Manufacturers often look inconsiderately at welding operations without understanding how productivity can be effectively measured and improved. Successful companies are introducing lean manufacturing to all aspects of their operations, from welding to material handling, nationally and internationally in order to stay profitable in an increasingly competitive environment.
Considering the nature of market competition and demand for quality products, it is hard for companies to survive in the long run without investing in emerging technologies such as robotic welding and automated metal fabrication machines. Many companies do not look at their welding processes from a lean manufacturing standpoint, resulting in the deployment of inefficient welding methods and a drop in profit.
Being a growth-oriented business, you have to analyze your operations carefully and implement the principles of lean manufacturing at all levels of production. Outlined below are some of the techniques that will help you assess and improve the productivity and efficiency of your welding operations:
Ensure effective material handling
Material handling processes cost time and money which means you have to take them seriously and devise a strategy to obtain efficiencies in this area. Delivery of parts to the welding station in a very organized way can decrease welding cost. As compared to the flat position, welding out of position can cost more time and money. If most of your welding operations can be done in an improved position, it is advisable to invest in equipment that could help in this regard.
The second area to study while assessing welding productivity is operating factor or arc-on time. Arc timers and time studies suggest that most of the operators spend only 30-40% of their time in welding. Non-welding tasks such as material handling, cleaning and heating become inevitable (through they’re not important). As a matter of fact 60-70% of the time required to perform non-welding tasks adds no value to the finished products, so it should be drastically reduced, if not completely eliminated.
Improve welding procedure
When looking for techniques to improve the metal fabrication process, examine things such as transfer mode, wire feed speed, travel speed, wire diameter, etc. For example, if a metal fabrication and welding shop is operating with short arc process and a 75/25 blend of shielding gas, shifting to a different gas spray mode of transfer can be more effective.
Add automated or robotic welding machines
The use of advanced manufacturing techniques has become indispensable to environments where repetitive tasks are needed to be performed with great speed and efficiency. Automation is an unprecedented solution to improve productivity and profitability of metal fabrication operations.
Being a leading automation engineering company in Edmonton and across Canada, BP Automation strives to design and manufacture highly efficient and profitable welding and metal fabrication solutions to a wide range of industries. With the help of a brilliant in-house team of engineers, machinist, and electricians, we design automated engineering solutions for panel welding, orbital pipe welding, and sub-arc welding. Consult us if you are looking to embrace the latest innovation in automation technology and implement it into your existing manufacturing system to increase productivity and process efficiency.