Some of the most consequential challenges manufacturers face today are those they’ve been wrestling with for decades: improving efficiency, running lean and finding qualified labor. These are core challenges that play out on the shop floor and they’ve persisted through the pandemic. In many cases, the pandemic has even amplified them. As a result, manufacturers are more actively seeking automated and/or advanced tools and technology that will help solve for these concerns – even if it’s just one tool or process at a time.
Xebec products can have an outsized impact on production and efficiency for manufacturers. They’re proven to streamline the deburring and finishing processes, reduce labor costs, save manufacturers money, and open the door for new production opportunities.
All of this, yet the consistency and quality don’t suffer as a result. In fact, these will only improve, and you’ll make progress toward leaner, more efficient processes that allow you to get better production value out of your staff.
Typical manufacturing challenges have been exacerbated.
The pandemic has increased the pressure of these challenges in many ways.
- Customer expectations have gone sky-high. Customers expect greater product quality and faster delivery from manufacturers. Any investment manufacturers make should help them achieve both faster speeds and higher quality.
- Staff cuts and furloughs further fueled the labor shortage. During the pandemic, many manufacturers had to make tough calls about their workforce. There was already a labor shortage beforehand, and now they’re struggling to refill roles – particularly since a large percentage of the skilled labor force is near retirement age.
- Social distancing requirements may persist. The health and safety of employees is always the highest priority and maintaining it has been challenging during the pandemic. Automation and co-bots can help manufacturers meet requirements, performing tasks that would otherwise bring employees closer in proximity more frequently. These technologies can also help future-proof manufacturers against public health emergencies.
- Production demand is going to hit as the economy recovers. In fact, demand is already returning. Manufacturers need to be ready to meet this incoming demand amid a labor shortage and higher customer expectations. Automation, co-bots and artificial intelligence are top potential investments to help them capture business as it returns.
As the economy recovers, and considering these exacerbated issues, are you ready to meet demand efficiently and cost-effectively? Each investment needs to pull its weight and show its value toward your objectives, helping you be more efficient, run leaner and maximize your workforce without skipping a beat.
Introduce Xebec deburring products to fast-track your progress.
Research shows manufacturers are planning to invest in automation as they recover from the pandemic and future-proof their businesses. Automating redundant, time-intensive processes like metal deburring and finishing can help manufacturers move toward solving major challenges, whether they’re a small prototyping shop or a large production facility.
If you’re already automating this process with impregnated nylon brushes or wire brushes, Xebec products are a worthwhile upgrade, as they act more like cutting tools. Xebec ceramic fiber is up to 60 times faster, achieves higher quality, has a longer tool life, and produces more consistent results than these brush options.
And if automated deburring isn’t in the cards yet, simply upgrading handheld tools to more sophisticated options, such as Xebec’s handheld deburring tools, can enhance speed, quality and consistency.
Gain efficiency and run leaner
Tools like the Xebec ceramic fiber brush automated in a CNC machining process can help manufacturers be more efficient and run lean, even enabling much-desired lights-out manufacturing. Automating the deburring and finishing processes with a tool of this caliber means you:
- Save time and increase production by achieving deburring and finishing while the part is on the machine.
- Condense the time it takes to the complete the work and reallocate your workforce to focus elsewhere.
- Allow your available resources to produce higher quality parts at a greater volume.
- Achieve consistent quality, resulting in less scrap and rework.
- Make more out of your setup time by deburring and finishing at once and having less scrap and rework.
- Run jobs unattended, even achieving lights-out manufacturing.
Finding skilled labor
We can’t claim that Xebec products can help you find the five qualified engineers you’re looking for. However, by automating this process or by using Xebec handheld deburring products, you optimize a time-intensive process, improve safety for your workers and free them up to perform other valuable tasks. All of this contributes to retaining the quality staff you already have, maximizing their production and creating opportunities to upskill. It helps you do more with the staff you have.
Consider that many shops have highly skilled CNC operators, and even engineers when the production becomes backlogged, performing hand-deburring at their facilities. Also, consider the upskilling opportunities you miss out by taking employees away from these tedious, time-intensive tasks and training them to operate CNCs or other automated equipment.
While your qualified CNC operators and engineers are the individuals with the skillsets to implement automated tools, consider that your existing workforce has the potential to train on these tools and gain new skills. At Xebec, our experienced team can help you identify the best solution for your application.
A small change can make all the difference.
Your deburring and finishing processes are just two in a long list of processes you can target as the answer to today’s challenges. However, this is an investment that doesn’t just help solve problems – it creates opportunities. You can improve throughput and quality, add machines to run more jobs with the workers who are no longer stuck hand-deburring, and more.
For example, Area Tool & Manufacturing wanted to be able to run their machines “unattended” and be as efficient as possible with the two operators and six CNC machines they have. They implemented an automated deburring process with Xebec ceramic fiber brushes in place of manual deburring for a single part. They experienced a lift in productivity, saved up to 60 hours of labor per year, and improved their quality and consistency.
Are you curious how Xebec products can solve for the challenges you face on your shop floor today? Contact us and we’ll work with you to identify the best solution.