Steps to Effectively Accomplish Low Volume Production
In our last post, we covered the tremendous benefits of low-volume manufacturing. Today, we are going to take a look at all the steps and techniques that can drive a successful low-volume production run.
Low-volume manufacturing has been greatly accelerated by additive manufacturing and digital technologies. With the push of a button, CAD models can be printed from desktops to 3D printers while CNC machines have improved productivity due to the powerful software installed. With consumers demanding instant gratification now more than ever, businesses, both large and small will inevitably have to run low-volume production. The key to effective low-volume manufacturing will comprise a good team in tune with the latest technologies, design expertise, flexibility and a solid supply chain. Let’s take a look at each of these factors in more light.
• Planning Product Design
The first step in any production run is the planning stage. This is no different for low-volume manufacturing. As production is usually a continuous process from start to finish, it is always important to have all the features of the product figured out.
• Finalizing on design specifications
Design specifications cover all the relevant details regarding the design and production of your part. After planning the product design, decide on specifics such as the desired material for production, the color of the finish, the dimensions, size, weight and strength of the final part
• Connecting to resources and expertise
After all the internal decisions have been finalized, it is now time to look outward. In this stage, your business is not simply looking for a supplier that can run the production, but for a supplier that can run the job in the most cost-effective way using efficient methods that do not compromise on quality.
Your chosen supplier should have a decent amount of experience in the field, know what technology is to be used, understand the functional and mechanical properties of the selected materials, and most importantly, be able to deliver a high-quality prototype that works just as intended.
• Employing appropriate technology
Using the right technology will not only help you produce a perfect product, but it will also save you both time, effort and money. For low-volume manufacturing, each technique has its pros and cons. 3D printing will serve for quick prototyping and is excellent for design evaluation before producing higher volumes.
CNC machining is also often considered to deliver great quality parts at very appreciable rates.
• Cementing the supply chain
No matter how well designed your prototype or production part is, if your supply chain is weak, you will face challenges in your production run. Try to ensure that the material you have selected in readily available in mass volume, easy and inexpensive to ship.
Also, consider the location of the factory where your low-volume production is being run. If the area is not accessible, you may have problems getting raw materials across.
Challenges in the supply chain and logistics may ultimately cripple production.
• Post-production services
After running the production of your part with an appropriate technology, it is important to carry out all relevant post-production or finishing services. These could include coating, painting, metalizing, anodizing and other finishing operations.
Post-production services may be carried out to improve appearance, aesthetics, functionality, strength, abrasion-resistance and more.
Premium Part Low-volume manufacturing Services in China
At Premium Part, we offer high-quality 3D printing, injection molding, aluminum extrusion, urethane casting and CNC machining services that are optimized for the production of many precision parts. Our expertise range across a number of services and we can generate exceptional quality products with a quick turnaround. We can work with an extensive range of materials and produce both mass manufacture volumes and low-volume manufacturing. From CNC machining to 3D printing and rapid injection molding, our engineers are highly experienced to deliver best-in-class manufacturing quality and standards.