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Employee scraps parts, brake tools and crashes the machine once a week

SageGlad

Aluminum
Joined
Apr 16, 2022
Hey folks.

I'm experiencing probably what most of machine shop owners had experienced before.
My machinists very stable once a week ether scraps part, brake expensive tool, crashes the machine, doesn't deburr parts (and then they aren't go one to another in an assembly).

I was closing my yes on lots of this things, trying to help them get better in this trade, teach them how to run this and that machine. Buying better tools, quick change tools, other tools to make life easier and to make setups faster etc.

But they keep doing the same things.

I'm getting frustrated. Sometimes I had to spend an entire day to fix crashed lathe, instead of doing programming or working on any new projects etc.

They show up on time, they are here when I need to get the order done or when we are behind on schedule, but again it all happens because if this crashes, scrap etc.

What you guys do in such cases?
Keep employing these people? Then what you do with all loses, you buy materials and tools and fixing machines and put this all on your own shoulders?
Do you require them to fix crashed machines? Not every machinist can fix such equipment.
Do you buy tools and write broken ones off? Do you require them to get that tool if broken?
Same thing with material. This Friday one of my guys scrapped Hastelloy part which he was working two full days on (because he decided to repeat finishing path and moved Z somehow but refused to look at the rest distance on the screen to see that the tool going straight into the part on rapid speed) and this was cost me $1100 to get the material, two tools and two days of fixing and realigning the machine..

What do you all think or what you do?
 
Hey folks.

I'm experiencing probably what most of machine shop owners had experienced before.
My machinists very stable once a week ether scraps part, brake expensive tool, crashes the machine, doesn't deburr parts (and then they aren't go one to another in an assembly).

I was closing my yes on lots of this things, trying to help them get better in this trade, teach them how to run this and that machine. Buying better tools, quick change tools, other tools to make life easier and to make setups faster etc.

But they keep doing the same things.

I'm getting frustrated. Sometimes I had to spend an entire day to fix crashed lathe, instead of doing programming or working on any new projects etc.

They show up on time, they are here when I need to get the order done or when we are behind on schedule, but again it all happens because if this crashes, scrap etc.

What you guys do in such cases?
Keep employing these people? Then what you do with all loses, you buy materials and tools and fixing machines and put this all on your own shoulders?
Do you require them to fix crashed machines? Not every machinist can fix such equipment.
Do you buy tools and write broken ones off? Do you require them to get that tool if broken?
Same thing with material. This Friday one of my guys scrapped Hastelloy part which he was working two full days on (because he decided to repeat finishing path and moved Z somehow but refused to look at the rest distance on the screen to see that the tool going straight into the part on rapid speed)?

What do you all think or what you do?
That's why I no longer have employees
 
That's why I no longer have employees
My father the same. He works for 30 years by himself.
But I'm trying to make business, not to make myself "self busy" kind of.

I have two robots, but most of my work as of right now is job shop style work.
Even if I'd setup robots, they still require people to maintain them, to load raw stock, to setup machines for them to run. As a business I understand I need to do something with this so I can grow the company. So trying to figure out, what exactly.
 
Is this a single individual or just all of your employees together? If its just one guy, seems he isn't cut out for this job. Cut him loose or have him do something with less risk. If its a bunch of folks, that's just business. People make mistakes from time to time. You can do alot to reduce it (better training, tools, employees), but you will never eliminate it. Just have to add the scrap rate/ tool cost/ machine downtime into your shop rate and schedules.
 
Is this a single individual or just all of your employees together? If its just one guy, seems he isn't cut out for this job. Cut him loose or have him do something with less risk. If its a bunch of folks, that's just business. People make mistakes from time to time. You can do alot to reduce it (better training, tools, employees), but you will never eliminate it. Just have to add the scrap rate/ tool cost/ machine downtime into your shop rate and schedules.
I agree. If the same person is making the same mistakes over and over cut that person lose. If it multiple people making mistakes . that is going to happen . just watch to see which ones learn from their mistakes and the ones that don't.
 
