In our last post, we covered the huge benefits of Low-Volume Fabrication. Today we are going to take a look at all the steps and techniques that can lead to successful low volume production run.
Low volume manufacturing has been greatly accelerated by additive manufacturing and digital technologies. With the press of a key, CAD models can be printed from desktop computers to 3D printers while CNC machines have enhanced productivity due to the powerful software installed. With consumers demanding instant gratification now more than ever, businesses both large and small will inevitably have to run low-volume production. The key to efficient CNC low volume machining will include a good team in tune with the latest technology, design expertise, flexibility and a strong supply chain. Let’s take a look at each of these factors in more light.
Design of planning products
The first step in any production is the planning stage. This is no different for CNC low volume machining. As production is usually a continuous process from start to finish, it is always important to have all product features listed OUT.
Finalization on design specifications
Design specifications cover all relevant details regarding the design and production of your game. After planning the design of the product, decide on the specifics such as the material desired for production, the color of the finish, the dimensions, size, weight and strength of the final part
Connection to resources and expertise
After all the internal decisions have been finalized, it’s now time to look outward. At this stage, your business is not just looking for a supplier who can perform the production, but for a supplier who can perform the work in the most cost-effective manner using efficient methods that do not compromise quality.
Your chosen supplier should have a decent amount of experience in the field, knowledge of the technology to be used, understand the functional and mechanical properties of the selected materials, and most importantly, be able to provide a high quality prototype that works as destined.
Use appropriate technology
Using the right technology will not only help you produce a perfect product, it will save you time, effort and money. For low volume manufacturing, each technique has its advantages and responses. 3D printing will serve for rapid prototyping and is excellent for design evaluation before producing higher volumes.
CNC Machining is also often considered to offer high quality parts at very appreciable prices.
Cement the supply chain
No matter how well-designed your prototype or your production part is, if your supply chain is weak, you will face challenges in your production run. Try to ensure that the material you have selected is readily available in mass volume, easy and inexpensive to ship.
Also, consider the location of the factory where your low-volume production is currently running. If the area is not accessible, you may have problems getting raw materials through.
Challenges in the supply chain and logistics can ultimately cripple production.
After executing the production on your part with appropriate technology, it is important to perform all relevant post-production or finishing services. These could include coating, painting, metallizing, anodizing and other finishing operations.
Post-production Services can be performed to improve appearance, aesthetics, functionality, strength, abrasion resistance and more.