CNC Performance Evaluation
Be sure you're CNCs are utilized at optimum levels!
To provide an objective evaluation of your company's
current CNC environment, to locate trouble spots, and to suggest improvements
prioritized by cost and ease of implementation. You'll likely pay for this
consultation with the first improvement you make!
All manufacturing people would like to think their CNC machines are
running at optimum levels. Truly, CNC machines tend to be so productive that
even poorly utilized machines may be performing in a satisfactory manner. The
sad reality is that few CNC users take full advantage of what current model CNC
machine tools are capable of.
Complicating the issue of achieving optimum CNC performance is the fact that
almost every CNC feature can be used in several ways -- if your people have
been left on their own to develop usage methods, its quite likely that
they have not tapped into all your sophisticated CNC machines can do. While
machine tool suppliers are usually willing to help, note that most teach
generic methods that are easy to relate to their users. Few address the
specific needs of all.
Judging your own usage methods has never been easy. As human beings, we tend
to feel that our methods are good enough as long as were meeting our
production schedules. And in this regard, bottlenecks caused by long setup and
cycle times, poor quality, crashed machines, and confusion among workers are
obvious symptoms of under-utilized CNC machine tools. Given the limited focus
of your own people (who deal only with the machines you use and products you
produce), it is quite possible that every CNC machine in your company
could be better utilized.
Future growth and global competition dictate that you be on the constant
lookout for better methods. Stagnant methods soon become obsolete -- what
worked well yesterday will be wasteful tomorrow. The CNC Performance Evaluation
will expose your companys CNC-related weaknesses and give you the
alternatives you need to eliminate them.
Who does the evaluation?
Mike Lynch, president of CNC
Concepts, Inc., has over 20 years experience working with CNC machine tools. He
has authored five CNC textbooks, published by McGraw Hill and the Society of
Manufacturing Engineers. His column, CNC Tech Talk, appears monthly in Modern
Machine Shop Magazine. Mr. Lynch conducts advanced CNC seminars such as
CNC Advanced Techniques, Managing CNC Operations,
Parametric Programming, and Touch Probe Programming for
organizations like the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, MidTec, Anthis
Career Center, and Tooling and Manufacturing Association. His unique exposure
to countless CNC professionals gives Mr. Lynch an excellent insight into the
various alternatives available to CNC users.
The Performance Evaluation
by Mike Lynch
The CNC Performance Evaluation is completed in four steps. Three of the
steps are done in your own facility, working with your CNC people. While this
brochure attempts to relate the steps as well as possible, youll surely
have questions. Please complete and submit the
information form so we can discuss
your specific needs in greater detail.
Step one: Information gathering
First and foremost, I need to know what you intend to accomplish with the
performance evaluation. Common goals include reducing setup and/or cycle time,
eliminating bottlenecks, improving training methods, and streamlining your
programming & program transfer methods. But you surely have special
problems you want addressed. I also need to get a general feel for your
company, including size, products produced, CNC departments or cells, and
programming methods. This getting-to-know-you process can be easily
accomplished prior to visiting your facility, through phone conversations and
by using the information form. This
general understanding of your corporate goals should be reinforced in a meeting
with your corporate staff upon my arrival.
Next, I need to gain a more specific understanding of your companys
current products and manufacturing methods. This is accomplished through
interviews with your key people. I begin with a person that has a good overall
understanding of your entire operation to gain a broad understanding of your
current methods. Next, I interview your key people (usually one from each CNC
department or cell) to better understand the specifics of what goes on in each
area. Other information gathering techniques include plant tours, demonstration
of usage methods, and in general, anything that helps me understand your
current ways of doing things.
While this step takes the longest (averaging two days, depending upon the
size of the facility), it is very important for me to understand your corporate
goals and current methods in order to come up with viable recommendations.
Step two: Evaluation
After collecting so much information, Ill need a little time to digest
it and formulate recommendations based upon your companys corporate
goals. While I can do this back in my office, I like to perform this step while
still in your facility. Everyone is still readily available for further
questions and previous discussions are still easily remembered. Additionally,
testing may be necessary to confirm that certain recommendations will gain the
desired result. Depending upon the complexity of your company and needs, this
step usually takes from a few hours to a full day.
Step three: Discussion of preliminary findings
While still in your facility, I like to have a departure meeting with your
corporate managers to discuss preliminary findings. The most important
recommendations will be well formulated at this point, and I like to present
them face-to-face. This meeting usually takes 1-3 hours, depending upon how
many questions come up during the meeting.
Step four: Written performance evaluation
Once back the office, Ill prepare a complete report of the findings,
starting with a summary of my perceptions about your companys current
methods and a review of the interviews. Next, Ill try to clarify the
reasons why your current methods may not be in line with your corporate goals.
This helps clarify what brought you to your current state. Finally, Ill
make specific recommendations for improvement. The time required for this step
is usually under eight hours and will be billed at my daily rate. Note that the
performance evaluation also includes follow-up questions for the purpose of
helping you implement the recommendations I make (free of charge).
Pricing for the performance evaluation
Pricing is based upon my daily rate ($2,000.00 per day). Travel expenses
(airline tickets or car at 30 cents per mile, hotel, and meals) will also be