Return on investment is an essential factor when manufacturers purchase capital equipment or take on a new product line. Having the right assembly equipment is critical – it has to make financial sense and have a positive impact on the bottom line. When manufacturers have a change in their product line, they often have to purchase new equipment while previous equipment sits idle. In some cases, however, the best ROI and assembly solution can be to retool existing equipment to meet new requirements.
When an automotive manufacturer faced the end of production for one of their products, they evaluated their existing equipment options. Luckily, they were also kicking off a new product with high annual volumes. Since Orbitform was already building two 10-station dials for this new product line, they asked if the previous dial could be retooled to fit the new parts. Our engineers analyzed the existing equipment and compared it to the design for the new dials already in process. We were able to determine the modifications needed to run the new application, at almost half the cost of a new machine.
Getting to Work
Once the design changes were approved, our engineers created an action plan to reduce current production interruptions. This plan involved manufacturing the new components at our facility and installing it later on the manufacturer’s floor. We knew that we needed to adjust the tooling and part-touching components based on the dials we were in the process of building. We manufactured new press tooling, part fixtures, and pressure pad nose pieces to match the new machines. The dial also included an auto-unload station that would need new grippers in order to grab the new part properly. In addition to mechanical components, we also had to make programming changes to the vision system and pin marker. Once the mechanical components were built and the control programs designed, one of Orbitform’s service technicians spent time on-site to install the new components and ensure the machine functioned properly.
Retooling Makes a Difference
Whether you’re facing the end of production, taking on a new product, or preparing for an increase in volume, it’s essential to evaluate the return on investment when considering capital purchases. Sometimes, retooling idle equipment can make a huge difference. It can be as simple as changing tooling, as complex as updating programming, or something in between. Either way, Orbitform’s assembly experts are ready to evaluate your needs to provide the right solution. Contact us today to discuss your options for your next change in production.