To get the most out of the machines on the floor, a shop must keep them producing parts. When part runs are short, reducing machine downtime becomes even more vital and tooling setups must be highly efficient. Naturally, having the tools preset and ready for the next operation allows for faster change-over from one job to the next, keeping a machine’s idle time to a minimum.
Not always true for ammunition production today.
Automatic loading machines are designed and built to produce large quantities of one product with mechanical cams controlling movements. This leads to a situation where many ammunition producers have loading machines that are dedicated to specific calibers and sometimes even to a specific cartridge. Machines can sit idle waiting for the next seasons production run. Short production runs are often hand loaded since set up cost in a mechanical cam controlled machine is high.
Take It Offline
It’s an ongoing challenge. To remain competitive, producers must find new and more efficient ways to increase production. In a loading machine with servo actuated electronic cam curves the process of manually adjusting the tools once they are loaded into the machine, running trial parts and sending them through inspection is simple and relatively fast. Still on short to medium length production runs a large percent of the machine time has been consumed with functions outside of producing, and part production rate pays the price. Offline tool presetting is not a common thing in loading operations today, yet it is easy to do and will significantly increase output rate.