For many machine shops today, the most promising avenue of potential expansion is not a new market or an addition to their facilities, but instead the untapped, unstaffed nighttime hours that could be captured for automated, “lights-out” production.
During the day, the hours are full. The limits shops face is finding the skilled workers to do the work. This article by Modern Machine Shop’s Editor-in-Chief Peter Zelinski focuses on three mindset changes shops must make to be successful at lights-out machining. First, a shop should consider running simple parts on high-end machines. Second, a shop must be okay with longer cycle times. The final mindset change is to recognize that the shop’s most profitable hours are when nobody is there.