturing Trending.

Manufacturing Trends for 2019

Denver Manufacturing has seen a number of different technological upgrades for the past few years, and the industry has no other choice but to upgrade with the times. This year, there are some manufacturing trends that the industry should pay attention to.

Blockchain Technology

Not a lot of people had heard of blockchain outside of the cryptocurrency sphere until recently, and now blockchain is changing the manufacturing world. Blockchain technology helps distribute information to thousands of different computers in order to reduce the threat of hacking one central point of entry. Blockchain will have an effect on financial operations by adding additional security and boosting speed, and it will be a cost effective solution for transactions. Blockchain technology will also play a role in areas of transaction reporting, tracking, and management. Fully secure product tracking can also benefit from blockchain technology.

More Diversity

Last year many different industries experienced conversations about diversity, and the manufacturing industry is no expectation. An organization is likely to perform better if the workforce is more diverse. Businesses that are forward thinking should be implementing more rigorous and impactful programs to help accelerate the diversification of the workplace.

IoT Expansion

2018 was already a big year for IoT expansion and 2019 is expected to be the same. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network that connects many devices, from cars to home appliances. The idea behind this technology is to automate information and data transfers between different programs and devices without having to use human-to-human interaction, or even human-to-computer interaction. With the boost of 5G connectivity and other advances in sensor technology, the industry is expected to see a lot more IoT devices than ever before, which will drive an industrial revolution. The manufacturing industry benefits from IoT because it can help you with the ability to automatically track and log. Transferring data this way saves money and time and you don’t have to manually track all that information. While this may not be such a big deal for small businesses, as IoT becomes more widely used it means companies that are using older technology may need to adjust. If companies cannot adapt, business partners will switch to partners that move faster and have a better eye for innovation. Another benefit of IoT for the manufacturing industry is better responsiveness and efficiency. A machine could respond to problems faster and provides instant and timely solutions. This allows for bad products to not be produced in the first place.

5G Rollout

The groundwork has been laid for 5G for a bit now, and in 2019 the rollout should really pick up. 5G will help improve download speeds, reduce latency issues, and enhance the ability to control a variety of devices remotely. 5G rollout also helps improve IoT and will be a game changer that gives real time control and insight to companies, in order to make more impactful decisions.

Augmented Reality

Many people have seen augmented reality but may not have realized this is what it was. It’s the act of imposing digitally created images into real life objects within a device, such as a camera, computer, tablet, or cell phone. This may seem like it is not going to help manufacturers, but it does. Even though robots do their own work, they can’t yet fix themselves. By using software in a phone or tablet, workers can use video footage in real time and let the software fix the problem. This works if the software is on the outside of the machine. Another way augmented reality can be used in the industry is with training. Many people know that manufacturing jobs can be dangerous. If a worker isn’t sure of what they are doing, he or she can injure themselves and others. With training sessions using augmented reality, employees can get the knowledge they need to know without even stepping foot on the floor of the factory and risk hurting themselves. All they have to do is use a headset, look on a screen and enter a manufacturing simulator. Some other applications for augmented reality that aren’t as known are for inventory management. Programs can show workers where materials and parts are in the warehouse, as well as assist with product development. Augmented reality can allow you to create something before it even hits the line.

Customer Support with Many Channels

Manufacturing offers a lot of sales work and customer service, and it’s important that this part of the industry doesn’t get ignored. Omni channels means more channels and finding multiple ways to complete the same tasks. By using Omni channels, you can allow business partners and vendors to buy their own materials and parts and you don’t need to spend a lot of time with emails, calls, and other back and forth communication.

Robotics

2019 will see a greater use of robots. Robots are going to be more sophisticated and machines are going to be smarter, smaller, and more integrated with human tasks. There is a lot of concern about robots taking over jobs. According to one review, robots are expected to create some new jobs over the next few years due to artificial intelligence and automation. However, jobs could also be lost. As the industry continues to move toward robotics, the process is moving toward people working near the machines or even with the machine. Robots can be utilized in a number of different ways, such as discovering sources of raw material and inspecting equipment for safety, that make them valuable to have in the industry. Tag Team Manufacturing in Colorado invested in a Sawyer Robot to help with the long production work of small parts. Sawyer can run 24-7 with lights out capabilities and can be trained to do various tasks that are needed in the machine shop.

