Lights-Out Benefits

Here are some pointers for working towards successful untended operations.

Columns From: 11/12/2008 Production Machining, ,

Click Image to Enlarge

Chris Felix

Untended machining can lead a shop down a short road to higher production, which of course should equate to higher profits and faster return on investment for its machines. Greater product demand in both domestic and international markets (and competition to land these jobs) is prompting an increase in automation and lights-out operations. Companies are working hard to find ways to get the most from their machines.

But untended machining is not as simple as just starting a job and walking away. Much preparation and planning must go into the process first. You need to consider the type of material being run and that there is an adequate supply of consistently sized stock loaded in the bar feeder. Accurate forecasting of tool wear and proper tool monitoring should be in place to ensure quality parts. And accessories such as chip conveyors, mist collectors, coolant delivery and fire suppressant systems should be in top condition.

To see how one shop runs the majority of its work without supervision, read “The New American Night Shift." Another shop has managed to cut production costs by 40 percent during untended operations (read “U.K. Shop Is Turned On To Lights-Out Machining”). To see the difference machine tool accessories can bring to lights-out, read “Successful Untended Operation.”


Comments are reviewed by moderators before they appear to ensure they meet Modern Machine Shop’s submission guidelines.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Learn More

Editor's Picks

The New American Night Shift

Strong customer service is what has made this company successful. However, while kee...

U.K. Shop Is Turned On To Lights-Out Machining

Fisadco Engineering, a Hull, United Kingdom precision machining firm, had some reservations about...

Successful Untended Operation

Machine tool accessories can make or break untended operation.

Channel Partners