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My employee is too slow.

I program and run very conservative rpms/feed rates/rapid rates.

Because I do very small quantities, have older machines so pushing the envelope is not critical, and that's the way I prefer to run the shop

But if I programmed and ran parts elsewhere and they said you need to run at xxxxx rpm and xxx feedrates, and 100% rapids, in other words pushing the limits, so be it. I'm being paid to do do what's req'd, not what I'm comfortable with.

If I didn't follow shop SOP I'd be expect to be sat down and told my approach while maybe reliable wasn't what was expected.
If I had to be sat down a second time, I'd assume it was going to be exit interview.
 
Slow but consistent employee only running during biz hours = nothing gets done + wastes your time bugging/managing them

Slow but consistent employee tending automation that they can keep it running more = lots more gets done + cycle time doesn't matter as much*****

Slow but consistent employee tending multiple automation setups = money printer go burrrr $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Gotta make it easy for them. They are not you. I would take slow but consistent over the opposite any day. The reality of the situation is most people in this industry are NOT rock stars and are mediocre at best.

The goal is get more shit done, not machine parts "faster". Many ways to skin this cat. 168hrs in the week. How many hours are your spindles churning?
 
My boss is too slow. Whenever I am working directly with him he has zero hustle and I have about a million things on my plate to get to.
 
Slow but consistent employee only running during biz hours = nothing gets done + wastes your time bugging/managing them

Slow but consistent employee tending automation that they can keep it running more = lots more gets done + cycle time doesn't matter as much*****

Slow but consistent employee tending multiple automation setups = money printer go burrrr $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Gotta make it easy for them. They are not you. I would take slow but consistent over the opposite any day. The reality of the situation is most people in this industry are NOT rock stars and are mediocre at best.

The goal is get more shit done, not machine parts "faster". Many ways to skin this cat. 168hrs in the week. How many hours are your spindles churning?
I was rethinking this, and the current OP setup of Brother Speedios is not the answer, actually the opposite.
A small extremely fast machine with minimal tool holders and minimal table space is exactly the opposite you would want for a minimal employee low volume high mix deal.

I bet you would get more parts done if you sold all 3 machines and bought one horizontal with a 6 station pallet pool.

Not only something to think about, but get the ball rollin on, what is the future plan of my business, what does it look like, and how do I get there.:scratchchin:
 
I was rethinking this, and the current OP setup of Brother Speedios is not the answer, actually the opposite.
A small extremely fast machine with minimal tool holders and minimal table space is exactly the opposite you would want for a minimal employee low volume high mix deal.

I bet you would get more parts done if you sold all 3 machines and bought one horizontal with a 6 station pallet pool.
Have you run horizontals? I am a huge fan, but they are anything but flexible. I would loathe running low volume / high mix in an environment where I have to load vises tipped up sideways and constantly fight clearance and reach issues when doing side work.

Additionally, it’s a lot less painful when your employee is dragging ass on the cheap vertical. Few things are worse than having somebody knock out a whole pallet pool for several days because they wrote a crappy program, and can’t get through the setup.
 
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I was rethinking this, and the current OP setup of Brother Speedios is not the answer, actually the opposite.
A small extremely fast machine with minimal tool holders and minimal table space is exactly the opposite you would want for a minimal employee low volume high mix deal.

I bet you would get more parts done if you sold all 3 machines and bought one horizontal with a 6 station pallet pool.

Not only something to think about, but get the ball rollin on, what is the future plan of my business, what does it look like, and how do I get there.:scratchchin:
Would one big machine work with all his different odd jobs of 5 or so parts each?
I must be missing something?
 
There is someone on here that does it, don't remember who it was, they explained their system, and it sounds way better than the OP's/standard setup, and that's without the employee.
Also I forgot, you do get the added 4th axis functionality.

I haven't ran a horizontal. I have seen a small handful of one man shows where all they have is 3-4($$$) pallet loading horizontals making mixed parts and $$$.
Sounds good to me. :cheers:
 
It's not exactly clear where you feel money is being lost: Is he too slow at programming, so machines are sitting idle, or is his work output (the programs) poor, such that the runtime of the machines he is programming is reliably 4x too long.

I've found employees have a figure of merit. Quality is on one axis, and throughput is on the other. Their FOM is the product of the two, and can only be changed very slowly. If you push them on speed, quality goes down. If you push them on speed, quality goes down. People can improve their FOM with training and experience (sometimes) but that is a process that takes years.

