How are 3D printed molds beneficial for your production?

KAT PLEWA| January 23, 2019
HOW ARE 3D PRINTED MOLDS BENEFICIAL FOR YOUR PRODUCTION?
Using molds for mass production has been known for ages, but there is more to discover about this technology. Molds allow you to manufacture the same parts over and over, but getting the masterpiece perfect might be hard. Is 3D printing the solution? Let’s find out why should you start using Additive Manufacturing to produce your molds.

Spotlight

Bal Seal Engineering, Inc.

Bal Seal Engineering, Inc. is a privately held, global provider of custom-engineered sealing, connecting, conducting and shielding solutions for original equipment manufacturers. By applying its material science capabilities and leveraging its unique Bal Spring™ canted coil spring technology, the company develops new products, enhances existing designs and discovers new ways to propel technology forward.

OTHER ARTICLES

This Is How You Can Lower Your Manufacturing Overhead

Article | December 21, 2021

When it comes to developing a budget for the following financial year of your manufacturing business, many operations managers start with direct labor and material expenditures. But, what about manufacturing overhead costs? Manufacturing overhead is any expense not directly tied to a factory's production. Therefore, the indirect costs in manufacturing overhead can also be called factory overhead or production overhead. Outsourcing and globalization of manufacturing allows companies to reduce costs, benefits consumers with lower-cost goods and services, and causes economic expansion that reduces unemployment and increases productivity and job creation. – Larry Elder So, this article focuses on some highly effective overhead cost reduction methods that would help you build a healthy budget for the following year. Manufacturing Overhead Costs: What Is Included? Everything or everyone within the factory that isn't actively producing items should be considered overhead. The following are some of the variables that are considered overhead costs: Depreciation of equipment and productionfacilities Taxes, insurance, and utilities Supervisors, maintenance, quality control, and other on-site personnel who aren't producing signs Indirect supply from light bulbs to toilet paper is also included in the overhead cost. Manufacturing Overhead Costs: What Is Excluded? Everything or everyone within or outside the factory that is actively producing items should be excluded from the overhead costs. Factory overhead does not include the following: Product materials Employee costs for those making the goods daily External administrative overhead, such as a satellite office or human resources Costs associated with C-suite employees Expenses associated with sales and marketing - include pay, travel, and advertising How to Calculate Overhead Costs in Manufacturing To know the manufacturing overhead requires calculating the manufacturing overhead rate. The formula to calculate the manufacturing overhead rate i.e. MOR is basic yet vital. To begin, determine your overall manufacturing overhead expenses. Then, add up all the monthly indirect expenditures that keep manufacturing running smoothly. Then you can calculate the Manufacturing Overhead Rate (MOR). This statistic shows you your monthly overhead costs as a percentage. To find this value, divide Total Manufacturing Overhead Cost (TMOC) by Total Monthly Sales (TMS) and multiply it by 100. The final formula will be: Assume your manufacturing overhead expensesare $50,000 and your monthly sales are $300,000. You get.167 when you divide $50,000 by $300,000. Then increase that by 100 to get your monthly overhead rate of 16.7%. This means your monthly overhead expenditures will be 16.7% of your monthly income. Being able to forecast and develop better solutions to decrease production overhead. Five Ways to Reduce Manufacturing Overhead Costs A variety of strategies may be used by manufacturing organizations to reduce their overhead costs. Here is a summary of some of the most important methods for reducing your manufacturing overhead costs. Value Stream Mapping – A Production Plant Process Layout A value stream map depicts the entire manufacturing process of your plant. Everything from raw material purchase through client delivery is detailed here. The value stream map provides you with a complete picture