Speaking of Precision Blog

Speaking of Precision

Speaking of Precision is a knowledge preservation and thought leadership blog covering the precision machining industry, its materials and services. With over 36 years of hands on experience in steelmaking, manufacturing, quality, and management, Miles Free (Milo) Director of Industry Research and Technology at PMPA helps answer "How?" "With what?" and occasionally "Really?"

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Can I Do It With Less?

Posted December 23, 2011 8:30 AM by Milo

Using less, not more, is often the best way.

4 bullet points trumps 4 paragraphs.

Editing adds more value than just adding stuff.

Why should the consumer have to deal with extraneous materials or content?

In our shops, too many gages on the table slows down the operator, increases variability, and reduces output.

Over 25 million sold- no waste here.

When something is extremely popular, using as little as possible becomes the sustainable thing to do:

  1. It maximizes profit.
  2. Minimizes waste.
  3. Reduces exposure to shortages of materials.
  4. Reduces the cost and burden of disposal.

Our industry is in the business of producing large numbers of components, so the threat of multiplication of waste or inefficiencies is very real for us.

It has been my observation that abundance (of stuff) can be a competitive disadvantage.

Extraneous tools, packing materials, supplies, gages, rags, dunnage, and other tangibles get in the way of the work and can distract the worker.

Can I do it with less?

Editor's Note: CR4 would like to thank Milo for sharing this blog entry, which originally appeared here.

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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: North West England
Posts: 1170
Good Answers: 152
#1

Re: Can I Do It With Less?

12/24/2011 8:00 AM

It always amazes me that buyers get large bonuses for shaving $0.001 off the price of nuts and bolts, when the designer gets no bonus at all for a design that halves the number of nuts and bolts required. Designers, of all products from clothes to industrial process plants, and at all levels from the Design Consultant to the Detail Draughtsman, have more influence over the cost of a product than any other contributors.

I have always stressed, both in my own industrial design consultancy and in the occasional lecture I deliver to design students, that fewer components generally means less to go wrong, easier to make, and cheaper to buy. There are of course exceptions. Making ten of the same part usually works out cheaper than making five custom parts.

If you have a problem, first investigate what you can remove to solve it, before you look at what you need to add to solve it, you call it editing, I call it common sense.

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