As a shop owner, executive, or manager, one of your many priorities includes evaluating existing machines on the shop floor and when necessary, replacing them with newer, more efficient, and productive machinery. Shop floor space is finite unless of course you expand or move. Every available square foot of production floor space should be seen as an opportunity to produce maximum revenue for the business. Is the current machinery on your shop floor the most effective use for that workspace?
If you are currently operating legacy CO2 laser cutting machines how productive are they within that square footage? By replacing a single CO2 machine with a new fiber laser cutting machine you will already produce from 2x to over 4x the volume of parts per unit of time and space, and certainly generate greater revenue for the business. If you are running multiple CO2 machines, they can also be replaced with a single fiber laser. Now you have more available floor space that can become home to additional revenue-generating equipment like an automation system or an additional fiber laser machine.
With new high-power fiber lasers like the 30kW, the equation becomes even more interesting. Perhaps you have legacy fiber laser cutting machines in the single-digit kW range. Are they the most effective use of that available floor space? Could you produce more parts per square foot with a 20 or 30kW machine? Yes, absolutely, and again you could replace multiple single-digit kW fiber lasers with a single high-power 20kW or 30kW fiber laser cutting machine.
An additional consideration is the reduction of operating costs which occurs when you have fewer machines to operate and maintain. How about adding into that newly available floor space material handling automation, and material storage towers?
Storing raw materials on the shop floor wastes a lot of expensive lateral real estate that is prime production floor space that can create additional revenue for the business. It is also an inefficient use of employee time, especially if you need to access the material when it is located behind another machine or stack of material. Instead of lateral storage, materials can be stored in vertical towers containing automated shelves. Accessing the materials is just a click away with your automated material tower or warehousing system with delivery directly to the required machine location. Maintaining materials at the ready is essential to maintaining a consistent pace of production and reducing non-productive time. Material storage towers can serve single machines or multiple machines.
Generating Maximum Revenue
Maximizing the revenue per square foot of available floor space is an essential exercise for all shop owners. Realize a lower cost per part and additional revenue by producing 2x to 4x more parts within the same space thanks to fiber lasers with higher powers.
Evaluating existing equipment usage on the shop floor often leads to freeing up additional floor space which can be used to increase efficiency and revenue by adding new high-productivity machines and material automation. Producing normal workloads in less than half the original time will create additional machine capacity to produce more parts and the ability to expand to additional markets to grow your business.
By Frank Arteaga, Regional Director Marketing – Americas
Bystronic Inc., Hoffman Estates, IL