Analytics Software

With improvements in big data, analytics help businesses go from being reactive to proactive. Businesses can now get ahead and employ predictive analytics, in order to anticipate what is coming. By using predictive analytics, businesses can use a holistic approach to optimizing production assets across the entire lifecycle to improve operations. A machine shop shouldn’t just simply collect and store data, and manufacturers need to be able to identify the results they want to achieve and use the data to actually help them with their goals. An example can be an original equipment manufacturer wanting to improve the facility by reducing the amount of materials that are wasted during production. In order to do this, manufacturers need to collect production data and compare it with data from enterprise resource planning. Without a strategy, businesses will just collect data and keep it, and then not receive any benefit from their investment in analytics software.

3D Printing

3D printing is not anything new and has been around for a while, but it will continue to help manufacturing in the new year. 3D printing can help make manufacturing stronger, faster, better, and cheaper, and also help the industry benefit overall.

Industrial ecology business internet concept. Green energy eco industry manufacture technology

5 Things you need to know about Green Manufacturing

Over the years, human activity, in particular, manufacturing has had a devastating effect on the environment due to pollution. It has also drained the available natural resources through wastage and bad manufacturing practices. In the recent past, there has been a push for green manufacturing prices along with other green practices. Here are five things that you need to know about green manufacturing and how they apply in your custom machine shop or OEM manufacturing facility.

Green manufacturing comes in two ways

Green manufacturing can be defined in two major ways. First, the production of green products. These are products that do not degrade the environment. They may be fully functional equipment or parts thereof which ensure a clean and green environment. Second, it involves the use of renewable energy and manufacturing practices that do not pollute the environment.

Green products can be achieved in many ways. First, the selection of the materials used in the manufacture is critical to ensure that they are materials that do not contribute to environmental degradation. You can use recyclable or recycled materials in support to the recycling initiative. The plastic menace around the world and lead poisoning are some common manufacturing challenges that can be dealt by either of these two approaches.

The use of renewable energy sources helps avoid over-dependence on fossil fuels which are rapidly declining over the years. Renewable energy also brings down the cost of powering up the manufacturing facilities. Renewable energy sources include wind energy and solar power.

Reducing resource use

Different natural resources are dwindling as the years go by. Metal ores, oil, and water are some of the rapidly dwindling resources of importance to the manufacturing community. With the green manufacturing effort, there is an emphasis on the reduction of waste as a way to stem the draining of the resources. Wastage reduction involves streamlining manufacturing process to create efficiency so that every resource that gets into the production cycle is put into use.These resources include raw materials and energy

The second approach involves recycling the used and left-over materials for use in production. In the process of manufacturing, cut metal pieces can be remelted and made into parts. The manufacturing facility can also work with recycling institution to get quality metal for the production. You can have pure and high metal quality for your machine shop from the recycled parts.

Besides, there are lots of resources such as water that can be reused at the manufacturing facility to reduce water consumption. With water purification systems, grey water can serve many other areas of the facility. The water should be treated as it leaves the facility to get rid of heavy metals such as iron and lead before joining the public sewerage systems.

Dealing with emissions

Emissions have been the greatest threat to a clean and sustainable environment. The use of fossil fuels over the years have deeply damaged the ozone layer, led to global warming and lowered the quality of breathable air around the industrial quarters. There has been a drive to reduce the use of fossil fuels which in turn helps reduce the carbon footprint from manufacturing companies.

The reduction in emission is achieved in a number of ways. The first common way is the use of renewable energy sources. Sometimes it takes the redesign of the common systems to use the renewable sources of energy. The second methods involve the restructuring the production methods to cut out some process that increases the production of greenhouse gases. The rapid development of technologies such as CAD, prototype modeling technologies, and precision manufacturing has simplified most technical processes thereby lowering the amount of emissions that leave the manufacturing facility.

Work with communities to improve the livelihoods and environment

The corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a crucial component of green manufacturing. The manufacturing facilities operate among communities. These communities provide the facility with the workforce, energy, and materials for the manufacturing procedures. The manufacturing organizations are bound to give back to the communities around them in a number of ways as explained below.

