Editing to remove non- value adding distractions and waste is the true essence of Lean.

There are many distractiong non value added elements in this photo.
There are many distracting non-value-added elements in this photo.

lean eliminates those distractions to reveal the true value.
Lean eliminates those distractions to reveal the true value.

Who is the “Lean Editor” to cut the non-value-added distractions and waste throughout your shop?

 Level Precision Machining Industry Sales Beat Fed Industrial Production Numbers for February 2016
With 81 companies responding, the PMPA Business Trends Index in February 2016 remained level at 117.

Steady as she goes: level sales for January and February 2016
Steady as she goes: level sales for January and February 2016

The glass half full interpretation of this is that we did not get the traditional February decline from January.
half full glass
The glass half empty interpretation is that February 2016 is down five points or four percent from February 2015.  Year to date our index is just 95% of that of same period 2015.
The good news is that our index’s remaining level beats the Industrial Production DECREASE reported by the FED for February of 0.5 %.
What are you seeing for sales in your shop?

Here are  three of my favorite and most shared ideas to get the most from drills in your shop.

135 Degree Screw Machine Drill
135 Degree Screw Machine Drill

  • Keep the drill short.
  • Get the feed rate right.
  • Replace the drill on schedule before it dulls.

Keep the drill short. Drills need a rigid setup. Having extra length can lead  to deflection and drill wander. There is a reason that drills for screw machining applications are short- we need the rigidity. I learned this while working as the metallurgist for a steel bar company. I got a call from a customer that my steel wouldn’t drill straight. After a 3-1/2 hour drive to the customer’s shop out of state, I found a very narrow diameter drill (maybe 3/16″) being held in a Jacobs chuck the size of my head, being held on a Morse taper the length of my forearm. Or maybe a bit longer. Add to that a very short cycle time, and the drill and chuck never got to a repeatably steady location- they were vibrating until they entered into the next workpiece.  They could enter that workpiece at a number of different locations based on that vibration and moment arm. We shortened the setup considerably and suddenly the steel that we provided was drilling straight, true and on center.
Get the feed rate right. When I was learning machining, I was taught that the feed rate determines your success in drilling. After years and years in shops like yours, I am convinced that what I was taught is correct. Yes, the wrong speed can burn up a drill. But getting the feed right assures that the chips break up appropriately. that they will flow smoothly down the flutes. Proper feed assures that the drill won’t “chip out” on the cutting edge, and also that the drill itself won’t crack  or split up the center from too heavy of a feed.
Planned replacement of the drill before it dulls will make  you more parts per shift. This is an under- appreciated way of thinking. In most companies, they have a purchasing culture and want to get the most out of a tool before replacing it. In the most profitable companies, they have a “respect the process” culture that focusses on maintaining process control, not maximum tool life. By replacingthe drill before it gets dull, they minimize downtime, They minimize the production of defective parts. They minimize the creation of workhardening in the parts produced prior to tool replacement. This means less downtime, more trouble-free uptime, and more parts at the end of the shift. Twenty extra minutes of production on a part with a ten second cycle time is an extra 120 parts at the end of the shift. Shippable, billable, no- anomaly parts.
There are other factors besides feed that influence drilling, I will grant you that.
Proper speed, proper coating, proper geometry, effective delivery of coolant– we could create quite a list.
But in my experience, the three factors that hold the secret to productive drilling in our precision machining shops are short rigid setups, proper feed, and planned or scheduled replacement. These three factors are the keys to getting more parts with less trouble out of your shop.
What do you think?
Photo credit:  ENCO

Published March 2016

By PMPA Staff

In 1964, Donald Holbrook took two Brown & Sharpe cam screw machines he purchased from a dissolved machine shop and set them up in a bay of the garage of his family home in North Easton, Massachusetts, to create what would become North Easton Machine Company (NEM).



Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in February for the fifth consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 81st consecutive month, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

Graph of ISM PMI index january 1963 through February 2016
Graph Courtesy Calculated Risk Blog

We admit that manufacturing is one definitive pocket of recession- 5 consecutive months of contracting economic activity is by definition “recessionary.”

Strong consumer balance sheets and strong corporate balance sheets seem to be keeping the general economy growing, with February being the 81st consecutive month of general economic expansion according to ISM.
Besides, there has never been a recession in the United States unless and until the yield spread has inverted. Of course, there was never before such a situation of somuch foreign purchase of US Treasury debt either…
Our January Business trends report showed many respondents with huge sales increases over December 2015, and many with no significant pick up.
We think that we have, as manufacturers, stronger months ahead of us in 2016.
Calculated Risk Blog