Author Archives Bossard

4 Inventory Management Strategies to Help Your Business Succeed

Inventory Management Strategies

When you’re in a business that keeps inventory, having an efficient inventory management strategy is critical to growing your company. Effective inventory management strategies allow your business to track your stock levels efficiently, saving you time and money. Your goal is to minimize the cost of holding inventory without losing the ability to provide customers with what they need when they need it. 

Inventory Management Strategies Matter

Not paying attention to your inventory levels can cripple your business. Even big companies like Walmart have had inventory management problems. They have since recognized these issues and used various inventory management techniques to overcome their obstacles. Here’s how you can do the same:

1. Automate your inventory management

It may work for a while to manually track your inventory, but it will become cumbersome at some point. You’ll eventually need to move to something more efficient. Inventory management systems take the guesswork and human error out of the equation and allow everyone to be on the same page. 

2. Be aware of transit time

Knowing how long it takes you to get a new product in hand will help you plan better and avoid out of stock or backorder issues. If you’re ordering from overseas, that means that by the time you realize you’re out of a product, you’ve now got to wait upwards of four or more weeks to get it in hand again. 

3. Pay attention to the data

Data drives your business in many ways, and inventory management is no different. Knowing the numbers and the history behind your ordering can help you plan. 

4. Be consistent

However you decide to manage your inventory, it’s important to be consistent in how you receive, track, and purchase it. This includes your auditing processes. 

Getting Your Inventory Under Control

Utilizing these strategies are just some of the ways you can make managing your inventory and supply chain easier. Bossard Inventory Management is ready to help you incorporate these and many other strategies so your business can succeed. 

March 05, 2021
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How Bossard Can Assist with Supply Chain Transparency

How Bossard Can Assist with Supply Chain Transparency

What does supply chain transparency really mean? Imagine a scenario where you couldn’t finish a product due to a missing fastener. Or you have to suffer additional costs due to unexplained inventory losses. Such errors often spell disaster on an efficiency and cost basis and can even jeopardize customer and supplier relations. Full transparency in a supply chain is the key to minimizing mistakes while ensuring maximum functional efficiency and productivity.

How Bossard Helps You Achieve Full Transparency

Achieving full inventory and supply chain transparency requires innovative solutions. This is where ARIMS comes into play. Our cloud-based interactive supply chain platform not only puts you in complete control of your material flow but also provides total inventory transparency via effective B- and C-part management.

ARIMS Analytics, ARIMS Interactive, and ARIMS Mobile make up the three key aspects of the interactive platform. ARIMS Analytics unleashes the power of big data to provide concise analytics, reports, and graphs summarizing current production using real-time data in an easily visualized and exportable form. ARIMS Interactive lets you customize your dashboard and system options to suit your production needs while making it easier to submit changes and review past and current change requests.

ARIMS Mobile takes platform access to the next level by delivering mobile access through Android and iOS devices. Whether you’re on the production floor or in the field, you’ll have a complete, real-time accounting of your current operations.

ARIMS is what makes Bossard’s Smart Factory Logistics methodology possible. When combined with innovative components like Bossard SmartBin and SmartLabel, ARIMS gives you complete information about your supply chain while providing an efficient end-to-end smart factory experience.

Reach out to a Bossard expert at ProvenProductivity@bossard.com and discover how ARIMS supply chain transparency software can help deliver greater inventory and supply chain visibility. 

February 26, 2021
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5 Methods for Installing Threaded Inserts in Thermoplastics

5 Methods for Installing Threaded Inserts in Thermoplastics

When our clients approach Bossard we consider it our duty to present all the relevant information and our experience so they can ultimately make the best design decision for their application. That is why we talk REAL when we are asked the question: “There are so many types of inserts that we could install, which one will perform the best?”

Note: this question also applies to compression limiters in the same applications. The response to this depends on a wide range of factors, but if the client is strictly looking for direction on axial (pull-out) and radial performance, we can summarize as follows:

1.   Ultrasonically installed, post-mold

These inserts tend to have about a medium axial (pull-out) with high radial performance but typically have the fastest cycle times for post-mold installation. They also may have a higher investment cost for the installation equipment. There is a high degree of expertise required to correctly set up the installation equipment for maximum performance of the insert.

2.   Thermal installed, post-mold

These inserts have a similar performance as ultrasonically installed inserts but have slower cycle times. The set-up of these machines is also relatively simple and requires a lower up-front cost than ultrasonically installed inserts.

3.   Press-fit installed, post-mold

These inserts tend to have the lowest pull-out (axial) and radial performance but subsequently may have a lower overall cost. They also do not require specialized equipment for installation.

4.   Self-cutting

These tend to have a very high axial (pull-out) strength and have the added benefit of being suitable for tougher materials like thermoset plastic or composite thermoplastics with a high percentage of fill content. 