If he's whipping through the programming in ten minutes (using feeds and speeds and strategies that he knows will work without having to calculate or look anything up) and then waiting 3 days for the batch of those products to run, tending every hour and reading instagram the rest of the time, that's a management issue. Coach him to spend more time on the programming, coach him to use appropriate speeds and feeds, make sure he at least has hsmadvisor or something like it and knows how to use it. That's probably a salvagable situation.

If he's taking all day on the programming and the machines are sitting idle, then that is the opposite problem, and probably also salvageable.

If he's struggling to get the programs written in a day, WITH poor cycle times, then that is an employee with a low FOM, and he needs to find a different job that doesn't require as much. You're not big enough and profitable enough to spend the years of losses it will take to improve that by training, and it doesn't sound like he is young/inexpensive enough that he's likely to make big gains quickly.
 
Our machine shop isn't a job shop so we do things a little different. It's just one part in a retail/repair/R&D/production/whatever company for a specific market. Point being, machine shop time and value of parts coming out of it isn't always easy to monetize.

We've had some slow machinists before, but we've also had some that would rather spend all day reprograming a one off job to save a few seconds. Two things I think help is to make sure they are made aware of all the planning and deadlines that are pertinent to their job. They might not need to be in the corporate board meeting, but if the job they're doing needs to go out at a certain time, and their boss feels it can be done, they need to be part of that decision because if the boss feels it can happen and they don't, that conversation needs to get hashed out ASAP. If they say they can do it and they don't hit the mark, they need to be asked why it didn't happen. If they need to change but don't because they think their way is better, it needs to be clear to them why their way dosn't work. The guy who always reverts back to the way he did things at his last job, despite having been taught how it needs to be done at his present job, is going to be a problem regardless of how long or short his run times are. If they are a "good machinist" but don't fit with how you do things, are they really the best for the job, or do you have the time to catch them up knowing full well you might not be able to, because they might not want to change? That process has broken many employee/employer relationships because from their perspective, you're just wanting more more more from them and they're still getting payed the same, even though in reality they never delivered what was expected to begin with.

2nd, the fastest way isn't always the best way. It sounds like this might not be the OP's case, but often if you are running multiple jobs, it's better to avoid bottlenecks, or at least be aware of them and coordinate the process accordingly. A part that takes 5 minutes to machine op 1, 5 minutes to machine op 2, and 10 minutes for the operator to deburr while the first two ops are running will take no less that 10 minutes to complete (when running multiples). If you need it to take less, shortening the program won't help so much as changing how it's made. Point is, shortening spindle run time doesn't always equate to faster parts, but understanding the whole process and using appropriate tools and steps are what get it out on time.

I might be outspoken on this, but always producing the fastest programs and the most accurate parts doesn't make you the best machinist. Being skilled and fast is a very important tool to have in your drawer, but being dynamic enough to fit your skills to the job at hand and being able to communicate well with your coworkers and boss is sooo much more important. I'd rather have a guy who is clear about what he CAN'T do and is responsible and easy to teach, than a guy who's pining for his aerospace days and always butting heads because the machines are too old, the tools aren't right, we don't sell our Hello Kitty shovels for enough money, whatever it is. That guys really needs to be working somewhere else.
 
I haven't ran a horizontal. I have seen a small handful of one man shows where all they have is 3-4($$$) pallet loading horizontals making mixed parts and $$$.
Sounds good to me. :cheers:

This is why it works though. The question from OP (and myself) is how TF do you scale it with the employees?

We have a couple five axis machines with pallet pools. hyperMILL. Zero point fixturing. Standard tool library. Standard feeds/speeds/process. Automatic tool data importing to the machines. I can't imagine competing in the "prototype" space any other way.

It still all slows to a near halt when somebody programs an aerospace electronics box, and does all of the finishing with a 15XD .093in endmill, and it takes 8 hours a part instead of 45 minutes... It would hurt a lot less to see a 150k drill/tap machine throttled like that, instead a of a 1million dollar five axis.
 
This is why it works though. The question from OP (and myself) is how TF do you scale it with the employees?

The times I have seen it, instead of having 10 or 12 guys, maybe 3/4's of them aren't super machinist's
The multi pallet 5 axis or multi pallet horizontal places usually only have 2 guys 3 at most that I have ever seen.
And they are full fledged machinists.
We have a couple five axis machines with pallet pools. hyperMILL. Zero point fixturing. Standard tool library. Standard feeds/speeds/process. Automatic tool data importing to the machines. I can't imagine competing in the "prototype" space any other way.
I agree!
It still all slows to a near halt when somebody programs an aerospace electronics box, and does all of the finishing with a 15XD .093in endmill, and it takes 8 hours a part instead of 45 minutes... It would hurt a lot less to see a 150k drill/tap machine throttled like that, instead a of a 1million dollar five axis.
Your as fast as the slowest process, this issue will arise.

