# Tool Test / Cost Savings / Being Competitive

This is some of what I have learned since becoming a member of this newsgroup almost a decade ago, when it was fun to post and learn about
things actually used on the shop floor. I thought I would take some time to reflect on some of the things I have learned and teach on a daily basis, helping people out, making a living by working hard and realizing the mistakes that I have made applying cutting tools and how it can be turned around into showing machine shops how NOT to make those mistakes and and go through that pain.
A Lathe Cutting Tool Test is complete. The same style of insert geometry was used so as the same holder was used during the test. Brands, Grades and Chipbreakers were changed. The results are documented. With the benchmark set forth from the current tool, it is now time to calculate the potential overall cost savings of the new tool.
The initial findings are the new insert costs \$1 more than the current insert AND the new insert gets 50 parts LESS than the current insert. Should you stop calculating the test results due to what appears to be an obvious waste of test time and stay with the current insert or should you continue on taking all aspects of the test into consideration?
Believe it or not most shops will ask to stop right there due to the obvious higher cost of the tooling involved. But they miss the point of calculating the Time Factor and how it applies to machine capacity.
Let’s continue just to see what was learned during this test.
These 5 factors stay the same regardless which tool is used: 1. Shop Rate is \$60 per hour for this test. Easy to figure \$1 per minute that way. 2. There are 6,000 parts on this job. 3. The insert makes 1 Z-Axis cutting motion that is 7-1/2” in length. 4. It takes a total of 2 minutes on average (downtime) to properly index the insert when needed. 5. Both inserts have 2 cutting edges.
Here are the Variables that need to be calculated: Current Insert Cost is \$7 each Test Insert cost is \$8 each
Current Insert lasts for 250 parts Test Insert lasts for 200 parts
Current Tool is turning at 1500 RPM and .005” IPR Feedrate Test Tool is turning at 2000 RPM and .0075” IPR Feedrate
Let’s see if the shop should stay with the current insert or proceed to use the new insert.
Using the current insert to make 6,000 parts will consume 24 cutting edges, which is 12 inserts, which has a total cost of \$84. Tool cost per Part is \$.014 Using the new insert to make 6,000 parts will consume 30 cutting edges, which is 15 inserts, which has a total cost \$120. Tool cost per Part is \$.020 New Insert shows a savings of (negative) -\$36 or \$.006 per Part.
Current Insert was feeding at 7.5 Inches per Minute, taking 1 minute of cycletime. Adding \$1.000 of cost to the part.
New Insert was feeding at 15 Inches per Minute, taking ½ minute of cycletime. Adding \$ 0.50 of cost to the part.
Running Total for the Cost Per Part for Tooling and Cycletime is: Current Insert \$1.014 per part. New Insert \$0.52 per parts. New Insert showing a savings of \$0.494 per Part.
Downtime to Index Insert: Current Insert consumes 48 minutes of indexing time. \$48.00 cost, \$0.008 per Part. New Insert consumes 60 minutes of indexing time. \$60.00 cost, \$0.010 per Part.
Running Total for the Cost Per Part for Tooling,Cycletime and Downtime is: Current Insert \$1.022 per part. New Insert \$0.53 per part. New Insert showing a savings of \$0.492 per Part.
Current Insert will complete the job with a total cost of \$6,132. New Insert will complete the job with a total cost of \$3,180. Dollar Amount Saved on THIS job with the New Insert is \$2,952.
Time Consumed using the Current Insert is 6,048 minutes, 100.8 hours. Time Consumed using the New Insert is 3,060 minutes, 51 hours.
The next job could be running 49.8 hours sooner in the work schedule, which if the shop was running 1 shift with overtime would be 1 week sooner. Plus the overtime wage was calculated into this test so the savings would be even greater if indeed this was the scenario.
We can debate Rapid Movement Times, other little tidbits of idiocy also, but the point I’m trying to make is the tooling cost is minimal compared to time wasted in any way it is wasted. But the main culprit shops target is the tooling. The reason being is the Owner sees an invoice for \$120 instead of the \$84 he is used to. The Owner, or even worse the Controller/Accountant doesn’t see the chip bin fill up faster or the machine open up quicker for the next job to start.