5.   Mold-in inserts

These inserts usually have the highest axial (pull-out) / radial performances possible but have the added benefit of being a co-mold process, removing the secondary operation, and are suitable for thermoset and thermoplastic materials.

There are many other factors that will impact the performance of an insert or compression limiter such as the hole size, hole geometry, fill content of the plastics, cycle time demands, and lastly the geometry of the insert itself.

To confuse the matter, many producers of inserts have specialized features intended for one purpose or another and it can be difficult to decipher the true functional comparison. Many inserts are not bound to industry standards, such as a DIN 912 Hexagon Socket Head Cap Screw! For example, some inserts marketed for co-molding may also be used for a post-mold thermal or ultrasonic installation (and vice versa) – and the performance of those will compare greatly based on the other variables at play.

Finally, it is always important with threaded inserts for plastic or composite applications, for Bossard to arrange validation testing using the customer’s own materials or coupons.

For more information about your threaded-insert or compression limiter application, please contact us today at ProvenProductivity@bossard.com.

February 19, 2021
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Internet of Things in Manufacturing

Internet of Things in Manufacturing

Staying competitive in a constantly changing environment means finding new and more innovative ways to remain ahead of the curve. Advancements in both current and up-and-coming technologies, spurred on by the Digital Revolution, have led to innovations that make Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things possible.

Bringing Emerging Technologies Together

The recent push towards the Internet of Things isn’t just happening on the consumer front. IoT is also taking a more prominent role in the manufacturing industry, leading to a transformation in the industrial space. However, many of the technologies central to Industrial IoT integration have emerged separately, leading to disjointed progress on the industrial front.

However, there are efforts underway to promote compatible technologies capable of generating and utilizing universal data. One example of IoT integration includes enhanced communications with technicians in the field and line-side workers to help with guidance and troubleshooting. This makes it possible to communicate and assist across vast geographic areas under multi-location manufacturing scenarios.

Other Internet of Things manufacturing examples include:

  • Machine-level energy consumption metrics to promote enhanced efficiency
  • Machine data analytics with instant availability from any location at any given moment
  • RFID signals and radar detection for monitoring inventory consumption and availability
  • Real-time condition monitoring and predictive maintenance with alerts and notifications

Exploring Opportunities with Bossard

The Internet of Things and smart manufacturing can open a variety of doors depending on the goals you wish to achieve and the processes you’re working to improve. Some opportunities offer wide-ranging applications one can take advantage of while others are more limited in scope and usability. The experts at Bossard can highlight which paths offer the most productivity and efficiency improvements, allowing your company to move forward with its production and supply chain needs.

Contact us today at ProvenProductivity@bossard.com to see how you can transform your manufacturing facilities into smart factories.

February 12, 2021
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What Exactly is IoT? The Internet of Things Explained

The Internet of Things

“Internet of Things” is a phrase you’ve probably heard before – and you’ll hear it more often as the world becomes more interconnected than ever before. With that interconnected world comes new ways to utilize technology, from the ordinary devices in your everyday life to the processes your organization relies on.

Whether it’s the thermostat in your home, the smartwatch you wear every day, or the sensors your car relies on for diagnostic information – all of these things are Internet of Things examples. The Internet of Things definition is a network of internet-connected devices that communicate with one another seamlessly. Different devices can collect and share data while giving users smarter control over the devices they regularly use.

How the Internet of Things Relate to Industry 4.0

IoT takes a prominent role within the Fourth Industrial Revolution or “Industry 4.0.” Industry 3.0 introduced the electronic tools and technologies that paved the way for smart production. Industry 4.0 makes the most of those advancements while offering many of its own, from cloud computing and artificial intelligence to advanced robotics and 3D printing.

So, where exactly does IoT fit into this picture? With the help of big data, machine learning, and AI, IoT technology can help your organization gain greater insights. This can lead to vast improvements in productivity and a reduction in operating costs. Streamlined workflows, process automation, and pattern visualization are just some of the benefits that IoT lets you unleash throughout your supply chain, for instance.

How We Can Help

You already benefit from smart devices in your everyday life, so why not experience the benefits in your facility? Bossard’s Smart Factory Logistics harnesses the power of IoT to enhance productivity, reduce costs, and maximize flexibility. With proven solutions like ARIMS interactive supply chain platform, you’ll see immediate improvements in efficiency and transparency.

Contact us today at ProvenProductivity@bossard.com to discover how Smart Factory Logistics can improve your supply chain.

February 05, 2021
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4 Product Design Tips from a Bossard Application Engineer

Our staff of Application Engineers look at the ins and outs of fasteners every day. They’ve been able to help our customers solve some of their most intricate challenges when it comes to product design and product development and how fasteners play a role in that. Here are four tips from Bossard Application Engineer Jon Dabney.