of the profit-making process. This overhead cost-cuttingmethod is listed first for a reason because every effort to reduce manufacturing overhead costsstarts with a value stream map. Lean manufacturingis also one of the techniques of eliminating unnecessary time, staff, and work that is not necessary for profit and has gained undue favor in the manufacturing process. You must first create a value stream map of the whole manufacturing process for this technique to work. Once the lean manufacturing precept is established, the following strategies for decreasingmanufacturing overhead expenses can be examined. Do Not Forget Your Back Office Management Before focusing on factory floor cost reduction techniques, remember that your back offices, where payment processing and customer contacts occur, may also be simplified and increase profitability. Fortunately, automation can achieve this profitability at a cheap cost. Manufacturers increasingly use robotic process automation (RPA) to sell directly to customers rather than rely on complex supply networks. This automation eliminates costly human mistakes in data input and payment processing by automatically filling forms with consumer data. Moreover, the time saved from manual data input (and rectifying inevitable human errors) equates to decreased labor expenses and downtime. Automating Your Manufacturing Plant For a long time, manufacturers saw factory automation as a game-changer. As a result, several plant owners make radical changes in their operations using cutting-edge technologydespite knowing it realistically. Over-investing in technologies unfamiliar to present industrial personnel might be deemed a technology blunder. Investing in new technology that doesn't generate value or is too hard for current staff to use might be a mistake. It's usually best to start small when implementing newtechnology in manufacturing. Using collaborative robots in production is one way to get started with automation. They are inexpensive, need little software and hardware, and may help employees with mundane, repeated chores that gobble up bandwidth. It is a low-cost entry point into automation that saves labor expenses and opens the door for further automation investments when opportunities are available. Reuse Other Factory Equipment and Supplies Check with other factories to see if they have any unused equipment or supplies that may be "redeployed" to your manufacturing plant. Redeployment would save you time and money by eliminating the need to look for and install new equipment while lowering your overhead costs. Outsourcing a fully equipped factory, equipment, or even staff can also assist in lowering overhead costssince you will only pay for what you utilize. As such, it is a viable method to incorporate into your production process. Employ an In-house Maintenance Expert An in-house repair technician can service your equipment for routine inspections, preventive maintenance, and minor repairs. This hiring decision might save money on unforeseen repair expenses or work fees for an outside repair provider. Having someone on-site who can do emergency repairs may save you money if your equipment breaks after business hours. Final Words Manufacturing overhead costis an essential aspect of every manufacturing company's budget to consider. Smart manufacturingis intended to be productive, efficient, and cost-effective while effectively managing production expenditures. Calculating the manufacturing overheadcan provide you with a better understanding of your company's costs and how to minimize them. Depending on the conditions or geographical needs, each manufacturing plant's overhead expensesmay vary. As a result, identify your production overhead costsand concentrate on reducing and improving them. FAQ What are manufacturing overheads? Manufacturing overhead cost is a sum of all indirect expenses incurred during production. Manufacturing overhead expenses usually include depreciation of equipment, employee salaries, and power utilized to run the equipment. What is a decent overhead percentage? When a business is functioning successfully, an overhead ratio of less than 35 % is considered favorable. How can I calculate the cost of manufacturing per unit? The overall manufacturing cost per unit is determined by dividing the total production expenses by the total number of units produced for a particular time.