They show up on time, they are here when I need to get the order done or when we are behind on schedule, but again it all happens because if this crashes, scrap etc.

What you guys do in such cases?

Well, nowadays, hiring people is too difficult and such a crap shoot, so if they're there every day and on time, then it would benefit you to find a way to teach them the correct way to do things.
Either they don't care, or they don't know, or there isn't a system in place for them to do a job correctly.
Crashing a machine constantly and letting it happen over and over is the fault of the employer.
If they are complacent and don't care, then one of the employees needs to be sacrificed to the unemployment gods to let the others know that it won't be tolerated.

Do they single block new programs correctly to proof them out?
Do they actually USE the distance-to-go on the screen correctly?
Do they feed hold and whip out a 6" scale to double check to see if they have enough clearance or travel to get where the tool needs to go without interference?

Those 3 steps will prevent 99% of all machine crashes on a lathe.
For a mill it's different especially when profiling a 3D surface,but the steps still apply.
 
Not so much the crashing of machine thing. But when I was younger and more Hot Headed and running quite a few guys here I got so pissed about the scrap here that I passed the attached out to all my employees. Even though It was mostly a couple people I couldn't single them out so I gave It to the whole crew. Only lost one guy that day. The one who figured he would never see another paycheck. Passed these out and he disappeared.
 

Attachments

  • CCF_000016.pdf
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Is this a single individual or just all of your employees together? If its just one guy, seems he isn't cut out for this job. Cut him loose or have him do something with less risk. If its a bunch of folks, that's just business. People make mistakes from time to time. You can do alot to reduce it (better training, tools, employees), but you will never eliminate it. Just have to add the scrap rate/ tool cost/ machine downtime into your shop rate and schedules.
Yep mainly one person keep crushing the machine and braking the tools. Another just scrap parts time to time, and if it is Hastelloy, Monel, Inconel or equal expensive, it takes almost all profit from the deal.
 
Do they single block new programs correctly to proof them out?
In front of me, they do. As soon as I'm not behind, they just think I programmed everything to run by itself and I need them to just get paid at the end of every week.
Do they actually USE the distance-to-go on the screen correctly?
Same thing, they use it. I teach them to use it when running new program, or one pc work with new program (even with old one, just to check if everything is setup correctly the same way it was last time). But last time he looked at the screen as he stated "automatically" and let the machine smash itself in to the Hastelloy part.
Makes no sense for me...
Do they feed hold and whip out a 6" scale to double check to see if they have enough clearance or travel to get where the tool needs to go without interference?
That what I teach them to do. And they do it, but then in a few days-weeks becoming overconfident and same thing again. Ether during program run they realize it will crash now "probably" and stop it to check, or sometimes it's too late...

They taking notes and even video how I tech them to do things, and still...

I understand I'm doing something wrong sometimes, but I need people to operate the machines because the other way I'd just stick USB in to the control and hit cycle start..
 
Not so much the crashing of machine thing. But when I was younger and more Hot Headed and running quite a few guys here I got so pissed about the scrap here that I passed the attached out to all my employees. Even though It was mostly a couple people I couldn't single them out so I gave It to the whole crew. Only lost one guy that day. The one who figured he would never see another paycheck. Passed these out and he disappeared.
Good document! But I'm asking myself, is it legal do reimburse all of that?
 
No way that document is legal. You CANNOT have employees working on your equipment but not getting paid. Workers comp would probably say, you weren't paying the employee so you aren't covered.
Also, isn't that kind of the deal? If you own the shop, then the job that makes $500 an hour then there is the job that fights you to $50 an hour. You reap the profits of a well run job, but the employee doesn't. If you have problems with the employee, sad to say, but replace them.
Mistakes happen, expenses happen, but if it is the employee's fault, then fire em, but you can't make them work for free.
 
