How To Minimise Metal Waste in Milling Operations

In any type of manufacturing process keeping down the levels of material waste is the key is to profitability. One procedure that can and does produce a lot of waste is milling. This is especially true if the process isn’t well optimised. The question is, how do you go about ensuring minimal waste and therefore maximum profit?

Recycling metal swarf

The term swarf is in effect the metal chips and debris that are produced by the milling process. In many fab shops, collection and recycling is done by a third party. However some large manufacturers and even some fab shops are starting to use machinery that recycles and even re-utilises swarf. Doing so immediately maximises the profitability of the wastage as it’s turned into other saleable products.

Avoid constant rework

On some occasions inconsistency in manufacturing means that parts have to continually be re-worked. If certain parts have to be milled again and again they may have to be thrown out and a new part milled in their place. This not only causes twice as much wastage, but it’s more time consuming and costly. One way to get around this is to use robots to carry out the processing. While this can be an expensive investment, in the long term it ensures complete consistency time after time, thus minimising the need for any rework and therefore any wastage.

Don’t rely on physical prototypes

The process of making prototype parts to see whether it can withstand the rigours of what it was initially intended goes back to the beginning of metal fabrication. The trouble is that it requires work to manufacture and tool, and if it doesn’t work, it’s discarded and a newer adapted part made. One way to get round this problem is to utilise advanced physics modelling software. This way fabricators can make mock-ups on screen and test them virtually without the need for physical specimens to be made and the further possibility of waste.

These are just some of the ways that manufacturers and fab shops are reducing waste and maximising profit. As a responsible and accountable fab shop here in Deception Bay we do whatever we can to minimise waste so that any savings in profit can be passed directly to the customer. So If you need something fabricated or produced at a good price, come and talk to Metro Steel. Contact us on 07 3204 1000 and talk to one of our experts today.

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