With this NEW FREE OPEN MACHINE CAPACITY working for them, the shop may not need to purchase another piece of machinery (from China, Japan or Germany as is in most cases today) that cost in excess of \$250,000 or more to be competitive. They can compete on Quality and Delivery while keeping their costs fair to be more profitable for their future and their workers future.
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Thanks for posting this!
This is why I came here to begin with, as a shop owner, and virtual 1 man band, it is easy to fall into the trap of only looking at the tooling invoice, and, being the "Shell answer man" all the time you become the only resource for ALL of the solutions to the everyday issues.
It is good to bounce ideas and issues off of others with more or even different experiences to find solutions, (I know talking nirvanna here), but that is how we get better.
Drop me a line at www.reidmachine.com I have questions!
Thanks again for coming back, and dont let the drivel drive you away "D"
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On Jul 13, 12:15 pm, snipped-for-privacy@msn.com wrote:

AWESOME Products "D" !!!! I love seeing the end products. Recently I was involved in reducing the cycletimes on a body of a Cross Bow.
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On Jul 13, 8:15 am, snipped-for-privacy@msn.com wrote:

Those rocker sets look killer.
It's amazing you were able to manufacture such an item with out full graphical control of the toolpath, being able to drag and drop work coordinate systems, or being able to free-form model using Synchronous Technology!
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No clues what so ever about rocker arm geometry. As long as it "looks killer" that's what counts to brain dead morons.
http://www.mid-lift.com/INTRO-ML-BKGRND.htm
Jon Banquer San Diego, CA
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On Jul 13, 11:57 am, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

What does the rocker arm geometry have to do with his manufacturing process? This is alt.machines.cnc, not alt.rockerarmgeometrycopypastedshitbylunatics.
More importantly, where are YOUR rocker arm designs? Since you obviously know so much more about rocker arms than an successful person who actually manufactures and sells them.
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No clues what so ever about rocker arm geometry. As long as it "looks killer" that's what counts to brain dead morons.
http://www.mid-lift.com/INTRO-ML-BKGRND.htm
Jon Banquer San Diego, CA
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On Jul 13, 12:33 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

No answer to the question, I see?
How surprising.
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No clues what so ever about rocker arm geometry. As long as it "looks killer" that's what counts to brain dead morons.
http://www.mid-lift.com/INTRO-ML-BKGRND.htm
Jon Banquer San Diego, CA
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On Jul 13, 1:41 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

OK, then why dont you go out to the track and tell all the racers that are replacing the old and breaking stuff with the Manton / Reid rocker assembly? I'm sure they will stand in absolute amazement at your ability to tell them they dont know what they are doing. FWIW the rocker runs on a HAAS 4th axis, completely modeled, with tooling modeled in, using Mastercam V9.1 MR0105, Level 3, LEGAL!, all toolpaths are pure, and no editing of path is done, either at the machine, or in NCI edit, G54 is the only fixture offset used, same for the stands.
107 Operations in the ops manager, all titled and defined, from simple contouring to 3d surfacing to drilling and tapping.
So, "I've shown you mine, you show me yours"
Obviously, the best you've been able to do so far is to resort to name calling and personal affronts, C'mon, try a little harder. Besides, mid lift only works for roller rockers, not for shoe type rockers, pay attention!
"D"
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Many people will never understand or believe the process you just described, even if hard numbers are delivered.
A lot of people don't understand that the world works in dollars per hour/week/month/year, not "dollars per job". Because of that reason, many people still make their decisions based on "dollars per job."
I recall an article awhile back (granted it was from Sandvik), that stated on average, tooling accounts for less than 6% of the cost of a part. So even if you got your tooling for FREE, you'd only be saving 6%. If you bought half priced crap, you could be "saving" 3%.
On the flip side, buying more expensive tooling that costs more up front, but can increase production by 10-15%, can make a HUGE difference in the bottom line, as your study just showed.
