The following case study demonstrates how ShiftWorx software was successfully used by an engineering workshop to increase their CNC Mill’s throughput by 25% within 12 months.

All of the company’s machine shop orders are low volume, or custom, single unit production units. The following figures and the focus of the study was on their 6 most critical CNC machines.


CNC Mills Baseline Data: October to December, 2022 vs. October to December, 2023

To establish the baseline for the comparison, the first chart below shows the operating time for the mills for the period from October 1 to December 23 for 2022, and 2023 on a 24 hour x5 days basis.

In 2022, the average spindle time was 30.78%, and for the same period in 2023, the average was 38.58%. This equates to an increase of 562 minutes, or 9.4 hours of additional utilization per week, per machine, or 1.2 extra shifts per week per machine. This represents a 25% increase over the same period the previous year.


Calculated Net Benefit:

The net improvement achieved in the operation of the mills in 2023 would be 141% of the cost of one full time operator for one shift. Assuming one full time operator costs the company $100K (all in cost), the net cost benefit would be $141K. Or, looked at another way – if one hour of machine time generates $80 in revenue, the added revenue created equals 9.4hrs x6 machines x52 weeks x $80 = $234,624.


“Value Added Time” vs. Spindle Time

The charts in this report are all based on the actual spindle running under load in minutes. ShiftWorx software uses a proprietary algorithm to determine value adding time because the spindle is often not on the entire time that the part is being machined. The value adding calculation is reflective of the period of time the machine is productively busy.

For the critical CNC machines in this particular year-over-year report, the algorithm calculated that the Value Added Time is typically 1.8x the actual spindle running under load time. The net financial benefits shown above could arguably be adjusted by this factor (making the net positive effect over $420,000).


CNC Mills: 2023 Year-Overall

The following charts show the CNC mills monitoring data for the entire 12 months. The line graph on the left shows the seasonal trends for the year. You can see that the months of January and February are slow, March to June are strong, July and August are flat again, and then September to December are strong again.

The line graph above on the left also shows all the machines week-by-week while the graph on the right shows each machine for the year. On a 24 x5 basis (24 hours per day, 5 days per week), the total average utilization time for all the CNC mills in 2023 was 33.51%.


CNC Mills 2023: Quarter-by-Quarter

On a quarter-by-quarter basis, you can clearly see the seasonal ebbs and flows: January and February are slow, March to June are strong, July and August are flat again, and then September to December are strong again.


Spindle Time vs. Revenue Generation Time

The “spindle” time captured represents the time the spindle is working on the part and creating revenue. Setup and teardown are also other activities that are often factored into the cost of the job, and therefore could be considered as “revenue creating”. The ShiftWorx platform is capable of capturing set up times and tear down times, but this information is often already available from the company’s existing ERP system.


Down Time Code Reporting and Notifications Modules

Downtime codes can be collected by the ShiftWorx software. This function was not used by this customer in this case study, but was recommended going-forward along with email and text alert notifications.


FreePoint Technologies’ ShiftWorx software provides a ‘holistic’ production floor platform featuring a fully modular suite of products, that when applied in whole or in succession affords manufacturers a production optimization solution backed by TPS consulting expertise.

For more information on how ShiftWorx can benefit your continuous improvement initiatives, please contact us to schedule your consultation and live demo specific to your industry!


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