When an aerospace manufacturer was looking to acquire additional machine tools, it over-estimated the utilization of the machine tools already in place. Using OptiVue™ to provide an accurate measure of utilization helped save the company the expense of buying four additional high tolerance machine tools at $1 million each.
This aerospace and defense company does small to mid-sized batch runs on complex parts with 4-10 hour cycle times. The company wanted to add enhance manufacturing efficiency and productivity with additional machines to the 40 it already had in place and was in the process of developing RFQs for an additional five high tolerance machine tools. The need for these additional assets was based on perceived machine tool utilization of 70-80%, which was determined by observational estimates – ‘walking around the shop floor’ and ‘knowing’ the utilization.
The company called in OPTIS expertise to evaluate the equipment needs to accomplish the extra work that would be carried out on the new machines. OptiVue™ was installed on the three most used machines to help determine the design specifications for the new machines. Data was collected over the following week and an analysis of the current operations was studied and reviewed. OptiVue™ returned accurate data directly from the machine tool controllers. It showed that the current utilization of the machines was 25 -28%. During the next production week, direct time studies were carried out to verify the utilization results that OptiVue™ returned. These studies directly correlated with the OptiVue™ data.
This analysis enabled the aerospace company to amend its requirements and it purchased a single additional machine tool to provide the larger work volume capacity that they did not currently have.
Accurate insight from OptiVue™ delivered cost avoidance of approximately $4 million that went directly to the bottom line profitability of the company.