We are running a job right now, that I like to call, "The job from hell." It's a plastic part, 14x8. 95% of the material is removed, and the two 8 inch wide ends are connected by nothing more than two strips, 11 inches long, .5 wide, and .040 thick, with a tolerance of +/-.002 on the thickness. It's a one time job, the customer is in a huge panic, and it's worth about \$20,000. We also had to bump aside or move \$20,000 worth of OTHER work that was already scheduled for that machine. We started out getting 5 parts per hour, at \$20/part. We ran the first order of 120 parts this way, but then the customer came back and needed 1000 ASAP, we needed to make some changes. By spending \$750 on cutting tools, fixture components, and program changes, we're now getting 6.5 parts per hour.
Now, after a 10 hour shift:
-We've made 65 parts instead of 50 (The customer HAS TO have 50 per day)
-The job will be completed a full work week sooner. (3 weeks instead of 4)
-Other customers will be able to get their parts a full week sooner.
-We'll ship an additional \$5,000-\$7,000 worth of parts from that machine this month.
All because we spent a few hours and \$750 on cutting tools and fixturing.
Or you could look at it the *other* way, and say, "You're an idiot for wasting \$750 on tools and fixtures you'll never use again. You only made \$19,250 on that job when you could have made \$20,000!"
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Joe,
My next Tech Bulletin to Shop Owners is titled " Cheap Tools Cost Too Much".
I used to make tech bulletins for the operators. Now they troubleshoot things faster. Then I began to make them for the Programmers, especially the ones that use CAM to create toolpaths. (here it comes again, I feel it) Then they began to use the Radial Chip Thinning Factors, Ballnose Factors, Circular Interpolation Feed Adjustments, and now their tools work better in their posted toolpaths.
But I found that if you don't educate the owners, the benefit of my services are truly never known in the office other than the invoice for the cutting tools. When a machine opens up a few hours or day sooner than the scheduling department expected, do you think someone says it was because of the increased cost of tooling? Not a chance.
The ironic thing I have also noticed is at these machine shop auctions (get the hint here? They are out of business) stuck away in a box you will find brand new higher tech tooling than what's setup in the crib as the Go To Tooling. It was never given a chance to perform or someone saw the price after it was used and knew they couldn't afford to use it. Again, the place is now being auctioned off. Ironic huh ?
Cutting Tools make money. Wasted time not only costs you the original time, but to make up for it, it takes OVER-Time. Highly unlikely the shop gets 150% output for the 150% wage. More than likely the same mis- application of tooling takes place during the Over Time hours as it does on regular time. I mean, why change anything at all, other than find another Loser Tool Salesman with another cheaper tool to sell.
JR
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Yer preachin to the choir as far as I am concerned. I see the same things you see when discussing tooling with some of the smaller shop owners on here as well as other forums. Good tooling doesn't cost money, good tooling -MAKES- money.
--
Anthony

You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
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On Sun, 13 Jul 2008 08:16:19 -0700 (PDT), JRWheels

========Thanks for sharing what must have been time consuming and expensive data to gather. This also helps to explain the old joke that a machine shop is a place where they can make anything except money.
What kind of job estimating software do our readers use to make these kinds of "what if" studies to compare alternatives? Any specific brand names or mainly home brew excel spreadsheets?
Also, given the OEM dealer mechanic hourly rate in most areas, a 60\$ per hour shop rate seems low, but if this is what the local market will bear....
The economic news indicates that US exports are up and imports down, improving [but not eliminating] the current accounts trade deficit. For our money players, has the increase in export orders been enough to offset the rise in prices for imported tooling/machines and petroleum products? http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/ci_9868760?source=rss http://biz.yahoo.com/nytimes/080712/1194793993976.html?.v 
Unka' George [George McDuffee] ------------------------------------------- He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for Time is the greatest innovator: and if Time, of course, alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end?
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, essayist, statesman. Essays, "Of Innovations" (1597-1625).
