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Adding high volume production to the shop??

Micmac1

Cast Iron
Joined
Jun 9, 2017
We are a small job shop, well established & very busy with our current customers and honestly can not take on much more work without adding employes and machines. Adding the machines would be the easy part, the employees on the other hand are hard to come buy around our area. I have been thinking about what the benefit/pro's & cons of finding a new customer with higher volume production and adding a cobot to run lights out at night while the shop is empty. The two hurdles i have that come to mind are one, finding a job and a customer thats worth it and two , switching the mentality from job shop onsie twosies to production nut only for night. There are some good threads on the topic but looking for some people who have done something similar and if they would still have done it looking back or was it not worth the time & investment.
 
The only issues I see, with us being a production shop is, most customers have quite a few different parts they need made, not one part for a cobot.

They usually want multiple parts with a lot of through put.

Pretty much they want your shop to be theirs, and they have a ton of work.

What I've seen. :cheers:
 
Most high volume products are not machined at all. They are die cast, stamped or cold headed.
To me, high volume for what I was thinking was more in the 100-1000pc. So maybe high volume isnt the term, more like higher volume jobs.
 
The only issues I see, with us being a production shop is, most customers have quite a few different parts they need made, not one part for a cobot.

They usually want multiple parts with a lot of through put.

Pretty much they want your shop to be theirs, and they have a ton of work.

What I've seen. :cheers:
Yeah thats not something im looking to deal with. Was thinking more like 100-1000pcs runs different parts ok, justs need to be worth setting up and running at night. Pretty confident we could find a customer out there somewhere, but we dont do work at xometrey type prices so there is that also.
 
Yeah thats not something im looking to deal with. Was thinking more like 100-1000pcs runs different parts ok, justs need to be worth setting up and running at night. Pretty confident we could find a customer out there somewhere, but we dont do work at xometrey type prices so there is that also.
I would think you could find some stuff, I definitely don't do race to the bottom pricing.
Actually I'm told we are expensive.

Some of the larger production stuff they just want it done fast and correct, they will pay more $ actually.
But you cant be a fuckup crew, and they wont wait in line like job shop customers.

But I also don't do job shoppy one or two, small run, compete against the other 200 shops locally shit either.
Seems that majority doesn't make any money.
 
I would think you could find some stuff, I definitely don't do race to the bottom pricing.
Actually I'm told we are expensive.

Some of the larger production stuff they just want it done fast and correct, they will pay more $ actually.
But you cant be a fuckup crew, and they wont wait in line like job shop customers.

But I also don't do job shoppy one or two, small run, compete against the other 200 shops locally shit either.
Seems that majority doesn't make any money.
We do all job shop work but mostly power generation or gov stuff for much bigger companies. Our type of work is more niche so although there is competition, most of the time lead time and dimensionally correct are far more important than price. Our shop rate is double what some of the local shops are and we still have zero issue getting the work.
 
We do all job shop work but mostly power generation or gov stuff for much bigger companies. Our type of work is more niche so although there is competition, most of the time lead time and dimensionally correct are far more important than price. Our shop rate is double what some of the local shops are and we still have zero issue getting the work.
If you are pretty a low volume-high margin shop it would seem like a recipe for disaster to take on work that requires an intellectual reset regarding how you do things.
 
We do all job shop work but mostly power generation or gov stuff for much bigger companies. Our type of work is more niche so although there is competition, most of the time lead time and dimensionally correct are far more important than price. Our shop rate is double what some of the local shops are and we still have zero issue getting the work.
I actually think this may make it better for your scenario then.

I have had a customer say I need these parts, here would be our 6 months worth of PO numbers can you do it? (NOPE I don't have a machine to do it shhhhh)

So I bought a machine, just for that one customer for that one set of parts.

Usually within those first PO's the machine was paid for though, Did it twice.
 
In high volume one also has to worry about the costs in moving parts, receiving, packing and shipping plus floor space.
This can add up.
For real, we have two wall racks, and eight 5 shelve rolling racks, just for a single pair of parts.

material comes just over 1,000 pounds (Aluminum)a week, and needs to be cut up.
I needed a biggerer, bettterer, automaticerer saw.

and the stuff ships out in custom foam padded crates. or on pallets.

We had a customer demanded we buy a large box truck to deliver pallets or they were going somewhere else.

But when you see the checks, and hear the job shop guys talk about what they make on here, its worth it. :D
 
In high volume one also has to worry about the costs in moving parts, receiving, packing and shipping plus floor space.
This can add up.
We are actually expanding (double floor space & office, which has higher overhead and with the lack of qualified employees to add too many more machines for our normal work, this is actually what brought up the production or lights out idea. We already have updated all of our older equipment, with oldest cnc on the floor is a 2017. They rest are 2022 and 2023. We have been in our location over 25 years. Alot of good feedback tho thanks everyone.
 








 
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