What You Need to Know.
While most businesses strive to make operations more efficient, organizations in the manufacturing industry must do so immediately, or risk going out of business.
The speed of technological progress and wide availability of choice has caused customers’ expectations to grow at a rapid rate. Manufacturing industry customers want better quality products delivered faster while paying less for these services.
The manufacturing industry must find a way to produce higher quality output while improving productivity with fewer resources. To gain a competitive advantage manufacturing operations must improve efficiency over resources.
Manufacturing automation is the most common method used to achieve modern manufacturing industry goals. The advantages commonly attributed to the automation of manufacturing processes include:
Workholding devices and fixturing are the most fundamental physical devices that facilitate manufacturing automation.
Good workholding, including fixturing when automating manufacturing processes often reduces process set-up time by as much as 50%. It also increases quality and decreases re-work, an expensive, frustrating and time-consuming task.
Common Workholding Challenges in Manufacturing Automation
There are many workholding challenges to overcome when automating industrial manufacturing processes. Here is a list of some of the most common:
Many manufacturers believe that the biggest challenge for manufacturing operations is the necessary education process that must accompany buying a machine tool. The stakeholders must understand how to select the best workholding to buy so that they can automate the machining process someday. They must be in the frame of mind that even if they're not going to automate in the next two years and they want to stay in business, sooner or later they're going to have to figure out a way to make this process go faster.
Example: Overcoming Workholding Challenges in Machining Process Automation
One example of overcoming workholding challenges in machining process automation is the trend that to add fourth and fifth axis machines.
Many manufacturers want to finish a part and complete it in one chucking.
This objective creates some interesting, sometimes complex workholding designs: as opposed to a standard chuck wheel holding a round slug, where you finish one side and flip it over to finish the other, you've got fourth and fifth axis mill turns. People want to turn it, mill it, tap it, machine all sides and it's done. That requires some very tricky workholding but significantly increases the machine accuracy since there is no re-location of the part during processing.
To be competitive in today’s global business environment, manufacturing operations must find a way to produce higher quality output while improving productivity with fewer resources. To gain a competitive advantage manufacturing operations must improve efficiency over resources.
Manufacturing automation is the most common method used to achieve modern manufacturing industry goals.
Workholding devices and fixturing are the most fundamental physical devices that facilitate manufacturing automation. When properly implemented, they enable manufacturers to overcome many industrial manufacturing automation challenges.