Catching Your Breath

The economy seems to be taking a breather. Use this lull for positive, constructive action.

Columns From: 5/17/2001 Modern Machine Shop, ,

The economy seems to be taking a breather. Use this lull for positive, constructive action. This is a good time to:

  • Clean house. Dispose of unused or under-utilized equipment and accessories. Online auctions and exchanges make it easier to find a buyer for stuff that’s just taking up space. The Capital Equipment Mall at MMSOnline has a number of sites to check out.
    That machine in the corner with a dead controller: Bring it back to life with a retrofit CNC. It’s never been easier or less expensive to do this. For inspiration, visit the “CNC Retrofits” page at our CNC And DNC Zone. Spruce up the place. Have floors resurfaced and traffic lanes painted. These tasks are easier to do when there are fewer skids and bins of parts in the way.
  • Get organized. Install a shopfloor control system or upgrade the one you have. When fewer active jobs are involved and people have time for training, getting a new system up and running is likely to be easier and much smoother. Our Shop Management Zone has advice and info.
    If you’ve been thinking about rearranging workstations for better workflow, start doing it now while there’s a chance to follow through with your plans before things get zooey again. Examine all the work-arounds and shortcuts your shop has been putting up with because the former pace didn’t allow the best setup to be put in place. Many of these conceal inefficiencies that are counterproductive in the long run. Take steps to reestablish a rational approach to these items.
  • Get certified. Not ISO 9000 certified yet? Started to but never finished? This could be the perfect time to get this job done.
  • Go shopping. This is a GREAT time to buy capital equipment. Interest rates are low. Suppliers are ready to deal. For a list of additional reasons why this is the right time to purchase a new machine tool, go to www.charmillesus.com/press/10reasons.cfm.
    Visualize your shop in the future. Make a list of wants and needs and prioritize them. Do the product research ahead of time so you know exactly what to buy and what options to choose. In the meantime, get the shop ready for delivery and installation. In short, this is a good time to get ready for even better times ahead. Use the present time well, and when those better times get here, they could be the best of times.
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