In the not to distant past many manufacturing processes were very labor intensive. In countries such as China and India there is still a great deal of manual labor intensive manufacturing. I remember as a child I worked in my Father’s sheet metal shop and the machine of choice was a Strippit 30/30. I have seen many of these machines and they are still in use today and very reliable. One day the company purchased a Diacro VT-19 and it was a dream. This machine was able to be loaded with multiple tools unlike the 30/30 where it was a one tool machine. The Diacro VT-19 was still a manual process machine but the great thing about the machine you can create the entire part without removing the material. The 30/30 was setup to punch 1 or more holes only if they were lined up and used the same tooling. Todays NC machines hold vastly more tools and also are automated where there is no manual intervention during the run cycle.
Why should I mention this?
Estimating has changed and each of the three machines which make the ”same” part have different setup times. Needless to say you should use the best machine for the job.
The Strippit 30/30 was setup by putting in a single punch, setting the x and y stops. For each hole different hole these three steps had to take place. The formula to estimate the setup time would be
(Number Of Tool Changes)*(Time Per Tool Change) + (Number Of X Stop Changes) * (Time Per X Stop Change) + (Number of Y Stop Changes)*(Time Per Y Stop Change)
This is a lot of effort and can be improved by automating the machine but these machines are still in use. The above formula work and give you a reasonable accurate estimate. I’m currently ignoring the other factors like gathering the tools, etc.
The Diacro VT-19 was setup by placing all the tools in the Turret. The last part of the setup would be to put in the template which would be used to guide the material to the correct location so the punch could put the whole in the correct spot. The formula to estimate the setup time would be
(Number Of Tools)*(Time Per Tool)+(Time To Setup Template)
This is a lot of effort and can be improved by automating the machine to eliminate setting up the template.
I’ll Continue next time on the Automated CNC Machine and Laser, Waterjet or Plasma machines