1)      Matching Property Classes

When looking at bolted joints you must be using the correct matching property classes for the bolt or screw, nut, and washer. If you do not consider this, you can have a pre-mature failure while the joint is in service.

You want to make sure that the nut is always stronger than the bolt. The reason being is a nut failure is a delayed failure and not something you will typically see right away as you would with a bolt. A way of doing this is pairing them appropriately 8.8 and class 8/10.9 and 10. 

Incorrect washer strength for the property class of the bolt. When you have too soft of a washer paired with a higher property class bolt it can cause embedment which will result in a decrease in preload in the joint which can cause failures.

2)      Standard Fasteners

When designing the fastening joint, it is important to design around standards that will govern the material, tolerances, and performance of the fastener. It can greatly increase the cost and lead time of the fastener when going away from the industry standard. What might be a slight change on the drawing can quickly go from a standard cold-headed part to a costly machined part.

3)      Assembly Considerations

When designing the fastening joint, it is important for industrial designers to take into consideration the manufacturability of the joint. Balancing the time it takes to assemble and reducing the complexity of the area of the assembly will greatly reduce the total cost of the joint itself. A good practice is to ask this simple question: How do I put this together?

4)      Consider Using Multifunctional Fasteners to Reduce Total Cost of Ownership

By using features that help with assembly speed and other multifunctional fasteners such as a dog point, MAThread®, pre-applied patches, thread forming screws, SEMS screws and the many other options can help reduce the total cost of the joint by reducing assembly time and removing processes.

If you have any questions about how to design successful products, please reach out to us at ProvenProductivity@bossard.com.  

January 29, 2021
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How Does Lean Manufacturing Eliminate Waste?

How Does Lean Manufacturing Eliminate Waste?

By cataloging all the steps in your production process and supply chain, lean manufacturing attempts to identify and eventually eliminate the inefficient steps that impede productivity, increase costs, and disrupt schedules.

One such inefficiency is overproduction, which produces more goods than you can sell. You’re stuck with holding the finished goods until they can be sold, even assuming that can happen. This increases storage costs, blocks cash flow, and ties up capital, raw materials, finished products, and resources that may be more productively used elsewhere.

How Overproduction Happens

Overproduction often happens due to five main reasons:

·      Unreliable processes that fail unpredictably or produce results that are hard to predict.

·      Batch sizes are too large to manage efficiently.

·      Unstable schedules that affect the efficiency of processes.

·      Unbalanced cells or departments that are too small in some areas or too large in others.

·      Inaccurate information that leads to incorrect product forecasts and schedules.

All these reasons tie into issues with preparation through activities that do not enhance value and increase waste. Lean manufacturing aims to solve these issues.

How Lean Manufacturing Eliminates Waste

One of the guiding principles of lean manufacturing is to identify all the steps needed to produce the final product.

·      By value stream mapping this flow on one sheet, you can better identify procedures that are inefficient and wasteful and eliminate them to smooth out the flow.

·      With the continuous improvement of your processes, you can improve productivity, change production time from months to weeks, save money for you and the customer, boost profits, and increase customer satisfaction.

Managing C-Parts with Bossard

Managing your C-parts like screws, nuts, and bolts is critical to creating a lean production system that increases efficiency. As one of the leading specialists in the production of fasteners, we are experts in this area of production. To eliminate overproduction and other costly mistakes in the manufacturing process, we deliver to you years of knowledge and experience with our Bossard Smart Factory Logistics services and systems.

To find out how our logistics improvement technology can work for your application, please contact us at ProvenProductivity@bossard.com.

January 22, 2021
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Throughput Time vs. Lead Time

Throughput Time vs. Lead Time

When your business wants to improve productivity and increase profit, one strategy that you can adopt is lean manufacturing. This process identifies the wasteful steps in your manufacturing process and eliminates them to cut costs and speed up scheduling. Two important components of lean manufacturing are throughput and lead time.

Lead Time

Lead time defines the period from when the customers place the order for your product to when they finally receive what they ordered.

·      Short lead times satisfy customers more because they don’t have to wait too long to benefit from your product. They’ll broadcast your efficiency to their colleagues and friends, which can lead to more orders being placed by others.

·      Long lead times disappoint customers who may wonder what happened to their order. They might either cancel their order or demand compensation for waiting, which increases your cost. They’ll complain about your inefficiency to anyone who’ll listen and be reluctant to order from you again.

Throughput Time

Throughput time measures the period from when the raw materials are gathered to the completion of the final product. Start to finish throughput time is generally the sum of the following time intervals:

·      Processing Time is the amount of time spent in actual manufacturing on a machine. Raw materials become the finished product during this time.

