Elegance In Simplicity

What generally attracts the Modern editors to visit a shop is the chance to profile some significantly new or fundamentally different approach to machining parts. Examples of such high-level efforts include the implementation of lean manufacturing concepts, the development of in-house training procedures or the adoption of an alternate machine tool platform.

Columns From: 4/2/2008 Modern Machine Shop, ,

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Derek Korn

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Two layers of cardboard serve as a layout template for neatly storing commonly used hand tools and measuring devices. The cardboard serves the organizational purpose and is easier to modify than other, more glamorous materials.

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Casters welded to the bottom of this saw allow employees to move the saw easily to different locations throughout the shop.

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The robot access panel on this wire EDM unit was removed and a tank extension was created to allow very long workpieces to be fixtured in the machine.

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The small dry-erase board on this turning center lists the machine’s job queue. After a quick scan of the board, an operator can collect tools, create programs or perform other duties to prepare for successive jobs.

What generally attracts the Modern editors to visit a shop is the chance to profile some significantly new or fundamentally different approach to machining parts. Examples of such high-level efforts include the implementation of lean manufacturing concepts, the development of in-house training procedures or the adoption of an alternate machine tool platform.

Invariably, though, we unearth a collection of micro elements that feed into a shop’s macro push. Some of these simple efforts are as inexpensive as they are effective. I thought it’d be helpful to highlight a few that I came across in past shop visits.

I hope these examples will spark ideas for simple improvements you can make in your shop. They add up. Make sure to keep an open ear to suggestions from the employees on the shop floor, too. 

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