Read More

3 Sales-Driving Manufacturing Marketing Strategies

Article | December 28, 2021

Successful manufacturing marketing strategies are all you need to grow your business and make it visible in every way to your target customer group. Many manufacturers are now becoming vigilant towards B2B marketing and have started forming an individual marketing budget in their annual budgets. “We should quantify marketing to inform what we do – not to decide what we do.” – Rory Sutherland, Vice-Chairman, Ogily As per Statista, nearly half of B2B organizations said they’re planning to boost their content budget in the next year. As a result, B2B marketing for manufacturers must be redesigned and smartly strategized in order to be more effective and fruitful. This article will focus on the significant challenges manufacturers face in B2B marketing and how manufacturers use the three most sales-driven manufacturing marketing strategies. 4 Biggest Marketing Challenges in B2B & Manufacturing Develop Tailored Experiences You have a few seconds to capture the customer's interest. When done correctly, personalization may help. With persistent multi-channel marketing, you may strengthen your brand in target areas. Additionally, an account-based marketing approach enables you to focus on important clients while generating customized content for them. Integrate agile methods to test novel ideas across your business without demanding extensive approval. Further, crowdsourced content, B2B communities, and advocate marketing should be prioritized. Convert Leads into Sales With the right strategy, you may generate more high-quality leads. Relate marketing expenditures to sales and demonstrate the impact of marketing on the bottom line. Align marketing and sales by focusing on the customer's purchasing journey. Increase the quality of your leads, transparency, and collaboration with your partners. Measure Marketing Performance Marketers will be asked to demonstrate ROI and forecast future actions. Proactively calculate the MROI (Marketing Return on Investment) on marketing and sales investments. Determine how to get the most out of your marketing budget by doing more with less. Focus on making data-driven judgments rather than relying on guesswork. Maximize the Marketing Tech Investment As a manufacturer, you have access to a number of tools and resources. You will need to collaborate with your technical team to integrate it. Collaborate with your IT team to effectively adapt, innovate, and apply technology. By integrating current technologies, you can automate and improve marketing campaigns more efficiently. “Marketing professionals have to act as conveners and connect the dots so that there is alignment between stakeholders like sales and operation teams and executive leadership on what products and services will drive growth in any given quarter." – Maliha Aqeel, Director of Global Communication, Fix Network World in conversation with Media7 3 Best B2B Marketing Strategies for Manufacturers That Drive Sales Consider Purchasing an E-commerce Platform Consumer behavior is driving manufacturing transformation, particularly the shift to digital channels. Manufacturers who still handle consumers solely by phone, fax, or email risk losing their loyalty as their worlds and tastes grow increasingly digital. Manufacturers have clearly acknowledged the digital transition in 2021. This year's Manufacturing & E-Commerce Benchmark Report says 98% of manufacturers have, or plan to have, an e-commerce strategy. Moreover, 42% of manufacturers who engaged in e-commerce and digital said it strengthened client connections. How does e-commerce benefit manufacturers? Distributes a customized catalog to your customers Ascertains those spare components are visible It allows customers to customize items online Sells your whole range online Increases your consumer base Focus on the User Experience and Interface (UX/UI) The term "User Experience" refers to all elements of an end user's engagement with a business, its goods, and services. The purpose of user experience is to establish a connection between company objectives and user demands. An engaging user interface or user experience keeps users engaged and consumers pleased. Additionally, it enhances the rate of return on investment (ROI). That is why it is necessary to maintain great UI/UX quality. How does UX/UI benefit manufacturers? Increases the number of conversions Support is less expensive It helps with SEO Brand loyalty is increased Embrace an Omni-channel Strategy Millennials represent 73% of those making buying decisions for companies. Part of this means offering a seamless, consistent shopping experience across a variety of channels. With the right CRM solution, you'll eliminate a lot of the legwork associated with targeting specific buyers. Manufacturers can leverage omni-channel to increase availability, promote sales and traffic, and connect digital touchpoints. How does Omni-channel benefit manufacturers? Supports marketers in developing trust Enhances the user experience with the brand It clarifies a complex subject Final Words Developing a successful manufacturing marketing plan is all that is required to set your organization apart from the competition. Consider thinking outside of the box and developing innovative manufacturing marketing strategies that will surprise your targeted customers and keep you on their minds at all times. B2B marketing for manufacturers has long been a priority, since manufacturers frequently overlook this aspect of their business when they should. Utilize the above-mentioned sales-driven manufacturing marketing methods to assist your organization in growing and reaching the maximum range of target prospects. FAQ What is the goal of business-to-business marketing? B2B marketing's goal is to familiarize other businesses with your brand name and the value of your product or service in order to convert them into clients. How can manufacturers energize their market presence? Manufacturers may boost their market presence by advertising on various social media platforms, opting for native language ads, and partnering with influencers to promote their products or services.

Read More

Reshoring and Technology Platforms Transforming Hiring Practices in the Manufacturing Sector

Article | March 31, 2021

Everyday the supply chain is jeopardized. A freighter stuck in the Suez Canal has severe ripple effects in raw material goods making their way around the world. Trade tariffs and unpredictable consequences from COVID have encouraged many US manufacturers to reshore bringing jobs stateside. This strategy will shift the supply chain challenge to a staffing challenge. As the manufacturing industry is poised for rapid growth over the next 24 months, hiring the best workers once again becomes the top challenge. As the workforce is vaccinated and reshoring the supply chain becomes a clarion call for industry, finding the right people with the right skills forces plant managers, operations managers, and HR managers to find new and innovative recruiting strategies. FactoryFix is an online platform that matches vetted manufacturing workers with companies seeking specific skill sets. This platform sets a new standard in how small to mid-sized manufacturers hire talent across the U.S.

