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Improving metal production supply chains


One of the biggest challenges in metal fabrication is supply bottlenecks. Long wait times, high demand and rises in associated costs all cause delays. Keith Nicholl, Commercial Director at sheet metal fabricators KMF looks at how metal manufacturers can boost the reliability of their supply chains to mitigate associated challenges.

Efficiency to match demand

Inefficiencies can be apparent across every aspect of a production line in all types of industries. Increasing efficiency in producing metal components and applications helps to keep up with the rising demands, cited as 5% between 2023 and 2027 in an industry report.

What's more, as machine development rapidly advances, so does the pressure to follow suit. Industry 4.0 technology is a trend that sheet metal manufacturers must embrace in its infrastructure or run the risk of being left behind.

In fact, adding automation in a production line boosts productivity, reduces waste and helps in quicker decision making.

Including robotic bending machines can help in boosting efficiency within production. The time saved on the manual process helps to increase productivity and reduce wastage.

Reducing costs

Reducing wastage is also a good way of lowering costs, an important way of remaining profitable in a time with rising costs for businesses.

Achieved by a multifaceted approach, costs of manufacturing can be managed by a combination of bulk creation, energy efficiency, preventative maintenance and quality control.

Preventative maintenance is one of the most important ways of reducing associated costs in the sheet metal manufacturing process. Regularly maintaining and servicing machinery can prevent costly breakdowns and repairs which means uptime is higher and the lifespan of the equipment is longer.

Enhanced quality

Government regulations and accreditations go a long way in boosting the quality in metal production. For component purchasers, one way to ensure quality in your desired metal components is to look for specific ISO accreditation.

Having accreditations in key industries is a perfect way of making sure that the final component will undergo intensive quality control and inspection procedures. For example, if a manufacturer was consistently creating parts for aerospace, it would work towards the AS9100 group of standards. Alternatively, a creator of food processing equipment might require different health and safety accreditations or quality equivalent to BS EN 1672-2:2005.

Optimising sheet metal production supply chains is an imperative step to keeping up with growing demand placed on the industry.

To ensure a smooth world-class process from start to finish, it is important to use a combination of industry-leading technology and technical expertise. This infrastructure and person power put additional agility, efficiency, and quality to the final components meaning that your supply chain is as close to perfect as possible.

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