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Serious Homemade Manufacturing Equipment on a Shoe String Budget

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Step 8: Do It Again & Post-Process-Evaluation

If you experience complete failure like I did with my very porting machine prototype before this one, you'll going back to the drawing board to revise or completely redesign.  Try not to be too disheartened as this from my experience an extremely typical part of creating unique machines.

The important post process step to take after creating a new manufacturing machine is to run it through some quality control paces and to take some measurements.  This will help you determine if the new machine is beneficial to deploy in your process.  Typically it's quite obvious whether you should or not.  But for the sake of being thorough and quantifying your success, it will help to know some general numbers. Below you will find my post process evaluation.

Post Process Analysis:
 
Old Porting Time:      1-2 minutes per stove
New Porting Time:   12 seconds

Old Blank Holder Mounting / Removal Time:        3 seconds
New Blank Holder Mounting / Removal Time:   6 seconds

Old Tops Produced Per Hour Average:        17
New Tops Produced Per Hour Average:   47
 
Assessment: It's obvious that the speed of the new machine easily justifies it.  The quality has increased with the new machine providing even more consistent port placement and diameter. The old method required very skilled manual labor to manipulate the hand punch and template so that it would produce quality results.  I was the only one who could port the stoves without training someone.  Plus my wife (co-owner) couldn't perform the old task because the punch required too much force. The porting machine needs no special training to operate.  It's clear after the analysis that the porting machine is superior in every way except that it does require slightly more time to mount the blank holder on the blank holder post, where as before that was not a requirement with the old method.  

One other minor note: Although the new machine has increased the speed of the porting operation by 500% on average the overall output of stove tops is now much more limited by the other operations unrelated to porting thus yielding a rate increase of only 276%. 

In closing if you have a problem, there is most likely a great solution if you are willing to be persistent in your designs and revisions. One of the nice things about doing any project is that regardless of the success of your design adhering to your design intention you will learn how to do it even better next time.  I already have all sorts of up grades planned for the current porting machine despite it's major success for us.

Future upgrades will include automatic shut off after one revolution, and a built in lamp for quality control confirmation.  If light shines through the holes in the blank, it's a quick way to determine if their are any abnormalities in the holes. 

Thanks for reading!
 
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