Read More

Five Lean Manufacturing Principles to Empower Your Manufacturing Business

Article | December 16, 2021

Lean manufacturing is an operational approach used to create value. Businesses adopt lean manufacturing to improve productivity, reduce waste, increase customer value, and employee satisfaction. Many businesses are accelerating their adoption of lean principles and practices due to the emergence of the industry 4.0 transformation. As a result, companies such as Caterpillar, Intel, Textron, Parker Hannifin, and John Deere are all reaping the benefits of lean manufacturing. So, where did the idea of "lean manufacturing" first originate? In this article, you'll learn about the origins of lean manufacturing and its key principles. The Origins of Lean Manufacturing The principles of lean manufacturing were developed in Japan in the mid-20th century. Toyota, a famous Japanese automaker, experienced major delivery issues at the time. Its production chains were excessively long; thus it couldn't supply enough products on time. As a result, Toyota needed a new Performance measurement system. The company's managers identified a solution. They created a new project management method called the Toyota production system. Its basic idea was to improve product distribution by reducing waste. It was a good concept. It helped the company shorten manufacturing chains and deliver products faster. Toyota's production method created a simple and effective waste definition. Any step that did not improve the end product's functionality was called a waste. Later, other manufacturing industries adopted the system. It was renamed as lean manufacturing. It's now a global phenomenon and is used by large and small businesses worldwide. When should you implement the Lean Manufacturing Method in your business? Lean is a waste-reduction methodology, approach, and a lifestyle. While it is commonly used in manufacturing, lean techniques are applied to reduce waste while keeping high quality in any business. Waste reduction of 80% plus Reduced production expenses by 50% Decreased inventories by 80-90% Producing quality items is 90% less expensive. Workforce productivity improved by 50% If you want your business to get the above benefits, you need to adopt lean manufacturing principles. Five lean Manufacturing Principles Lean manufacturing benefits businesses in multiple ways, and this lean lifestyle has the potential to empower any organization and increase its market competitiveness. So, let us observe the five fundamental principles of lean manufacturing. Value For the first principle of defining customer value, it is vital to understand what value is. For customers, value comes from what they're willing to pay for. The customer's actual or hidden demands must be discovered. Customers are not aware of what they want or cannot express it. When it comes to new items or technologies, this is a regular occurrence. Assume nothing; ask about the pain points being experienced and then craft a unique value proposition. Never force a solution into a problem that does not exist.” – Thomas R. Cutler, President & CEO at TR Cutler, Inc. For example, you can use various methods to find out what customers value, such as surveys and demographic information. With these qualitative and quantitative methodologies, you may learn more about your clients' needs, their expectations, and their budgets. Value-Stream Identifying and mapping the value stream is the second lean principle. By starting with the consumer’s perceived value, all activities that contribute to that value may be identified. Waste is anything that does not benefit the client in any way. It can be divided into two categories: non-value-added and unnecessary waste. The unnecessary waste should be removed, while the non-value-added should be minimized. You can ensure that clients get exactly what they want while minimizing the cost of creating that product or service by removing unnecessary processes or steps. Flow The next operations must proceed smoothly and without interruption or delays after removing wastes from the value stream. Value-adding activities can be improved by breaking down tasks, reorganizing the manufacturing process, distributing the workload, and educating personnel to be flexible and multi-skilled. Pull The fourth lean principle requires a pull-based manufacturing system. Traditional production systems use a push system, which starts with purchasing supplies and continues manufacturing even when no orders are placed. While push systems are simple to set up, they can result in vast inventories of work-in-progress (WIP). On the other hand, a pull method pulls a customer's order from delivery, causing new items to be made and additional materials to be acquired. Kanban, one of the lean manufacturing tools, can help organizations develop a pull system to control material flow in a production system. An efficient pull system maximizes available space, reduces inventory, eliminates over-and under-production, and eliminates errors caused by too much WIP. Perfection While completing Steps 1-4 is a great start, the fifth and possibly most critical step is incorporating lean thinking and process improvement into your organizational culture. As benefits accumulate, it is vital to remember that lean is not a static system that requires continuous effort and awareness to perfect. Each employee should get included in the lean implementation process. Lean experts sometimes state that a process is not truly lean until it has undergone at least a half-dozen value-stream mapping cycles. How Nike Demonstrated the Benefits of Lean Principles Nike, the world-famous shoe and clothing powerhouse, has embraced lean manufacturing principles and practices. Nike experienced less waste and increased consumer value, as did other businesses. It also shared some unexpected benefits. It is proven that lean manufacturing can minimize terrible labor practices at a company's overseas manufacturing unit by up to 15%. This result was mostly due to implementing the lean manufacturing practice of valuing the workers more than earlier routine labor practices. It provided greater significance to an employee and, as a result, greater significance to the organization as a whole. Final Words Implementing lean manufacturing principles is a good way to run any organization. Businesses that build their operations on the two pillars of lean manufacturing, constant improvement, and personnel respect, are well on their way to becoming a successful and productive organizations in the modern era. To become a lean company, an organization must fully grasp the benefits and added value that it may get by adopting lean manufacturing principles. FAQ What is Five S's of lean manufacturing? The 5S of lean manufacturing are Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain, and they give a framework for organizing, cleaning, developing, and maintaining a productive work environment. What are the two pillars of lean manufacturing? Lean, as modeled on the Toyota Way values, has two pillars, first is ‘Continuous Improvement’ and second is ‘Respect for People’. Why are lean principles beneficial for any business? Lean manufacturing is a business strategy that has proven to be highly successful since it can help you decrease costs, remove waste, enhance production, maintain excellent quality, and thus increase business profit significantly.

Read More

Spotlight

Bal Seal Engineering, Inc.

Bal Seal Engineering, Inc. is a privately held, global provider of custom-engineered sealing, connecting, conducting and shielding solutions for original equipment manufacturers. By applying its material science capabilities and leveraging its unique Bal Spring™ canted coil spring technology, the company develops new products, enhances existing designs and discovers new ways to propel technology forward.

Events