Further improving the efficiency of the shop floor is every manufacturers ongoing goal. Over a long period of time, even the smallest of inefficiencies mount up to create a cost that is worth taking note of. A lot of these inefficiencies are not caused by the manufacturing process itself, but more commonly by aspects that accompany it. Examples can be things such as trying to find materials or even getting machines set up to run a batch.
An approach that is used to help improve efficiencies in both of these productive and non-productive areas is the concept of work order nesting. Work order nesting consists of grouping a number of individual work orders that have a common factor. This common factor may be that they all use the same grade of material or that they are required to go through the same manufacturing sequence. Below are two of the main advantages gained by using work order nesting;
- Better material utilisation. In the case that you have multiple works orders that all require the same grade of material, work order nesting can be very useful for a number of reasons. First of all, if someone is searching for enough material for one nest as oppose to seven individual jobs, they are going to save time and effort as they will only be searching the once to meet the requirements for the nest as a whole. Once the material is then being consumed, they will be able to achieve better material utilisation as they can plan for the entire nest from the outset as opposed to seven individual parts.
- Avoid multiple set ups. This very simple concept can improve your efficiency tenfold for a number of reasons. By grouping multiple jobs that share a common manufacturing sequence under one nest, you are able to save on someone having to set up the machine more than once which in itself, helps drastically reduce the probability of human error. This enables you to save huge amounts of time and is also an area that can further improve your profit margins. Generally, a lot of jobs would have originally been quoted individually and as a result, they would have all been quoted to include their own set up charge, meaning that out of the 7 set up charges that were originally quoted, 6 of them now make up pure profit. As with the benefits mentioned above for material utilisation, you are now removing the need for someone to go and find the tooling required for the job several times.
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