When you look at the evolution of products like electronic devices, automobiles, and medical devices, there is a growing trend of products getting smaller and more complex. As companies create more and more products with complex geometries or even tiny components that are difficult to assemble by hand, many are turning to the capabilities and benefits of precision manufacturing.
Precision manufacturing is one of the most sought-after and most significant advancements in industrial manufacturing. Not only has precision manufacturing contributed almost $10 billion to the U.S. economy in the last 10 years, but by 2024, the precision parts market is expected to continue growing by at least 12 percent.
So, what is precision manufacturing, and what benefits does it offer to improve your productions? Below, we explain why precision manufacturing may be important for your products.
What is Precision Manufacturing?
Precision manufacturing allows for the production of versatile parts with tight or rigid specifications. This is especially attractive in industries that are under strict regulations and tight tolerance requirements. Without precision manufacturing, many of the leading industries that drive the economy and improve quality of life would be unable to keep up with the demand or innovation needed to produce competitive, quality, and safe products.
Benefits of Precision Manufacturing
As manufacturers consider how to increase automation capabilities while enhancing production output and minimizing error and avoidable costs, precision manufacturing is often a viable solution. Below, we outlined some of the many benefits that precision manufacturing can provide.
Unlike manual production, where even the most experienced employee can make a critical error that slows down production, precision machining allows manufacturers to accomplish tasks at a much more accelerated pace. This is partly due to the advanced engineering capabilities that contemporary precision manufacturers use in their automated precision machines. What used to take months to complete can now be accomplished in mere weeks with the help of precision manufacturing. This, essentially, means fewer disruptions to the supply chain and faster time to market as companies scale with the increasingly high demand for parts and products.
Because flawless precision is expected by many highly regulated industries, it can become costly if parts are produced inaccurately, especially considering that some tight-tolerance parts can be incredibly expensive. If, for example, a part’s tolerance is off by just one decimal point, it can increase the cost by two or three-fold.
Many industries, especially those already experiencing operational and financial disruption due to the pandemic, cannot afford to waste time or product due to inaccurate manufacturing. The good news is, by using precision manufacturing that allows for accurate and rapid production, costs can be dramatically saved when considering the cost of wasted materials and labor due to errors.
A product is only as good as the machine that made it. If the machine cannot consistently reproduce the part or product’s design, time to market goes up, quality decreases, and waste and cost increases. It’s imperative that even with high-volume manufacturing, the output can be executed quickly and consistently. With precision manufacturing, companies are able to create consistent quality, which helps them avoid the risks of throwing away incorrectly designed parts, repeating processes, or buying more material.
Improved Accuracy and Reliability
In certain industries, such as with the medical device industry, when you are manufacturing life-saving equipment, ensuring accuracy could mean the difference between life and death. Whether you are producing PPE, respirators, radiation equipment, or endoscopies, even the slightest error in the smallest part’s design could result in a devastating outcome. Fortunately, precision manufacturing is just that – precise. It can be custom-built to fit the manufacturer’s needs to ensure that all quality control measures are in place to produce a simple or complex part, time and time again.
Take, for example, Mecademic’s Meca500, a 6-axis robotic arm that has been able to replace an incredible amount of manual and repetitive tasks. One example of its capabilities features an automated solution that was custom-built by the experts at Steven Douglas Corp. (SDC) for a client who produces endoscopies. The work cell, integrated with the Meca500, was equipped with the ability to precisely change tools, apply adhesive, and pick up a wiping mechanism using a vision-guided system. Because of the improved precision and efficiency of the Meca500, the client achieved a 500 percent increase in production throughput, higher consistency, lower costs, and operational optimization.
Invest in Precision Manufacturing for Your Products
Due to the many benefits of precision manufacturing, including accuracy, versatility, and repeatability, manufacturers are quickly looking for ways to improve precision within their operations. When it comes to precision manufacturing, the experts at SDC have extensive experience creating ultra-precise automated solutions across industries. Contact SDC today to see how we can automate your processes with precision manufacturing.