·      Inspection Time is the time to ensure that the product meets quality standards. This can involve verifying components and sub-assemblies, testing electronics, and manually checking for any issues like incorrect fits.

·      Move Time is the interval spent moving materials or sub-assemblies from one machine to another or from warehouse inventory to the factory floor.

·      Queue Time, which is also known as wait time, comprises the times before processing, inspection, and moving.

If you improve throughput time, it will ultimately lead to shorter lead times.

How Bossard Can Help

Bossard reduces production process time and optimizes the value chain through our advanced Smart Factory Logistics systems and technologies. If you want to know how we can help you develop manufacturing processes and facilities that are agile and intelligent, contact us today at ProvenProductivity@bossard.com.

January 15, 2021
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5 Lean Manufacturing Principles to Improve Efficiency

5 Lean Manufacturing Principles

Lean principles streamline manufacturing processes by getting rid of inefficiency and waste. They can improve productivity, lower material costs, improve cycle time, and lift you above your competition. To implement lean manufacturing at your facility, follow its five basic principles.

1. Identify value.

Think about how, why, and when the customers need your product or service.

How much will it cost? How will you meet that price point through manufacturing and timely delivery? What requirements and standards do you have to follow to fulfill or exceed expectations? The answers to these questions define value.

2. Map the value stream.

The value stream defines every step that goes into creating the product from gathering raw materials to final delivery to the customer. Identify all the actions involved in each stage of procurement, design, production process, human resources, delivery, and customer support. You can ideally map all the steps on one page to give you an overall picture. You can then begin to identify those that are repetitious or wasteful and need to be disposed of.

We want to help you boost productivity and lower your Total Cost of Ownership. One way we do this is by conducting a value stream analysis focused on your fasteners and fastening technology to identify any areas of optimization.

3. Create flow.

Once you eliminate the waste from your stream, you can find ways to make the remaining steps flow smoothly and without delays or interruptions. If you ensure that all the steps for creating value happen in a tight sequence, you can guarantee a smooth process that leads to the customer. This may demand teamwork across all departments. The goal is an improvement in productivity and efficiency.

4. Establish pull.

Improving the product flow reduces the time for the product to reach your customers who want to be able to “pull” products as they are needed. Delivery times then drop from months to weeks. This prevents the expensive storage of materials or products waiting to be delivered. This results in savings for you and the customer.

5. Seek perfection.

Lean manufacturing demands continuous attention to process improvement and implementing efforts to continually improve. Making it part of your corporate culture lets you strive for perfection. Every employee must be involved. It is said that a process does not truly become lean until it has gone through these principles at least six times.

For more information about how Bossard can help you achieve your lean manufacturing goals, get in touch today at ProvenProductivity@bossard.com.

January 08, 2021
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What is Lean Manufacturing and How Can I Achieve It?

What is Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is a process that is designed to reduce waste without negatively affecting productivity or quality. By focusing on those elements that add value to the manufacturing system and supply chain, and stripping away what does not, lean management achieves this goal. 

It Is Not a New Concept

As far back as Benjamin Franklin, innovative minds have been touting the idea of avoiding unnecessary costs by reducing waste. Franklin wrote about this concept as being more favorable in terms of profits compared to an increase in sales. 

Putting Lean Manufacturing into Practice

Put into practice, lean manufacturing encompasses tools designed to first identify waste then address this issue. Once that occurs, the costs of operating the system are reduced while productivity and quality are improved. 

The tools of lean manufacturing are varied and diverse. These can include the following: 

  • multi-process handling
  • visualizing workflow
  • value stream mapping
  • total productive maintenance
  • control charts that check workloads
  • error proofing
  • production flow analysis
  • single-point scheduling

It can also be achieved by removing unevenness found in the workflow. This is supported by visualizing the workflow so that areas of improvement are discovered.

Instead of being focused on eliminating waste, improving the workflow takes a system-wide perspective. Waste removal is a natural occurrence when this method is used. 

Lean Manufacturing Principles

Regardless of whether the focus of lean manufacturing practices is simply on reducing waste or it aims to address systemic unevenness in the workflow, the following principles drive the methodology: 

  • flexibility
  • automation
  • perfect quality the first time
  • visual control
  • positive vendor management
  • production flow
  • continuous improvement
  • minimizing different types of waste
  • pull processing

Lean manufacturing, as a concept, is the ideal way for businesses to achieve their goals. It reduces waste, improves productivity, increases quality, and improves lead time.

However, to be most effective, the lean production system must be tailored to the specific company and its needs. This key factor is what drives the successful adaptation of lean manufacturing while enabling the achievement of the company’s unique goals. 

To learn more about how Bossard can help you reach your lean manufacturing goals and improve processes, contact us today at ProvenProductivity@bossard.com.

January 01, 2021
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