According to a recent Labor Department report, “U.S. manufacturers added 22,000 jobs in March, making the six-month hiring spree the strongest since 1998. A total of 12.6 million people are employed in the sector, the most since 2008.” While this is definitely a hip-hip-hooray for the manufacturing industry as a whole, it does create bit of a conundrum as well. More people with jobs means smaller hiring pools, and many U.S. manufacturers are forced to grapple with an increasingly large skilled labor gap. Many shops have no choice but to make do with the team they have; and for some shops that’s only possible with the aid of sophisticated manufacturing technology. Here are 5 reasons why 2018 is the year for an automatic infeed station.
The Manufacturing Skills Gap
Deloitte compiled an in depth analysis of the skilled labor shortage affecting manufacturers. It concluded that “over the next decade, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs likely need to be filled. The skills gap is expected to result in 2 million of those jobs going unfilled.” Ouch. Finding qualified talent is an ever increasing burden. Most shops can’t afford to have 3 employees running a saw station, let alone find 3 employees who are qualified enough to do so. What can they do? The solution for most makers is to maximize the productivity of their current hires.
Let's take a typical high volume sawing station for example. This type of station requires nearly three operators- one to load material, one to run the saw, and one to offload finished pieces and sort accordingly. We all know that labor costs are, for lack of a better word, stupid expensive. What if you could run that saw system using only one employee and the two remaining guys could fulfill additional tasks around your factory? That would surely help labor costs.
Well, with an automatic infeed station you can do just that. Using an AutoLoader by TigerStop you can expedite the labor intensive loading process in both high capacity wood, plastic, composite, and metal processing. Instead of relying on three operators to load material, measure, mark, and cut parts, and then sort finished parts on the back end, a single operator can load up to five pieces or bundles at a time, and sort finished parts while the automatic saw system is processing the material. You have just taken a three person job down to one, meaning you now have two additional employees who are able to complete a growing list of work elsewhere in your plant. Your most skilled and highest paid craftsmen can now spend their time performing value-added tasks that increase revenue within your company.
BONUS: With the AutoLoader integration, the operator only has to walk the length of the machine once every five stock lengths or stock bundles, versus once every single stock length. This reduces workspace travel time by up to 80%.
Time is Money
You’re loading it all wrong! The traditional way of loading material and feeding it into your stop gauge and pusher is no longer efficient enough for today’s fast paced manufacturing environment. To compete, you need to speed up production while retaining quality, and you can do so with an AutoLoader automatic infeed station. Simply load your material, either single pieces or packs/bundles, and let AutoLoader do the rest. An increase in throughput means you have completed more work in less time. We like to call this a “winner-winner-chicken-dinner” scenario. Everyone comes out ahead.
Productivity and Yield
Using any type of TigerStop brand automated length stop/pusher increases yield in that material is cut accurately within tight tolerances, over and over again. This results eliminated miscuts, reduced rework, and greater usage of your expensive raw stock.
Using a TigerStop, TigerTurbo, or TigerSaw with Dynamic Optimization software further increases your yield by optimizing or nesting your cut lists. For even greater yields, TigerStop offers Dynamic Pack Optimization which optimizes packs/bundles of material.
Obtaining high yields is only possible if you can feed sufficient material through your saw station. The more you feed it, the higher the yield. That’s where the AutoLoader comes into play.
When processing material in a fully automated saw system or length stop, operators are limited by the amount of material they can feed through their cut off operation. They can only cut material as quickly as they can load it into the machinery. So why limit yourself? An AutoLoader is fast, allowing you to fully maximize throughput while increasing yield.
An automatic infeed station is a flexible piece of equipment designed to fit to your shop. You can attach an AutoLoader on a TigerStop length stop, a TigerTurbo pusher system, or on a TigerSaw 1000 or TigerSaw 2000. It doesn’t matter if you want to cut plastic, composites, various types of metal or wood, it can handle an array of stock.
The AutoLoader is also configurable. You can choose between 2-7 loading stations and process material in lengths from 2 feet all the way up to 30 feet. It’s also flexible in terms of pricing. The AutoLoader isn’t just for large shops, it’s the most competitively priced automatic loader available on the market.
Take A Load Off
Loading material can be back breaking work. Try taking a load off with TigerStop's AutoLoader. The AutoLoader indexes material and feeds it through the sawing station automatically. Sensors on the loading station recognize when material is pressed against the back fence. This signals to the station that the material is ready to be processed through the saw and to continue feeding until more material is needed or the cut list is complete. To learn more about the AutoLoader click the below button.