Depends on your business model also, most of the people I see on here want to own a job not a business, one man show, couple 2/3 guys at most.
Throwing in a couple horizontal pallet pools and or 5 axis pallet machines, seems the only way. IMHO.
But the 2-3 guys need to be good, and the $$ should be able to pay those guys.

much better scenario I think than a shop full of tiny, fast, 3 axis machines, with a jumble of differently skilled 10-12 or 200 guys. IMHO.
as far as in reference to most people want the little shop but big $$$
 
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We've had some slow machinists before, but we've also had some that would rather spend all day reprograming a one off job to save a few seconds. Two things I think help is to make sure they are made aware of all the planning and deadlines that are pertinent to their job. They might not need to be in the corporate board meeting, but if the job they're doing needs to go out at a certain time, and their boss feels it can be done, they need to be part of that decision because if the boss feels it can happen and they don't, that conversation needs to get hashed out ASAP. If they say they can do it and they don't hit the mark, they need to be asked why it didn't happen.
This can be as simple and complex as you need also, You do need to relay the speed needed of the work being done.
Do I need to give it 110% on this one, or for this week, or two, but the next one is 30 days out, and we have no other work waiting So I can go at a standard pace.
You can't expect people to go 110% all the time, and they aren't mind readers.

My only employee currently is my son, trying to train him to run the place by himself,
when I give him a job, I explain how many days we have to get the job done by a reference for what we quoted it for.
Usually I break this down by days per operation also, So he can better quantify his efforts daily as he goes.
I do the same for myself in my head.

If a jobs done on time, it's late is the motto. :D
 
Sure it is. All you need is a pie chart stretcher. Stretch that pie a little bit larger in diameter, slip in a thin wedge of profit.
Yeah you just gotta use the ole "profit first" accounting then all is good! :D
 
I have been doing "custom work" whether it be forged iron work, steel fabrication, combo's of wood and steel, machining and it's always been a hard way to make money. You work hard for every single penny.

When I narrow my focus and stay in a lane, I typically do better $ wise on the jobs. That is why trying to figure out your niche that fits your machines and skills works is so important. I am still working on that. I find something for a bit but then I get bored and do something exciting and new, but need to learn all over again and I lose $ for the first while...then slowly do better. then get bored :nutter:

Prototype work and 3-5 part runs, have to be the hardest way to earn living unless you have the right niche.
 
What do you mean?

"In 1971, Andy and his wife, Diane, purchased Molalla Iron Works"
"In 1973 operations were moved to a location outside of Hubbard, Oregon that had housed a 13,000 square foot facility on four acres; originally a brick and tile factory"


Doesn't sound like a back yard deal to me, sounds like the standard, started small moved to large industrial place.

But also, no one should assume NEVER, there is always the rule and the exception.

being the exception, doesn't negate the rule.

LOL. Yeah, do you think they'd put on the public website that they're located on farmland with a factory built inside barns and old houses?

The "brick and tile factory" is the bank of a creek where they dug the clay to make bricks and mostly clay tile pipes down the road at Needy tile since the beginning of time.

I have other examples of huge home shops, but some are members here and they would like me sharing their info on a public forum as much as I'd like it.

My point is it's no unusual at all to find some pretty large scale manufacturing in rural areas. What started as a house and barns grows and scales and everybody's happy.

This isn't behind a house- https://gkmachine.com/ But these guys pretty much are the entire town of Donald. They started with a little building on the road and just kept pushing further and further out into the farm field. Not much farm field left anymore. There is literally a row of shitty houses along the road through town and behind those houses, for a quarter mile, is 40 foot tall steel building expansion after expansion. It's like the Winchester house, but for manufacturing.
 
LOL. Yeah, do you think they'd put on the public website that they're located on farmland with a factory built inside barns and old houses?

The "brick and tile factory" is the bank of a creek where they dug the clay to make bricks and mostly clay tile pipes down the road at Needy tile since the beginning of time.

I have other examples of huge home shops, but some are members here and they would like me sharing their info on a public forum as much as I'd like it.

My point is it's no unusual at all to find some pretty large scale manufacturing in rural areas. What started as a house and barns grows and scales and everybody's happy.

This isn't behind a house- https://gkmachine.com/ But these guys pretty much are the entire town of Donald. They started with a little building on the road and just kept pushing further and further out into the farm field. Not much farm field left anymore. There is literally a row of shitty houses along the road through town and behind those houses, for a quarter mile, is 40 foot tall steel building expansion after expansion. It's like the Winchester house, but for manufacturing.
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Assuming this one here? Never knew there were Amish in Oregon.
 








 
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