metal profiles stocked on shelving

3 Strategies to Offset Rising Material Costs

As material prices continue to skyrocket, it is more important than ever to properly manage your stock parts and ensure you are not contributing to your scrap bin. As all manufacturers know, this is a never-ending battle, but Kentucky Gauge is here to help! Here are three simple and surefire ways to help control rising material costs.

1) Optimize Your Cut Lists to Maximize Your Stock

Optimizing your cut lists has many benefits – saves material, saves labor, and saves money. It is a critical need for any growing manufacturing business, and it may seem like a daunting task at first, but it can be quite simple. There are many specialized software packages available that take care of the heavy lifting for you. These often vary drastically in price and we have seen specialized cut list software as expensive as $2,000+. With the current volatility of material prices, it may not be feasible to purchase a new, expensive software that may have a steep learning curve.

A lesser known, but very effective option is to use Excel for cut list optimization. There are many Excel add-ins that can handle linear cut optimization and even sheet cut optimization. Many of our customers utilize Excel every day for sorting data, controlling inventory, and calculating manufacturing costs. If you are already taking advantage of Excel for other manufacturing tasks, why not also use it to optimize your cut lists?

Check out this example of how using a Kentucky Gauge length stop with an optimized cut list can reduce material waste from over 30% to under 2%.

2) Ditch the Tape Measure to Eliminate Miscuts

Your tape measure may cost you more than you realize.

Do your operators know how to properly use a tape measure? Are all your tape measures consistent with each other or do the measurements vary depending on brand, age, or wear? Believe it or not, these are two very common issues in manufacturing. More info can be found here.

Replacing your tape measure with a Kentucky Gauge length stop can effectively eliminate both issues. We have a product for any business size in any industry. We offer simple, entry level length stops at very low costs (with and without digital readouts) as well as type-n-go and programmable style length stops. Explore our length stop systems to find one that is sized right for your business.

3) Automate Equipment to Reduce Labor Costs

Automating your manufacturing processes may be the most beneficial improvement in any manufacturing facility. Adding automation can maximize your operational efficiency while reducing manufacturing costs, increasing part accuracy, and reducing reworks. In addition, adding automation can help mitigate the effects of labor shortages and improve operator safety.

Any operation that requires repetitive linear positioning, high volume processing, or high part accuracy can benefit from adding a Kentucky Gauge system and we can integrate with nearly any machine! We even offer all-in-one loading, drilling, and sawing systems! View a short list of common applications and view some examples.

Regardless of your industry, business size or budget for new equipment, Kentucky Gauge can help! Contact our knowledgeable sales team to find out how easy and affordable upgrading your manufacturing process can be.

Published on May 6, 2021