They can take initiatives to conserve resources such as water by helping in the planting of trees and building of dams.They can assist members of the community to improve their lives by instituting community-based projects such as research and design facilities, taking part in the production of renewable energy or supporting the needy students to get education.

Taking responsibility for any environmental degradation that may have happened in the past, such as pollution of land and rivers and taking the first step in cleaning up the mess.CSR ensures that the facility is part of the community, and its presence in the community becomes an asset to thousands living near it. It is vital that businesses join forces with bodies working towards improving the lives of the residents and the environment around them.

Business process improvement

Also called cradle-to-cradle manufacturing, the ecological business process improvement involves design, production, and manufacturing with an eye on reducing wastage, pollution and enhancing effective resource use. The manufacturing process consists of a lot of components as explained below. The processes cannot be said to be truly green if each of the components is not green. Work with the CNC machinist to redesign the components of the manufacturing process with a view of making them green. The components include:

1. Sustainable manufacturing

This involves manufacturing that does not exceed the environment’s ability to transform the waste into resources and nutrients. This manufacturing philosophy aims to ensure that the manufacturing does not lay the environment around is desolate due to draining and waste dumping.

2. Green operations

Green operations seek to strike a balance between pollution reduction and financial performance of the organization. It looks at such initiatives such as eco-design, re-use of old and worn-out components, refurbishment and eco-packaging of products. These products reduce environmental pollution while still ensuring that the business stays afloat.

3. Green supply chain management

The whole supply chain should adopt green practices in the production, packaging and supplying of parts and finished products. Consider purchasing raw materials and your CNC machine components from an original equipment manufacturer and Denver manufacturing company that is eco-sustainable. In the same breath, the company can recover the products that have reached their end of life for recycling.

Green manufacturing has long-term benefits on your CNC manufacturing process and the community surrounding the facility. Select a green machine shop Denver for your part supplies in support for the green manufacturing initiative.

Engineer Showing Apprentice How To Measure CAD Drawings

Why Engineers Choose Tag Team Manufacturing

Experience and longevity have traditionally been hallmarks of successful businesses. The same is true of CNC machine shops. Tag Team Manufacturing has taken the qualities that have allowed us to be in business since 1987 and created the top CNC machine shop in Denver and the surrounding area. Great precision manufacturing shops continually search for the best ways to improve to ensure that we can meet the needs of our customers. Just like the Post Office wouldn’t use outdated technology to deliver mail, Tag Team Manufacturing doesn’t use the equivalent of horse-drawn wagons to manufacture parts and products for our customers.

What You Get

With Tag Team Manufacturing, you get over 30 years of experience and service in our community. We also give our customers over 30 years of continuously improving machines, so we can create the precision parts our customers need. Each year, we determine how we should invest and reinvest to make certain that we meet the needs of our customers as they require ever-more precision.

Our focus in precision manufacturing is to use our expensive equipment and our experienced team to give our customers the support they need to have the final product they want. Whether our customers need something made from aluminum, brass, copper, carbon steel, alloys, stainless steel plastic, our team will create just what you need. Over thirty years-experience also means we have great relationships with our vendors as they will help to ensure your final product is exactly what you want and need.

Our automation not only ensures precision, but it also allows us to use our labor more intelligently to create finished products faster and to maximize our cost efficiency. New technology has also added to our shop safety, made our products even more precise, and allowed us to complete work that would not have been possible in the past.

Sawyer

One of our best new helpers is Sawyer. Sawyer is a robot that takes up the same amount of space as a drill press, but with more accuracy and with less human input and manipulation required. Sawyer is an amazing machine that can lift nearly nine pounds at once, and can be programmed to do literally thousands of tasks with incredible precision to allow his human co-workers to take care of tasks that require thought and variability.

Some of the specific things we ask Sawyer to do include communicating directly with the CNC machine—you might say they talk the same language—Sawyer can also be used for tending products in development, testing procedures, and precision. Sawyer can do everything from a test, to CNC tend, to fabricate and mold, and a dozen things in between. Sawyer is a one-armed marvel who works 24 hours without breaks!

