Shall I choose a special and specific machine or a flexible solution

20 years ago the choice was obvious: special machines!

It was obvious because if I had to produce a certain product I was sure that my production would not stop for years.

So it was easy to choose: the special machine guaranteed the best cycle time and the best purchase price.

Then everything has changed!

the crisis has come. There are those who spoke of the 2008 crises, and some of 2009 one.
In fact, the market has irreparably changed.

Do not hide behind your finger!
It is true for you!

What will happen now?
The reality is that there is no certainty of tomorrow.
I remember that when I was a child and my grandmother was an entrepreneur, she always told me she was happy with the crises, because afterwards there would be a great recovery that would last for years!

This is no longer the case!

Crossi and recovery cycles are increasingly shorter.

So what should we do?

We need to structure the company in a flexible way.
Wirth this of course I do not want to say that if your job is an aluminium foundry you have to equipe the company to produce chocolate too!!

I just want to say that you have to be able to convert your production with low costs.
If you produce pumps today, tomorrow you may have to produce LED lights (the example is not by chance…)

So if you have invested in a super machine that deburrs a pump body in 3.6 seconds, when you have to produce LED lights you will be in real difficulty.

You may have to do some new investments!
You may have you company full of SPECIAL MACHINES, which cost a fortune and that…. DO NOT VALUE ANYTHING!

But if you have been farsighted everything ill be different.

if instead your pump body you have chosen to deburr it with a flexible robotized machine,maybe your cycle time will be immediately 12 sec, but when you have to change production everything will be easier.

but you will have:
1 production change with LOW COSTS!
2 Same machine to produce the old and new pieces
3 More easily manageable machine

How does that sound to you?

We must have courage to take these choices, we must think of the future rather than the present.

NO-ONE knows what the future holds for us?

So we need to do our best to not put our company in difficulty.

Like all things there are rules and to choose the machines are simple and straightforward:


You can not think to develop and build a machine that can only work one type of piece even if you are a machine manufacturer.
There is no certainity that you will still produce that piece tomorrow.
The machines must be as more reconfigurable as possible.
The machine you buy, must have history, so you do not have to look at all problems: you need a proven and reliable product.

When you buy a machine by a “”home run away” you think you will save money, but you do not know how much you are really spending.
You spend less when you buy a machine , but when you are in production, you spend every second using it.
An improvised manufacturer gives you what he can. So he can not give you a machine with the same performances of a specialized manufacturer who builds them every day.
An improvised manufacturer gives you low performances.
It can not be the opposite, otherwise I could improvise chef and say that there is no difference between me and Carlo Cracco, in reality we all know that it is not so easy.

It must be an integrate I do not want to talk about industry 4.0 and Italian incentives, even if in a certain way it is is important that the machine is not an UNIT it must be integrated inside the rest of the company and easy to connect and to program
We must stop buying CLOSED machines that can only be programmed with proprietary languages. To connect a machine use the serial cable.
Machines have to be connected in ethernet to the factory and to the PC by its programmer .

Also in this case I do not want to talk about industry 4.0. But the future is robot and machines designed in order not to have wide limits of work: changing pieces at low cost must be able to do very different things.
It is useless to save 2 lire today, to have to throw everything away tomorrow.
The machine must use the latest technologies to give access to a data collection system to all the processing parameters.
Because the analisi and mastery of production data will be the future. If you could really control your production, you would know minute by minute what a piece costs you, how to improve your production cycle, how to do your production.
If you take this data directly from the machine, everything becomes automatic, real and reliable. So you can no longer make a machine with a very cheap Chinese PLC …. you need something better.

Autore: Trebi Casting Sofia

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