3 Reasons to Turn to Contract Manufacturing

Contract Manufacturing

When you need custom parts or equipment for your business, there are two ways to get them: manufacture them in-house or find someone else to do it. Many businesses choose the latter, contracting another business to produce the desired components. There are many reasons to outsource fabrication of essential parts—listed below are some of the most commonly cited benefits of contract manufacturing.

Focusing on Core Strengths

Business owners must decide how to make use of a finite amount of capital to establish their business models. This entails equipment, maintenance, hiring and training employees and space to put everything in. Oftentimes, businesses can’t afford to do everything in-house, especially small businesses and start-ups. A company that subcontracts for their CNC machining Troy OH needs can focus on other elements of its operation, saving on costs and better ensuring quality control in vital areas.

Ease of Scaling Up

Related to the issue of allocating capital, businesses must consider the costs versus ROI of increasing the scale of their operations. While economies of scale are often appealing, the returns may not always be worth the increased investments in equipment. Contract manufacturers typically already serve many client firms, so they’re already in a better position to benefit from economies of scale.

Flexibility and Fast Response

While subcontracting means a loss of direct control over certain aspects of production, the autonomy of contract manufacturers does provide an edge in adapting to changing plans. In a sense, you have a second set of eyes on quality control and a secondary team managing the supply chain. The degree to which this advantage comes into play relies on communication between the business and its contracted partner, something that should be covered in the initial contract.

The needs of businesses vary by market, scale and other factors, influencing what model they should pursue. For many, though, subcontracting for manufacturing required parts results in distinct advantages that allow them to thrive.…

Different Ways To Aerate Your Lake or Pond

Aerate

There are many problems that waterways can face if they do not have proper circulation. One of the most common is thermal stratification, where your lake separates into layers of water, each with a different temperature. This is most common during the summer when the hot air and extended sunlight warms your lake’s surface. Meanwhile, the bottom of your lake remains untouched by the sun and is noticeably cooler. Additionally, the cooler regions have less circulation, which means there is not enough oxygen. In other words, this area can become toxic to fish. A third, middle region often separates these two layers. This acts as a barrier that prevents the warm and cold air from mixing. Aerators are machines that circulate the water in your lake or pond. The surface and submersed diffused aerators are the primary ways that people aerate their bodies of water.

Surface Aerators

Surface aerators operate at the top of your lake and circulate the surface water. The machine has a pump that takes in water from the uppermost strata and spits it out and away from the unit. They are similar to fountains, except their primary focus is on circulating water rather than offering an esthetic appeal.

Submersed Diffused Aerators

Submersed diffused aerators are located at the bottom of a pond and perform lake aeration by sucking in air from the surface and dispersing it at the bottom in tiny bubbles. The result is that these bubbles bring oxygen into the water, which is then pushed away from the device. Typically, these bubbles rise to the top, so more water gets circulated than with surface aerators. Additionally, submersed diffused aerators are available as whole-lake systems.

These are the two primary ways to aerate your lake or pond. These both provide oxygen and circulation to your water, which offers many benefits, such as prevent thermal stratification.…

3 Places To Use Portable Laundry Services

Even the dirtiest of jobs require a little bit of clean up now and then. When you’re faced with a messy environment, consider adding mobile laundry trailers to your list of amenities. Here are a few great places to use them.

Disaster Scenarios

When hurricanes, tornados, fires or other natural disasters hit, there can be a lot of mess and not a lot of places to clean it up. Portable laundry units are an excellent solution. Since they’re self-contained, they can be used almost anywhere, even off-grid or with limited availability of basic utilities such as water and electricity. The use of portable laundry facilities can lead to better outcomes for survivors of local disasters because it can support good cleanliness and hygiene.

Campgrounds

To limit environmental impacts in fragile areas, you can set up mobile laundry units. These setups can help keep detergent out of nearby water sources or delicate ecosystems. Since these services generally include gray water removal, they can be set up anywhere without fear of contaminating the local environment. They’re also ideal for seasonal camping facilities that don’t need access to laundry units year-round.

Messy Environments

Mud runs, fishing competitions, hunting camps or even construction sites are all great circumstances to add a mobile laundry trailer or two. By providing a place for attendees or employees to wash their clothes, you improve the chances of people having a better time at the location. For really messy places, consider pairing laundry units with mobile restroom and/or shower trailers as well.

Dirty jobs call for creative cleaning solutions. Mobile laundry trailers take the guesswork out of the question, “How will people clean up after themselves?” By providing a user-friendly means of keeping things clean, people will generally have a more positive experience, regardless of the mess they’ve had to encounter.…

4 Things To Look for in an Industrial Blender

When shopping for mixers, most blending companies only think about horsepower, capacity, and price. While those numbers are important, there are other needs that you need to meet as well. To get the right model for your business, you need to think about all the factors. Here are some other things you need to think about when buying a blender.