DMG Mori NHX 5000 Machines

The DMG Mori horizontal machines at Tag Team enable high-efficiency, continuous machining and mass production machining. We have two machines, one with 2 pallets and one with 21 pallets. This DMG has a full 4th axis capability and allows us to run multiple operations, using up to 180 tools. The speed, accuracy, and efficiencies of this machine can reduce normal production times up to 75%. With 21 pallets, the “lights out” capability is perfect for the OEM that requires high quality, larger quantities and quick turn around as this machine can run 24 hours. With this new technology, we are able to complete jobs quicker and more efficiently, allowing the customer to receive their parts quicker then expected.

CMM and Smartscope

Tag Team’s CMM, which stands for Coordinate Measuring Machine, allows us to print the dimensional reports which accompany parts when they are delivered to clients. This saves our clients time and money because they know exactly how specific each part has been manufactured. Our Smartscope is able to take a series of photographs and create a product that is within .0005. The Smartscope is used to ensure the precision that our clients need in the production of many small parts, and it makes those evaluations quickly and efficiently. This means you get the parts that you need with the confidence they are accurately fabricated, and we complete them faster than others can deliver them. Most of our customers like that combination of accuracy and speed.

Quality at Tag Team Manufacturing

Our CNC manufacturing shop production works with a Quality Management Program in place to help ensure that the products and the services we provide are top of the line. Quality isn’t something that happens by accident, and it isn’t something that will only be provided for big customers. No matter what project our customers need—big or small—quality is something we do as we make the best products available; and we strive to ensure that our processes and procedures are observed, repeatable, and controlled. These are the things that make us recognized for our quality outcomes.

At Tag Team Manufacturing, we use the E2 manufacturing system which is software that allows us to track historical data which will tell us how efficient machine operators are, machine production, revision changes, and even more information. E2 also allows us to search, reuse, and adapt to other development efforts. This allows us to help customers get products that are made faster, more accurately, and less expensively than if that data was not available.

We also use an automated coordinate measuring machine, or CMM, which lets us determine if a component we have produced is within the accepted tolerance range. We have other automated quality control machines to help us ensure that what we are making for you is exactly what you want and need from us.

Over Thirty Years of Quality Service

Tag Team Manufacturing, rated a top machine shop in Denver, provides the kind of customer service that people expect when they walk into a retail store with high quality parts. We strive to help our entire team understand the importance of staying in communication with customers and potential customers. This communication does not just occur when we need questions answered, but we also want to talk about progress on your project or other questions you may have.

Part of ensuring quality is making certain that files you give us or that we create for your project remain safe. Gone are the days when security meant putting paper plans away when not in use. We use the best software and hardware protections available. We ensure that everything we work on with our machines has real-time backups to protect intellectual property from outside intruders, or from system crashes. Hard copies are protected by security cameras 24 hours a day, and hard copies are stored in fire-proof cabinets.

Tag Team Manufacturing, with top CNC machinists, makes our own product line and we have been named a top CNC shop in Denver. When we work this hard for ourselves, you can count on us working even harder for you. We stand behind our products as we produce the best ball racks in the world.

Consider the pool accessories we build ourselves. Our products have been called the best in the world by professional pool players. The precision that these professionals require keeps us focused on quality and perfection. We strive to be the top original equipment manufacturer in the area.

Find out why Tag Team Manufacturing has been a leader in CNC manufacturing for decades, and why we will continue to chase perfection.

Cutting of metal. Sparks fly from laser

How Laser Technology has made Manufacturing Easier

Highly precise and immense power in welding, laser technology has changed the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing over the years has demanded innovation, increased quality, and efficiency. As such, laser technology came in and revolutionized the manufacturing process. Precision manufacturing has become possible due to this technology. Its ability to transform and manipulate materials has made it ideal for computer, automobile and clothing industries. Laser technology has changed and made manufacturing easier. It is actually hard to see a consumer product that has not incorporated laser technology in its production. The continuous innovation and effort by scientists over the years has seen laser technology developed and perfected. From the development stage to the application in the field, laser technology has led to some social and economic benefits. Laser technology has led to the growth of the social economy with its development of natural science and technology.

Here are fields of manufacturing that laser technology is being used.

