Hi, I’m Peter, and I used to be an Operations Manager at a CNC machine shop. If you’re reading this blog, it’s probably safe to say I used to be like you.
Before joining the Amper Team, I worked at a factory that had 60 different machines that ranged from 2 years old to 50 years old. Some of the machines had PLCs. Some of them didn’t.
Like many other manufacturers our main goal was to hit our lead times. Oftentimes, to ensure we didn’t get a backlog of jobs, we’d run overtime or on Saturdays.
As an Operations Manager maintaining our bottom line was my number one priority and I struggled to understand why additional production hours were needed to hit lead times
Eventually, we were able to determine that some operators were setting up jobs faster than others. I was tasked with a project to determine which of the operators needed more setup training, and who should be running which jobs. Unfortunately, this process was all manual. By the time I could come back with a concrete recommendation, the job was over.
Additionally, the time it took for First Article Inspection was also affecting lead times. As a precision manufacturer, quality checks were imperative given the intricacy of the parts we were running. Yet, we had no real process in place. In fact, a Quality Engineer would have to walk around the shop floor and see if there were any parts that needed checked. With only 2 inspectors, when more than one operator started running a job at the same time, they would have to wait for a Quality Engineer to come and check their part before the line could start running.
I knew there had to be a better way to collect data around setup times, optimize our processes as well as streamline communication between our departments.
The Hunt for a Machine Monitoring Solution
I was tasked with finding the right solution, so I I started to research machine monitoring systems.
My biggest hurdle? Ownership wasn’t willing to make a large investment in the solution.
Like many other manufacturers, they believed it was impossible to get the data we needed out of our old machines. At least, not without paying a ton of money for complex integrations.
I was worried he was right. After evaluating a few solutions, it looked like it would cost us 6 figures, and 3 months of implementation to get a machine monitoring solution in place.
I felt discouraged. I knew we couldn’t be the only machine shop with this problem; we couldn’t be the only ones that needed this kind of data without the massive price tag.
But then, I came across Amper. Amper was different. The technology was simple; I was impressed by the easy-to-use interface. (When implementing a new technology at a factory, it's safe to say, the less complicated, the better). Plus, Amper’s pricing was easy to understand. They had no implementation fees. No nickel and diming. Just one easy price.
The biggest draw was that the solution could be self-installed and deployed in minutes. It would have no effect on our production, and I would be able to see our utilization in less than a week.
I was sold.
Unfortunately, my company decided not to make a change.
So, that’s when I decided to make a change for myself.
A New Career
I loved Amper’s product, and working first-hand as an Operations Manager in a machine shop, I knew the value the solution could deliver.
I was so impressed by the simplicity of the product and it’s transparent pricing, that I decided to leave my job and join the Amper team.
So, here I am, working for Amper, educating my peers about how our solution can fix communication problems, speed up setup times and ultimately, help you meet your lead times. How do I know this? Well, I used to be you.