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This is some of what I have learned since becoming a member of this newsgroup almost a decade ago, when it was fun to post and learn about things actually used on the shop floor. I thought I would take some time to reflect on some of the things I have learned and teach on a daily basis, helping people out, making a living by working hard and realizing the mistakes that I have made applying cutting tools and how it can be turned around into showing machine shops how NOT to make those mistakes and and go through that pain.
A Lathe Cutting Tool Test is complete. The same style of insert geometry was used so as the same holder was used during the test. Brands, Grades and Chipbreakers were changed. The results are documented. With the benchmark set forth from the current tool, it is now time to calculate the potential overall cost savings of the new tool.
The initial findings are the new insert costs \$1 more than the current insert AND the new insert gets 50 parts LESS than the current insert. Should you stop calculating the test results due to what appears to be an obvious waste of test time and stay with the current insert or should you continue on taking all aspects of the test into consideration?
Believe it or not most shops will ask to stop right there due to the obvious higher cost of the tooling involved. But they miss the point of calculating the Time Factor and how it applies to machine capacity.
Let’s continue just to see what was learned during this test.
These 5 factors stay the same regardless which tool is used: 1. Shop Rate is \$60 per hour for this test. Easy to figure \$1 per minute that way. 2. There are 6,000 parts on this job. 3. The insert makes 1 Z-Axis cutting motion that is 7-1/2” in length. 4. It takes a total of 2 minutes on average (downtime) to properly index the insert when needed. 5. Both inserts have 2 cutting edges.
Here are the Variables that need to be calculated: Current Insert Cost is \$7 each Test Insert cost is \$8 each
Current Insert lasts for 250 parts Test Insert lasts for 200 parts
Current Tool is turning at 1500 RPM and .005” IPR Feedrate Test Tool is turning at 2000 RPM and .0075” IPR Feedrate
Let’s see if the shop should stay with the current insert or proceed to use the new insert.
Using the current insert to make 6,000 parts will consume 24 cutting edges, which is 12 inserts, which has a total cost of \$84. Tool cost per Part is \$.014 Using the new insert to make 6,000 parts will consume 30 cutting edges, which is 15 inserts, which has a total cost \$120. Tool cost per Part is \$.020 New Insert shows a savings of (negative) -\$36 or \$.006 per Part.
Current Insert was feeding at 7.5 Inches per Minute, taking 1 minute of cycletime. Adding \$1.000 of cost to the part.
New Insert was feeding at 15 Inches per Minute, taking ½ minute of cycletime. Adding \$ 0.50 of cost to the part.
Running Total for the Cost Per Part for Tooling and Cycletime is: Current Insert \$1.014 per part. New Insert \$0.52 per parts. New Insert showing a savings of \$0.494 per Part.
Downtime to Index Insert: Current Insert consumes 48 minutes of indexing time. \$48.00 cost, \$0.008 per Part. New Insert consumes 60 minutes of indexing time. \$60.00 cost, \$0.010 per Part.
Running Total for the Cost Per Part for Tooling,Cycletime and Downtime is: Current Insert \$1.022 per part. New Insert \$0.53 per part. New Insert showing a savings of \$0.492 per Part.
Current Insert will complete the job with a total cost of \$6,132. New Insert will complete the job with a total cost of \$3,180. Dollar Amount Saved on THIS job with the New Insert is \$2,952.
Time Consumed using the Current Insert is 6,048 minutes, 100.8 hours. Time Consumed using the New Insert is 3,060 minutes, 51 hours.
The next job could be running 49.8 hours sooner in the work schedule, which if the shop was running 1 shift with overtime would be 1 week sooner. Plus the overtime wage was calculated into this test so the savings would be even greater if indeed this was the scenario.
We can debate Rapid Movement Times, other little tidbits of idiocy also, but the point I’m trying to make is the tooling cost is minimal compared to time wasted in any way it is wasted. But the main culprit shops target is the tooling. The reason being is the Owner sees an invoice for \$120 instead of the \$84 he is used to. The Owner, or even worse the Controller/Accountant doesn’t see the chip bin fill up faster or the machine open up quicker for the next job to start.
