Manufacturers use a variety of tools in production. Some tools are temporary, while others are permanent. Permanent tools or “manufacturing fixtures” offer a wide variety of advantages ranging from space savings to improved productivity.
For starters, permanent manufacturing fixtures are intended for high-volume production, so they are built to last. Temporary, movable production tools are typically created for low-volume runs. This means, they are usually one time-use items made from basic materials, and disposed of after production is complete.
Using temporary or one time use production tools requires keeping an inventory of such tools, which takes up precious storage space. However, if a shop uses permanent manufacturing fixtures, all that’s needed is a specific amount of permanent space—not lots of space to store multiple moving fixtures whose quantities vary due to use. True, permanent manufacturing fixtures may cost more initially, but according to a major Car Parts Manufacturer:"The increased complexity of permanent fixtures yields benefits in improved productivity and reduced operator decision-making, which result in the tool having a lower average cost per unit or per run. Therefore, more time and money can be justified for these fixtures. Depending on the fixture, inherent design advantages can dramatically improve productivity and, hence, reduce per-unit costs even further, even though the initial cost to construct these fixtures is the most expensive of all fixture alternatives."
When considering the types of fixtures to use and whether to use permanent or temporary production tools, consider your assembly line and the way your product is sized and handled during assembly. Keep in mind that moving parts during production can be cumbersome and in some cases, unsafe.
Streamlining your production line with material handling or manufacturing fixtures can:
- Optimize your production line
- Increase shop floor space
- Improve handling and staging
- Improve part protection and improve inner plant logistics
- Improve department safety
These are just a few benefits that can greatly impact your bottom line. Get a custom material handling quote now!