Investing In Your Technology
Today’s technology is accelerating at a speed that is unrivaled in human history. You only need to look around your home to see it. You likely have a PC collecting dust in your basement, and the laptop you replaced it with has probably been upgraded at least three or four times.
Your shop is no different. The manufacturing machines and software that were state-of-the-art just five years ago are not as intuitive, fast, or accurate as what’s available today. The first step in acquiring new equipment is to make sure you routinely allocate enough time to explore new and upgraded technologies. Once you’re ready to move forward, there are a few ways to make the process of acquiring new equipment little easier.
Keep Your Eyes and Mind Open
Original Equipment Manufacturer’s open houses and webinars, trade shows, and yes, even those disruptive vendors who cold call your office, all deserve some of your attention. Otherwise, you could miss out on a product or service that might save your business considerable time and money.
There are also some used equipment providers. The products they offer might not be the latest machines but if they’re an upgrade from what you currently have and are in your price range, it might be an ideal solution.
Harness the Power of Networking
Staying in touch with your manufacturing peers is a good way to stay on top of new industry developments. Accept invitations to meet, even if only briefly. You’ll be amazed by how much you can learn over a cup of coffee.
Industry associations are also a great way to stay in the know. The National Tooling and Machining Association will hold its signature event, Manufacturing Engage 2022, October 25-26 in Kansas City, Missouri. You can bet that Sirois Tool will be there to learn and share industry knowledge.
Find the Funding
Once you’ve decided that you must invest in new technology to remain competitive, the next step is determining how to pay for it. There are a number of Federal and State specific programs that provide a significant amount of funding for manufacturing companies.
These monies typically come in the form of low interest loans, grants, vouchers, and fund-matching programs, but much of it goes unclaimed each year because business owners aren’t aware of these programs. Exploring these options before you buy is a good idea. It’s important to note that for some grants, once you’ve signed a PO it’s too late to qualify for funding. Be sure to explore your options before-hand.
The bottom line is that you must remain cognizant of advancements in machinery and technology, and continually invest in them if you want to succeed. That’s why we consistently upgrade our equipment at Sirois Tool.
Since 2018, we’ve added four new HAAS CNC machines, two Zeiss Contra CMMs, an Agie Charmilles Cut P 350, and a Grob G350. Adding the Grob, equipped with a second pallet, more than doubled our 5-axis capabilities while increasing the accuracy and precision of the parts we produce.
Our equipment investments don’t end with machines, either. Last year, we streamlined our quoting process by integrating Paperless Parts software with our ERP platform, effectively reducing the time spent on data entry by 50 percent. All these additions have improved productivity and helped our business stay competitive. Learning about them was the crucial first step.
See the Article on Paperless Parts