In recent years, sustaining growth and profitability in the custom machine building market has been challenging. Machine builders have had to learn to be receptive to innovation to stay competitive.
ABCO Automation Inc., specializing in automation systems, integrated robotic systems, and machine builds, has consistently decreased costs and increased profits by looking for new opportunities to improve machine build processes — including partnering with MISUMI.
Read on to learn how MISUMI’s configurable model helped support ABCO while engineering high-performing machines for a wide range of customers.
Facing competitive challenges to meet diverse customer needs
ABCO Automation, Inc., located in Greensboro, North Carolina, builds machines for a vast number of industries.
ABCO is known for having an extremely diverse customer base. By servicing customers from a variety of industries, ABCO is less susceptible to economic fluctuations that may impact any single industry.
However, there are still challenges. With a diverse customer portfolio comes lots of competition, which puts a lot of cost, time, and performance pressures on ABCO’s team.
Competition and sustainable growth in such a market requires ABCO to develop long term, mutually beneficial relationships with customers. To this end, ABCO is committed to providing customers with a single source for innovative solutions, automation services, and manufacturing support.
The search for a cost-effective component solution
To sustain customer satisfaction, ABCO is always searching for new sourcing methods for custom components— including a more cost-effective source for machined linear shafts.
The procurement process for useable machined shafts entailed first purchasing blank linear shafts from a distributor and then machining the shafts using the internal machine shop resources at ABCO.
This process was costly for ABCO. Fortunately, the company reached out to MISUMI and discovered configurable linear shafts with the ability to specify length, diameter, shaft end style, material and surface treatment.
With MISUMI, drawings are not required since ABCO engineers can use the MISUMI online CAD Configurator to design shafts to their specifications and then download the CAD files directly from the MISUMI website.
ABCO realized that it would be cost and time effective to procure MISUMI linear shafts instead of blank linear shafts, requiring secondary machining operations, which had been ABCO’s previous workflow.
After discovering MISUMI’s configurable solution, ABCO began investigating other custom components they could replace with MISUMI’s configurable components.
ABCO’s build team found that by reducing the number of custom components per machine they were able to not only save time and money but are also able to produce machines that are more modular and offer better performance.
As ABCO increased its use of configurable components within designs, the benefits associated with decreasing the use of custom components was soon realized on a larger scale across several projects, including the design and build of several high-speed, high-performance packaging machines.
In total, each packaging machine contained approximately 10,000 components. Of these, approximately 3,000 were MISUMI components. Common components used included linear shafts, flanged linear bushings, strut clamps, locating pins, locating bushings, belts, bearings, plates, bolts and rollers.
Configured for long-lasting results
By using configurable components instead of custom components, ABCO was able to significantly reduce the total component count of the machine. This accelerated the machine design and build process because the machine components fit together so well, and it also led to a shortening of the machine testing phase.
Additionally, the machine was easier to duplicate, which led to long-term benefits such as lower maintenance and less machine downtime.
Cost-savings was also a long-lasting result. ABCO was able to come in under budget for the design and build of multiple packaging machines, thanks to MISUMI configurable solution.
ABCO believes that using MISUMI as a supplier of configurable and standard components has greatly benefited the business as it directly benefits ABCO customers as well.
To learn more about how MISUMI’s configurable solution works, click here.