CNC machine monitoring software – benefits in machine downtime reduction
Machine downtime in a typical CNC shop floor can be anywhere between 20 to 50 % – the lower number in mass production and the higher one in small batch production with frequent setups. Working 3 shifts, this translates to between 5 to 12 hours a day. That’s HUGE. The good news is that a CNC machine monitoring software can cut machine downtime dramatically, at an extremely low cost.
There are two categories of downtime:
1. Operator work ethics – coming in late at the start of the shift, leaving early at the end of the shift, extended meal breaks, sleeping in the night shift, etc.
2. System problems – power shut downs, no raw material, machine breakdown, high setup times, accidents, etc.
The problem is that you cannot do anything about this because you do not know how much the downtimes are, and what their causes are. A machine monitoring system tells you this, and enables you to take corrective action. It helps you completely eliminate work ethics issues, and substantially reduce systems issues. In our experience with installations of our LEANworx machine monitoring system, we see a 25 % reduction in downtime in the first month itself. That’s 1.25 hours in mass production to 3 hours in batch production.
You can look at the benefit from this downtime reduction in various ways :
1. Increase your profits Your production has gone up, buy investment is the same, resulting in a direct increase in profits.
2. Produce more with the same number of machines Avoid buying new machines to add capacity. Instead of buying more machines to increase capacity, you have improved the utilization of the existing machines at a fraction of the cost of new machines.
3. Reduce the number of machines for the same production If your orders are inflexible and there is no necessity to produce more, you can reduce the number of machines. This translates to less floor space, less power consumption, fewer personnel.
4. Avoid running in the night shift In a number of shop floors, it is common to see machines idling for up to half the night shift. This means you are actually running only 2.5 shifts. If you can downtime by 25 %, you can increase production in the first and second shifts and eliminate the night shift. Leading to less power consumption for the machines and for the lighting, and fewer personnel.
Your breakeven downtime reduction
You can get a good CNC machine monitoring software (like LEANworx cloud) for Rs. 75 per day per machine. Here is a list of machine types, and how much downtime you need to reduce per day to break even with the system. MHR is the machine hour rate.
CNC lathe (MHR Rs. 200): 22 minutes.
CNC VMC (MHR Rs. 600): 8 minutes
CNC HMC (MHR Rs. 1000): 5 minutes.
The battle of Banganapalle
For years now our family has been fighting a mango war with a mob of marauding monkeys (hereinafter called the MMM). We have a couple of great Banganapalle mango trees in the garden that yield a lot of fruits, but they’ve always been eaten by the MMM. ‘Eaten’ is not even the word – the crop is actually destroyed. Its not like the monkeys eat a full mango or multiple mangoes till their stomachs are full, and then let out a satisfied burp. Each monkey will pluck one mango, take a little bite of it, then chuck it on the ground (which is 10 m. down), causing it to split into pieces. It will then do this with another one, and another one, and so on.
All this while we watch from down below with blood pressure rising, and the monkeys watch us with glee and wait for us to pop it of a heart attack. Their glee would of course reduce if they knew that there’s a big hospital just 1 km. away from our home, and the popping is unlikely to happen even if we have a heart attack.
This happened every year, but I’m glad to announce that we finally won the battle recently. We came up with a deadly weapon, the pichkari (the word for water gun in Hindi) that’s used in Holi. This thing shoots out a jet of water that travels 10 m. Whenever we see a monkey on the tree, we just give it a squirt. This is enough to make it flee, a bath being a dirty word in the monkeys’ vocabulary.
As a result of this deadly new weapon and battle tactic, this year we actually managed to get a huge crop of mangoes that we’ve been gorging on for the past few weeks. Banganapalle is a popular type of mango in the South, named after the town where it originated, Banganapalle in the state of AP. It has a GI (Geographical Indication) tag, which means our mangoes can’t even call themselves Banganapalles.