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The Marvellous World of Manufacturing

Not many people give much thought to the fact that almost every object you touch as you go about your day had to be manufactured by someone. When you stop to consider the impact that the processing and manufacturing industry has had on the modern world, it can blow your mind. My mind was blown when my son arrived home from his new job at a local processing and manufacturing plant and told me about the industry he was now working in. Since then, I have learnt all kinds of cool things which I would love to be able to share with the rest of the world.

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The Marvellous World of Manufacturing

4 Actionable Tips for Improved Lead Times in Sheet Metal Fabrication

by Anthony Harvey

Time is an invaluable asset that no one can afford to waste. Clients find it very frustrating when they have to wait for weeks or even months to see the results of the sheet metal fabrication orders they place. It therefore follows that any fabricator who cannot make a timely delivery of projects risks losing valuable clients.

Whatever the scale of the sheet metal fabrication order, and whether it's an emergency order or not, you can deliver with shorter lead times on every project by implementing the following tips.

1. Prepare and Schedule

Ensure that you have all the materials you need for the fabrication. Estimate how much material you will need for the project and ensure that you have enough of it to avoid having to put away pieces of sheet metal mid-fabrication in order to source for more materials.

If you will be using shared resources, make sure that you properly schedule the use of those resources to ensure your project runs smoothly.

2. Always Work With The Best People

Who you have working on your sheet metal fabrication projects will influence how timely your deliveries will be. Well trained and experienced fabricators who have a full understanding of the whole production cycle will have no trouble beating deadlines without compromising on quality.

On-the-job training to improve their skills and techniques will also ensure that unnecessary delays on the job become something of the past.

3. Check Your Rejection Rates

You may find that you miss deadlines and fail to meet set quotas even with mass production due to a high rejection rate.  It is important to put in place all measures to keep your rejection rates low, ideally below 5% if possible.

The most effective way of keeping these rates low is by formulating and implementing quality assurance measures throughout every stage of the sheet metal fabrication process.

4. Invest In Your Equipment

Metal sheet fabrication requires the use of specialist equipment, and to be able to fulfil your orders within a short lead time, you need to not only have enough equipment but also ensure that the equipment is top-of-the-line.

Investing in premier quality lathe machines, millers, drill presses, grinders, shearing machines and other metal working machines guarantees optimal performance and will ensure that there are minimal breakdowns that will cause downtime and affect your delivery times.

You will also be minimizing work-related injuries, which can lead to the loss of skilled workers that contribute to the production process. Such accidents may result in halting operations pending investigations into the incident.

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