With this NEW FREE OPEN MACHINE CAPACITY working for them, the shop may not need to purchase another piece of machinery (from China, Japan or Germany as is in most cases today) that cost in excess of \$250,000 or more to be competitive. They can compete on Quality and Delivery while keeping their costs fair to be more profitable for their future and their workers future.
**** I used to wonder why people didn't make good choices when everything was so obvious? Then I learned..... I can only see the obvious. But there's more involved some of the time. Sometimes it's sheer ignorance, like the coated/non coated wire edm wire example. it cuts 30% faster and costs twice as much. Doesn't sound like much of a deal till you do the math and use shop labor vs wire per hour costs. hmmm 75\$hr shop labor vs 5\$hr wire cost. The cost is insugnificant.
However, sometimes there's real reasons for buying cheaper stuff.
lets say your lathe guys suck? Unless your willing to do it all yourself, owning a shop means having some shitty people now and then. It gets complicated because the more technologically advanced things get the more you have to "do it right". Cheap inserts are a lot less forgiving, and they are obviously cheaper.
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Vinnie, I understand where you are coming from but you have to take the plunge every once in awhile. How about having the potential new hire for the lathe position take an appititude test before you hire them? If they can't add or subtract do you think they will do good making wear offsets or moving Origins or Fixture Offesets? Probably not.
I had a boss a long time ago that asked me why I kept training my operators knowing someday they would leave his shop. I told him I would rather train them and have them leave than not train them and have them stay. If they were trained and made him more money than he needed to pay the profit making people more money. The key word there... "I HAD" because I left too.
I see the typical sucky Lathe Operator you were talking about all of the time. The run machines that cost well over \$100,000 and I think "Would the owner of this shop let this guy drive his \$100,000 Sports Car he has tucked away at his house?" Of course not, at least not without some serious instructions on what to do and what not to do. But it's ok if the lathe operator crashes the turret on the lathe.
The math behind some of this really doesn't need to be a concern for Operators. They simply need to follow good instructions, load parts or bars and make good parts. Your real Machinists will need to know more about what the tech portion is all about as these people are typically your setup people.
Staying ahead of the competition is tough these days. But the little things can add up as you said about the EDM Wire. That is a huge savings especially when you have several machines taking advantage of it. Thanks for the input, JR
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Vinnie, I understand where you are coming from but you have to take the plunge every once in awhile. How about having the potential new hire for the lathe position take an appititude test before you hire them? If they can't add or subtract do you think they will do good making wear offsets or moving Origins or Fixture Offesets? Probably not.
I had a boss a long time ago that asked me why I kept training my operators knowing someday they would leave his shop. I told him I would rather train them and have them leave than not train them and have them stay. If they were trained and made him more money than he needed to pay the profit making people more money. The key word there... "I HAD" because I left too.
I see the typical sucky Lathe Operator you were talking about all of the time. The run machines that cost well over \$100,000 and I think "Would the owner of this shop let this guy drive his \$100,000 Sports Car he has tucked away at his house?" Of course not, at least not without some serious instructions on what to do and what not to do. But it's ok if the lathe operator crashes the turret on the lathe.
The math behind some of this really doesn't need to be a concern for Operators. They simply need to follow good instructions, load parts or bars and make good parts. Your real Machinists will need to know more about what the tech portion is all about as these people are typically your setup people.
Staying ahead of the competition is tough these days. But the little things can add up as you said about the EDM Wire. That is a huge savings especially when you have several machines taking advantage of it. Thanks for the input, JR
***** Just playing devils advocate. Bottom line is if you let your limits be set by the people who work for you...then all you have is all your ever gonna have. I am a firm believer in NOT settling for slower or less. That's why GOD made Florida a right to work state.
As far as this comment:
""I had a boss a long time ago that asked me why I kept training my operators knowing someday they would leave his shop""
but....His shop is America. Besides, you never really own something till you give it away...that includes skills.
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