Versatility in the job shop industry is critical in order for companies to continue to bring in business. A job shop is typically a small manufacturing system that makes parts and completes jobs for a variety of clients. As such, job shops must have machinery that allows them to remain flexible when it comes to the amount and type of work that can be completed. When it comes to fabrication and manufacturing, job shops allow for easy expansion because machines can easily be added or removed depending on the type of job that needs to be completed.
Pros and Cons of Job Shops
Running a job shop is an exciting venture because it opens up the business to working with many other industries. For example, a single job shop can go from making parts for industrial machines to churning out replacement parts for boats or automobiles. In order to accomplish this while remaining economically viable, job shops invest in machines that are multipurpose and highly efficient. The down side of job shops is that it is hard to schedule a project due to the high product variability present and a convoluted production flow.
Machines Used in the Job shop Industry
As previously noted, the machines used in the job industry must be used for multiple purposes so that projects can be taken on without having to get rid of a machine and buy a new one. Some of the various machines that you would see in a job shop include high speed VMCs, geared head 50 taper VMCs, CNC turn-mill centers, twin spindle CNCs and other tool room machines.
A VMC, or vertical machining center, has its spindle in a vertical orientation. High-end versions are used for tight-tolerance milling, such as mold work. A lower-cost VMC is often the first machine that a job shop will purchase. Geared head 50 taper VMCs are the most powerful CNC mills and deliver high torque at low RPM. These machines are best suited for high temperature alloy machining and can accommodate larger, longer and heavier tools.
CNC turn-mill centers are computer-operated centers that combine both turning and milling into one machine. The result is a cost-effective machine that allows a job shop to complete multiple projects without taking up extra space. Twin spindle CNCs minimize operator handling by giving job shops the ability to turn both ends of a part in a single setup. This also increases the throughput and reduces work-in-process for your projects.
Next Steps for Job Shop Owners
If you are the owner or manager of a job shop it is important to periodically take inventory of your machines and their capabilities. Replacing older machines over time and investing in new technology will allow you to take on more jobs and expand your business. Research the newest machines on the market and talk with your colleagues in the industry so that you can identify new trends, find out about new machines and continue to make a difference for all of the industries you serve.