I recently gave an interview to the specialist magazine InMotion that is fairly directly linked to the matters addressed by this blog. I often, in fact, find myself discussing delivery times, emphasizing the fact that most of the time they are very tight, to the point where they become difficult to manage. The question that probably many professionals who find themselves in this situation ask themselves is this:
Is it somehow possible to reduce or even halve delivery times?
We can try, also because offering customers competitive delivery times is crucial to maintaining competitiveness, and, in this regard, I would like to tell you about our experience.
I have already discussed how we are moving towards lean manufacturing and so today I want to focus on the latest investments for the modernisation of our machine range. In addition to purchasing the turn&mill centre NTX 1000 of DMG Mori (which I referred to here), we have in fact strengthened the hobbing department with two new EMAG Koepfer 160 CNC gear hobbing machines, actually because the production capacity of our workshop had now reached its limit. The first machine has just been installed at our factory while the second will be delivered later this year.
By purchasing this new equipment (the multitasking and gear cutting machines) we have set ourselves the goal of meeting customer expectations not only in qualitative terms, but also reducing delivery times, and – more precisely – reducing them from the current three to four months to a couple of months.
Gear hobbing type machines require costly dedicated equipment depending on the geometry of the workpiece; the fact of already having such equipment and being able to use it on new machines was a huge advantage for us in terms of economy of operation. And this is one of the main reasons why we decided to use Emag again.
Added to this is the fact that setting up a machine from another supplier would require some time, while the Koepfer 160 CNC gear hobbing machines can already be operating as soon as they enter the workshop as demonstrated by these shots that we took a few weeks ago.
The same can be said for the work cycles which need not be set again and this is essential because we are talking about a history of 300-400 programs already executed and stored.
A final but not a lesser advantage is linked to specialist technicians who, thanks to previous experience on the other two gear cutting machines, no longer need lengthy training periods.