April 14

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10 Advantages to Having An In-House Machine Shop

Despite the initial up-front costs of implementing an in-house machine shop, more and more companies are discovering the the long list of advantages in-house machining can offer. When you combine the cost-effectiveness with the productivity gains, in-housing your machine shop simply makes sense. Here are 10 great advantages:

1. Less Waste

You can reduce your throw-away casting quantity significantly by bringing your machining in-house. You can reduce your waste from both machining a bad cast entirely, and by machining a good cast poorly or incorrectly.

2. Quicker Turnaround

Machining errors, miscalculations, and miscommunications happen. When you can machine your casts in-house, you can pivot quickly with additional castings. The ability to create custom molded rubber, pipe spacers, and pipeline rollers all provide the quick turnaround you need to get jobs done on time.

3. Improved Accountability

When you cast your own products in house—including custom molded rubber, pipe spacers and pipeline rollers—it decreases errors caused by miscommunication. This leads to greater accountability for your machining needs.

4. Decreased Inventory

When castings can be done on the fly, you don’t need as much storage space, as you don’t need as much warehouse space to store castings. This frees up space to store the products you do need.

5. Smoother Workflow

Storing the raw materials to machine on-demand can vastly improve your overall workflow. In-house casting means less time waiting for products to be completed.

6. Less Overproduction and Over Ordering

By machining in-house, you can cast on-demand instead of ordering in bulk based on current or projected needs. For example, it is often more economical to create one production run instead of two smaller ones. While large production runs can be more economical, they require accurate forecasting, which is difficult.

Forecasting inaccuracies lead to over-ordering and more product warehousing. Waiting for a larger production run can also slow down your order fulfillment with your customers, which creates issues of lost revenue and clients who migrate to your competition. Overproduction isn’t only about accurate predictions and longer wait times, but also the man hours that go into making those predictions, lost time due to lack of product, and paid time in relation to receiving reports, mid-process documentation, inventory adjustments, requisitions, and more.

7. Lost Time

If time is money, then outsourcing your machining is a black hole of lost revenues. Anyone who’s dealt with requisitions knows that manufacturing delays are common, as are casting errors that create lengthy waiting periods. Waiting for quick items like custom molded rubber, pipe spacers and pipeline rollers can be a major time waster when they could be made in-house in moments.

8. Transportation and Product Movement

Machined castings have a significant transport cost due to the weight and bulk of finished products. This transportation slows down the process and adds cost to your finished products. In addition to shipping, there is also increased cost in movement within your own facility.

9. Scrapping and Reworking

Scrapping and recasting is costly. Not only is it expensive to pay for the reworking itself, but there’s also the added cost of the man-hours to examine (and sometimes configure and optimize) and quality control the finished product. In-house machining cuts those costs significantly, but there is also the cost of the added delay. When you have in-house machining, a five-day turnaround on remachining can turn into a window of less than an hour.

10. Increased Productivity

Labor is likely one of—if not the—biggest cost you have. Underutilizing workers is a significant cost, as is workers playing the blame game (again, accountability is a big factor). By relying on your own talent pool, you can properly utilize your workers while minimizing your labor costs.

Mark Tool's in-house machine shop saves us time and maximizes our productivity. From fostering an environment of accountability, to decreasing wait times and our physical warehousing footprint, in-house machining has turned our facility into a well-oiled machine.

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