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Selecting a manufacturing process for a product is the first thing you need to consider as soon as you have decided to manufacture a product. Many business owners make the mistake of thinking of the manufacturing process after finalizing the design process.
Instead, they should keep the manufacturing process in mind at the beginning of the design process as it will ensure that the design is less costly to produce and easier.
A few factors that you must keep in mind while seeking the answer to how to select a manufacturing process for your product are listed below.
Consider the Costs
The two main costs associated with a manufacturing process are tooling and part cost. The former is the cost of creating a mould while the latter is the cost incurred when an individual part is manufactured. The higher the tooling cost, the lower is the part cost.
Similarly, the lower the tooling cost, the higher is part cost. For instance, die casting moulds are expensive but the cost of producing each part is quite low and the cost of CNC machined part is low but the time needed to create a part is very high due to the amount of time needed to produce every part.
Access the Capabilities of a Manufacturing Method
After analysing the costs, you should select a manufacturing technique on the basis of its capabilities. If you want to create complex geometries, injection moulding must be one of your preferences. In contrast, if you want to manufacture water bottles, you should opt for blow moulding, a process suitable for making hollow parts.
Remember that Appearance Matters
When selecting a manufacturing process, you should remember that the look and feel of the product matters a lot to customers while making a product selection.
Some manufacturing processes make the products better in look and feel. So, you should consider them if you can afford the same. For instance, CNC machined parts have better look and feel as compared to stamped metal parts.
Think of Type of Materials You Have
The type of materials you need to use to create product also matters a lot when it comes to deciding the manufacturing process. You must know that some materials can be formed only by using specific manufacturing processes and using any other process might lead to disasters.
For instance, if you need to create a part using iron, sand casting or lost wax methods are essential to liquify it at high temperatures. If you use die casting, it won’t work as effectively as high temperatures cannot be attained.
Decide Whether You Require Automation
Automation has officially entered in the manufacturing process, and manufacturers are using cobots (collaborative robots) to boost the productivity and increase efficiencies. So, you must decide whether you want to take this route or stick to human employees only.
Don’t Forget the Finishing Needs
The manufacturing process cannot be complete without the finishing touches. Finishing a product properly not only makes it look good, but it also enhances the longevity and performance of a product. Hence, while deciding the manufacturing process, you should choose the right process to finish off every product with perfection. Injection moulding is a good option as it allows in-mould decorating.
After you have decided the manufacturing process you will adopt, the next step is to create a master production schedule that lets you overcome all day to day manufacturing challenges with ease and grace.