One of the things we enjoy partnering with our customers on is finding ways to improve the design of their jobs in order to optimize the manufacture and assembly of those parts, or DFMA.
If you typically buy standard electrical enclosures and boxes, you know that there are thousands of options available. However, when you need a few modifications to enclosures at high production volumes, it’s best to get help from a manufacturer who provides custom fabrication. HUI’s Industrial Business Development team specializes in these custom enclosures, so we thought we’d share some common modifications you can expect from custom metal fabrication manufacturers.
The industrial design engineering team at HUI has been with the company for many years now. In fact, the longest-standing team member, Chris Freund, has been engineering with HUI for 29 years. Wayne Schad has been engineering for 13 out of the 25 years he’s worked for the company. Lastly, Scot Hoerth has also been engineering at HUI for 13 years. Over this time they’ve gained a wealth of valuable knowledge and experience with each new industrial design project. That’s why we thought we’d share some of the secrets they’ve learned from 55 combined years of engineering for manufacturing at HUI.
The New Year is finally here! It's nice to take this time to think about everything we’ve accomplished in 2018, as we get excited to begin 2019. That’s why we’d like to take a moment and reflect on the top five manufacturing posts published on the HUI Manufacturing Blog in 2018.
You’ve probably heard it many times before: “work smarter not harder”. This is a great phrase to live by, but it is much easier said than done. Especially when it comes to our own workplace processes. We get so stuck in our ways that we often need an outsider’s perspective to show us where we can improve. That’s why continuous improvement is so valuable, it puts everyone in the mindset to look for process improvements throughout the company. It also reminds everyone to never get complacent and settle for adequate work. Time is a huge commodity, if you don’t want to waste it, here are some activities to get you started with your own continuous improvement program.
Sometimes the little things can slow down a project with your contract manufacturer. When production slows down, it can be frustrating when all they needed was some general information that you didn’t originally provide. Whether your manufacturer struggles with finding the right contact, or waiting on a response, it wastes valuable time on both ends. The solution involves making information accessible for your manufacturer from the beginning, but it can be hard to know what they need until you have guidelines. That’s why we created this checklist to help you reduce order entry stops with your contract manufacturer.
Have you ever wished you had an instruction manual for your job? Imagine how nice it would be to have one sheet of paper with instructions and advice on how to do your job in the most efficient manner. Well, that’s what our engineers create for everyone on the shop floor in the form of standard work instructions, also referred to as job instructions or a JI. Creating these instructions involves a lot of planning up front, but they’re vital for the consistency and quality of each customer’s parts. That’s why we’ll cover what information your manufacturer needs from you to create effective work instructions for their fabrication floor.
HUI began implementing lean principles in 1998, and from the start, we included the offices in the lean transformation. Though it’s common for companies to implement lean processes on the manufacturing shop floor, it’s easy to see how lean thinking adds value to any work setting. I sat down with the Industrial Business Development (IBD) team to learn more about the lean principles they use today and discover how those principles have influenced their office environment.
No matter the situation, it’s difficult to watch your hard work go to waste. This is a common occurrence when manufacturers receive a sheet metal layout dimensioned in the flat pattern. These dimensions may seem helpful, but after your manufacturer makes bend deductions based on their capabilities and other bending factors, your dimensions will become unusable. To avoid wasting time on incorrect measurements, always dimension to the formed view, and here’s why:
A common problem that may occur when working with an industrial manufacturer is that they will often need to correct dimensioning measurements from your original drawing. Your manufacturer will make these edits so they will be able to model the part and confidently meet the outlined measurements during inspection. However, these corrections require extra time and labor cost to keep the project moving forward. To help you prevent these common dimensioning mistakes we’ve put together some reference pictures and information to help you understand the correct dimensioning information to give your manufacturer.