Process process process

Think of it this way" Everything is your fault"

Then fix it.
Fully production ready programs
deburr in the machine
Every thing that you can take out of the operators hands allows fewer mistakes.

It would be nice to get perfect employees but they are hard to find
I agree, But If you do this and nothing changes. Time to get rid of the guy.
Good document! But I'm asking myself, is it legal do reimburse all of that?
That's why I handed It out to everyone, not just a select few. I didn't see anything that was Illegal about It that way, basically a company policy. They had the option to agree or not. No one was forcing them to sign. But I'm no Attorney and It doesn't take much to get Sued these days..
 
No way that document is legal. You CANNOT have employees working on your equipment but not getting paid. Workers comp would probably say, you weren't paying the employee so you aren't covered.
Also, isn't that kind of the deal? If you own the shop, then the job that makes $500 an hour then there is the job that fights you to $50 an hour. You reap the profits of a well run job, but the employee doesn't. If you have problems with the employee, sad to say, but replace them.
Mistakes happen, expenses happen, but if it is the employee's fault, then fire em, but you can't make them work for free.
You could be right. I didn't consult them. It was a heat of the moment thing. Same guy that walked out filed for unemployment and said he was fired. They called me and discussed the situation. They knew about It and had no problem with It.
 
No way that document is legal. You CANNOT have employees working on your equipment but not getting paid. Workers comp would probably say, you weren't paying the employee so you aren't covered.
Also, isn't that kind of the deal? If you own the shop, then the job that makes $500 an hour then there is the job that fights you to $50 an hour. You reap the profits of a well run job, but the employee doesn't. If you have problems with the employee, sad to say, but replace them.
Mistakes happen, expenses happen, but if it is the employee's fault, then fire em, but you can't make them work for free.
As far as I understand the law, Employers can pursue an employee for the cost of damage to company property, whether caused accidentally or intentionally, only if there is provision in the employment contract allowing them to do so, or if they have the employee's consent to recover the amount.
And it should not drop the pay below the federal minimum wage.
 
You could be right. I didn't consult them. It was a heat of the moment thing. Same guy that walked out filed for unemployment and said he was fired. They called me and discussed the situation. They knew about It and had no problem with It.
State to state it is vary, but in Texas where I am it is the case. In California, same thing.
Texas law:
  1. Careful with minimum wage issues.
    1. Do not force employees to pay business costs if it takes them below minimum wage (see "Deductions for Other Costs to the Employer" in the article "The Texas Payday Law - Basic Issues" for details)
    2. Reimbursements for actual business expenses (i.e., made under an accountable plan) do not count toward the regular rate for overtime calculation purposes, while reimbursements in excess of the actual amounts (those not made in accordance with an accountable plan) would be considered extra pay that would count toward the regular rate of pay - see section 778.217 of DOL's wage and hour regulations for details.
    3. Other than what an employer must reimburse to the employee in order to keep the employee's pay at least at minimum wage, expense reimbursements do not constitute "wages" and may not be the subject of a Texas Payday Law wage claim (see 40 T.A.C. §825.25(d)).
  2. Expense reimbursement policy considerations.
    1. Set a clear written policy stating what will be reimbursed, under what conditions, and when, and have employees sign it; be as specific as possible.
    2. Same thing for expenses that will not be reimbursed - as noted above, be careful with the issue of minimum wage.
    3. Larger expenses should require authorization.
    4. Require receipts.
    5. Provide for auditing by someone other than the employee.
    6. Provide a corrective action procedure for handling violations of the policy.
    7. Under the law of employment at will, the policy can be changed.
 
Not so much the crashing of machine thing. But when I was younger and more Hot Headed and running quite a few guys here I got so pissed about the scrap here that I passed the attached out to all my employees. Even though It was mostly a couple people I couldn't single them out so I gave It to the whole crew. Only lost one guy that day. The one who figured he would never see another paycheck. Passed these out and he disappeared.
Haha, Yeah that's not legal
 








 
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