What Makes for Great Manufacturing Equipment Design?
Businesses purchase equipment all the time. How often does a buyer really think about what goes into excellent manufacturing equipment design? The fundamental question of what makes for effective or even “great” design can carry profound implications for your production line.
What Makes Manufacturing Equipment Great?
There are a handful of key factors that go into determining great design in manufacturing equipment. These factors are important to consider before making a new purchase.
Finding faults in your current equipment setup can also help to improve its current design for modifications, as well as possibly prevent purchasing equipment with the same known shortcomings.
The Importance of Equipment Design in Manufacturing
In manufacturing, equipment design and functionality can make or break a production line. Machine design can affect things such as the look, feel, and function of your products as well as production throughput and capacity. Design can positively or negatively impact production layout, product flow, operator interface, uptime/downtime, and even energy efficiency.
Dedicated or Flexible—Which Is Better? You Decide
Dedicated manufacturing equipment is typically used for a limited series of applications while flexible equipment can have varied uses. Deciding which of the two is better depends on the nature of your product lines – for both short and long-term product planning.
For some applications, a dedicated equipment line may be all that is needed. It can run repeatedly creating high quality products with minimal setups and changeovers. For other product designs, volumes and applications, more flexible equipment may be needed. In this case, the equipment may be needed to build different sizes of products, utilize different materials, and utilize modified processes to complete its tasks. The setups, changeovers, and tooling costs may play a much more significant role in the productivity of the equipment.
Sound Ergonomic Design Considerations
For manufacturers that are employing workers who will be using the equipment for many hours a day, ergonomics should play a significant role in the purchasing decision. Equipment designed with sound ergonomics will put less physical strain on your operators. Ergonomics may include hand positions, standing vs. sitting, repeated motions, sound, lights, interface screens, and safety related to moving parts or power.
Always look for equipment that features predictive maintenance, meaning there is a known downtime for care of the equipment, cleaning or replacement parts. Predictive maintenance techniques may provide significant cost savings by preventing unexpected or undesired downtime, with known wear points and adjustments readily accessible to operators and tech support.
Clean and Sleek Design
While not always a primary factor, the aesthetic design of your equipment is also valuable. Modern equipment design includes simple to understand operation screens, readily accessible knobs and adjustments, software that can be quickly understood, with proper shields and other operator protection interlocks. Comfortable operation of equipment can easily increase its productivity.
Partner with Thermal Press International and Soar Past the Competition
Thermal Press has been the leader in plastic thermal assembly since 1976. We provide plastic assembly equipment of uncompromising design and uptime, utilized for manufacturing in a wide variety of sectors and applications. Learn more about how our heat staking equipment and heat sealing equipment can benefit your business.
Contact Us or call (925) 454-9800 to speak with a Thermal Press engineer.