Specialization Helps Machine Builders Weather Economic Uncertainty: Machine Design Article
Posted by Machines Italia | 04 Sep 2012
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This strategy succeeds because customer requirements have changed in recent times. “For sure they want to have productivity and availability of the machine,” he says, that’s a given. But every company is becoming increasingly specialized and exacting in their needs, to differentiate their products from the competition, explains Galdabini. This, in turn, requires the customized production equipment his members provide.
And it’s not just a matter of bolting on different components — entire systems and processes need to be specially engineered. “More and more the customer asks for flexibility in how the machine works. That means setup time reduced to zero or almost zero,” he says, though every part it makes is 40 MACHINE DESIGN.com SEPTEMBER 6, 2012 different. The equipment must be easy to operate regardless of how complex and sophisticated. “The end user may not have a skilled workforce, or very few workers, or high turnover, or little time for training, so the machine itself has to be intelligent. It can’t require an engineer to operate.”
Though custom-made equipment must be tailored for the application, using standard modules and subsystems can help minimize development time, notes Galdabini. “The customer wants a unique solution, but it doesn’t mean you can afford to totally redesign a machine every time.” Otherwise, lengthy development times and excessive costs will be the death of your business, he cautions.
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