Laser Cutting

The traditional cutting techniques have not mastered the art of precision. The cost of cutting and the ensuing processing cost are high. Laser cutting is precise to the millimeter level and less costly. With the right incision by the CNC machinist, the cutting is smooth and precise. This eliminates the need for further processing. Laser cutting has many advantages over the traditional methods;

– It uses CNC programming hence the accuracy.
– There is no shear burr.
– The incision will have no mechanical stress.
– It has a very high utilization rate.
– Its repeatability is good.

Laser cutting has different categories;

Laser vaporization– it cuts through very thin metals and non-metal materials.

Laser melting cutting– used for non-oxidizable materials such as titanium

Laser oxygen cutting– used for easily oxidizable materials.

Laser and welding

Laser welding is a different and more efficient type of welding. The laser radiation energy diffuses through the material to melt it and form a special molt. Laser technology has been ideal in achieving spot welding, butt welding and seal welding in thin walls. Laser welding has many advantages that have changed the manufacturing industry for the better;

– Regulation of the heat means that damage caused by heat conduction is minimal.
– No damage and contamination since no electrodes are required.
– High-speed performance
– Depth weld ration can get to 10:1, especially for perforated welding.

Laser welding is used widely in industries like civil vehicle manufacturing. The use of laser welding and CNC manufacturing in the vehicle industry has not only increased efficiency, but also production.

Laser Engraving

Under a very high energy density controlled by a CNC machinist, the laser beams irradiate the surface of the material making it melt instantly. This leaves a marking on the surface with the intended logo or text. Its efficiency and the fast pace has made laser marking the most popular in advanced engraving globally. Laser engraving has high repeatability precision, no pollution, beautiful in design, and firm. With laser marking, it is easier to achieve the synchronized flight print in a production line.

Laser Heat Treatment

This is a surface heating technology. As such, a laser is used to heat the meat on the surface to make the heat treatment. This has led to the improvement of the metal’s oxidation resistance, wear and corrosion resistance, and prolonged service time.

Laser and packaging

Laser technology is used in the weakening of packs to give an easy to open opportunity, puncturing holes in vegetable packages for ‘breathing,’ and scribing. This shows how laser technology has made packaging industry work more effectively and efficiently.

Laser and quality control

Measuring the laser light dispersion reflected back from ball bearings can figure their roundness. This technology has proved to come in handy in managing quality in manufacturing of various items.

Laser and Semiconductors

Semiconductor manufacturing needs clean cutting of materials rapidly. Nothing fits this demand like laser technology. The ability to cut shapes to high precision while minimizing roughness on the surface makes them cut out for this work.

Laser Rapid Prototyping Technology

With the increase in integration of the global market process, competition has intensified. The speed at which consumer products are produced has become the principal contradiction of the competition. With the users’ demand changing time over time, manufacturing firms have to be flexible. Producing in single or smaller batches without having an increase in the cost of production has become necessary. Rapid prototyping is like a computer 3D illustration and works by accumulating layer after layer in its designing. It provides a better concept than the one on a computer screen. At the product development stage, it serves to shorten the process of development, reduce cost, improve the quality and helps mitigate risks.

Laser technology is expanding at an incredible speed in various fields. In the manufacturing sector, laser technology has proved itself as a more efficient and less costly method of production. Known as the era of ‘light,’ industries have embraced this modern way of production. This has made the manufacturing process better, and consumer products have improved immensely. Manufacturing automation has increased labor productivity and lowered cost while prioritizing customers’ growing needs. Incorporation of the technology of automation has made consumer products more consistent and helped in processes that couldn’t be achieved manually.

At Tag Team Manufacturing, we combine this cutting-edge technology with highly qualified CNC machinists. Our manufacturing is efficient and precise. We boast as one of the leading machine shops in the state. Our dedication and investment in technology means that we are at par with the ever-changing demands of Original Equipment Manufacturers. Over the years we have improved our skills and capabilities in the progression of prototypes. Our team is a dedicated and versatile that understands the ever-changing demands in the manufacturing industry. Our operations are aimed at meeting the customer’s need for competitive pricing, on time delivery and high quality parts. Looking for machine shop in Denver? Tag Team Manufacturing is the right partner to turn to. With tailor-made services for CNC manufacturing, we have changed and revolutionized Denver manufacturing. Visit our website for more information on the services and solutions that we offer.