In a metal fabrication shop, maintaining streamlined and efficient operations is crucial because of its direct impact on total production and customer satisfaction, among other things. However, with the processing time variables, frequent setups, demand fluctuations and other challenges experienced on the shop floor, making gains in efficiency takes concerted effort on an ongoing basis.
Here are five ways Badger Sheet Metal Works is optimizing the custom sheet metal fabrication process to save its customers time and money while preventing logistical headaches. It should by no means be considered an exhaustive accounting of the company’s efforts to this end, but rather a distillation of the major concepts that drive Badger Sheet Metal Works’ strategy and culture.
Examining and improving equipment layouts and production workflow should not be disregarded simply because it is a large-scale and potentially intensive consideration. Manifesting efficiencies in this area brings a myriad of benefits to a custom sheet metal fabrication company and its customers. The right layout improves safety, speeds the movement of material, and ensures orders can be fulfilled as promptly as possible.
Badger Sheet Metal Works’ custom-built facility was designed to strategically streamline workflow and maximize efficiency through all processes. All air, welding gas and power is run throughout the floor to create a highly-flexible and adaptive fabrication operation. The shop can be easily and rapidly reconfigured when new projects are presented or production requirements change. Using hub centers that plug into the floor, team members have access to gas, power, and air throughout the shop. The hubs can be relocated, and the size of a work center adjusted for a new project, in less than an hour.
Badger Sheet Metal Works is a one-stop custom metal fabrication shop with turnkey capabilities. The company has equipment ranging from laser and waterjet cutting technologies to a CNC machining center, with wet painting and other finishing capabilities also provided on site.
Having the tools, processes and team to take a project from start to finish – all under one roof – eliminates lengthy lead times often associated with subcontracting services and delivers cost savings to the customer.
Badger Sheet Metal Works takes pride in using the best tool for any given job. One of the most valuable machines on the metal fabrication shop floor is the press brake, which bends sheet metal with incredible precision and consistency. It is one of the company’s hallmarks of increased production efficiency and flexibility.
Badger Sheet Metal Works has two Amada HDS press brakes that can be programmed offline through Dr. ABE software, eliminating a significant amount of setup time.
The Badger Sheet Metal Works team lead, shop manager and estimator often meet with customers to suggest efficient manufacturing techniques that can save time and money. Steps could include modifying a design, changing material or altering the tolerance of the product.
For example, in situations where engineers might encounter excessive amounts of weld called out, Badger Sheet Metal Works will offer a stitch pattern to minimize warping or remove excessive cleanup.
Another possible modification is offering standard weld nuts in place of PEM fasteners to reduce time and cost. Badger Sheet Metal Works has also suggested powder coating as a replacement for wet paint to lower finishing costs.
Badger Sheet Metal Works always looks to add value to a customer’s product which, in turn, may provide more opportunities to be of service to them.
CONTINUOUS WORKFLOW ANALYSIS
To really get to the heart of a matter and institute meaningful improvement, one must first have a comprehensive understanding of what they are trying to change. Badger Sheet Metal Works carries this principle across operations, from its team to its machines, optimizing key metrics at every opportunity. Metrics that are regularly analyzed include: rework and scrap, utilization, efficiency, productivity, on-time delivery, customer satisfaction, supplier performance, and continuous improvement.
Using its ERP software system to evaluate productivity, Badger Sheet Metal Works found its staff spending a significant amount of time polishing materials by hand in the company’s stainless room. By investing in the LYNX Timesaver, the company was able to reduce polishing time to a fifth of what it once was.
At Badger Sheet Metal Works, the “status quo” is one keen observation away from potentially needing an overhaul. The company holds the process of continuous improvement in high regard, striving to encourage creativity, streamline workflow and reduce waste as an active process that receives daily attention.
For more information about Badger Sheet Metal Works’ custom fabrication capabilities, call Kenny Coe, director of sales, at (920) 435-8881, or visit https://www.bsmw.com/.
ABOUT BADGER SHEET METAL WORKS
Badger Sheet Metal Works is a custom and OEM metal fabrication partner for a wide range of industries including food and dairy, mining, petroleum, material handling, medical and pharmaceutical. The company employs approximately 100 people in a custom-designed plant in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The facility includes a 70 by 320-foot main assembly bay with four crane rails featuring a total lifting capacity of 30 tons and a 22-foot under-hook height.