1. Controls Your Staff Can Easily Use

More elaborate controls are always better. Your primary focus should be on ensuring it offers the functions you need. Also, look for simple and durable controls. Furthermore, you can look for something that will work in your shop’s environment. If you are a high-volume shop, think about what will be easiest for your busy staff to use.

2. Noise Levels That Won’t Deafen Employees

Industrial blenders that are frequently used must be quiet. You don’t want your employees to have to shout all the time. Therefore, you should look for blenders with lower noise levels. While they will still make some noise, certain features can make them much more tolerable.

3. A Serious Warranty

Your vertical food mixer at home probably came with a 1 to 3-year warranty. Before you purchase a mixer, make sure the warranty makes this look like a joke. Also, look for warranties that cover both parts and labor. This prevents you from trying to install parts yourself and doing more damage to a broken mixer.

4. Proper Certifications

Certain safety standards must be met. Therefore, make sure any mixers that interest you come with the proper safety certifications.

While the numbers are important, there are other things that you should consider when buying an industrial mixer. Keeping your staff, noise levels, warranty, and safety certifications in mind will help you choose the right blender for your company.…

The Economics Of Dairy Robotic Milking Systems

There are more than 35,000 operational robotic milking system (RMS) units on dairy farms all over the world. The major reasons why dairy producers are installing milking robots are to expand without needing to hire additional labour and to improve their lifestyle.

The herringbone parlour is one of the most effective types of the automatic milking machine.

What Drives The Profitability of Robotic Milking System?

The major factors that affect RMS profitability are the length of the useful life, labour savings, milk produced per day per robot, and milk produced per cow. The main disadvantage is having to pay $150,000 to $200,000 for each robot that can each milk 50-70 cows. Most of the historical data shows that milking robots is not as profitable as conventional milking systems. These results may change by higher labour costs, improved management skills, and robotic technology advancements.

Labour Efficiency

The USDA reported that the wages paid to livestock employees increased by 4% in 2015 and 3% in 2014. RMS labour savings that have been reported vary. No savings up to a maximum of 29% savings have been reported by researchers for RMS. A lot of this variation might be explained by barn management and design. According to Farm Management Records from Firbin (2016) shows that RMS farms in the Upper Midwest averaged 2.2 million pounds of milk per each full-time worker while similar-sized herds milked in parlours average 1.5 million pounds.

Another factor that affects the decision for installing robots is the availability of labour in the future to milk cows. A 2014 survey (Adcock et al., 2015) showed that immigrant labour made up 51% of total farm labour. There could be a reduction in the availability of immigrant workers in the future if fewer foreign workers decide to work on farms or if the US passes tighter immigration laws.

Change in milk production when transitioning over to robots

The main driver for milk production changes with RMS is milking frequency changes. It was found by de Koning (2010) that robotic herds saw 5% to 10% production increases compared to 2X milking. However, production was reduced by 5% to 50% when compared to 3X milking. Our survey showed an average of 2.8 RMS milking frequency with a 2.4 to 3.2 range. In order to optimise efficiency, the aim is to have lower milking frequency during later lactation and high milking frequency during early lactation. The main factors affecting herd and individual cow average milking frequency include the following:

Change in milk production when transitioning over to robots

The main driver for milk production changes with RMS is milking frequency changes. It was found by de Koning (2010) that robotic herds saw 5% to 10% production increases compared to 2X milking. However, production was reduced by 5% to 50% when compared to 3X milking. Our survey showed an average of 2.8 RMS milking frequency with a 2.4 to 3.2 range. In order to optimise efficiency, the aim is to have lower milking frequency during later lactation and high milking frequency during early lactation. The main factors affecting herd and individual cow average milking frequency include the following:

Bijl et al. (2007) did a comparison of the economic performance of Dutch farms that used RMS that matched closely conventional farms milking at 2X. Conventional farms proved to be more profitable, due to the higher costs incurred by RMS. However, RMS farms had 29% lower labour requirements which resulted in more income and milk production per worker. The conclusion was that RMS investment allows farms to use less labour to produce more milk and milk more cows.

Milk Per Robot

To maximize profit, it is important to maximize daily milk per robot. With a four robot system over a 20-year time frame and using 2% yearly wage inflation, annual net income increases by about $4,100 for each 500-pound daily milk increase per robot. Some US farms are currently consistently harvesting more than 6,000 pounds of milk per robot per day. It is achieved through a combination of a high number of cows on each robot (frequently over 60) and high daily milk amounts per cow. The most important factors of this achievement are:

RMS in the best working condition
Reduced box time on each cow
Milking strategies and permission settings that get the right number of cows milked at the proper times

How to Make a Business Plan Your Investors Will Love

When you want to start a business, you come up with an idea and modify it until you have a model that should work in real life. Now, it’s time to complete a critical step towards becoming a business owner: making your business plan.

Identify Your Purpose

Your business plan explains to potential investors what your company will look like. First, you must convince them that your business meets a need in your target market. To do this, you explain what that need is and why your plan fulfills it more than any other company. For example, if you want to manufacture drilling supplies made of carbon plate steel Tulsa OK, you must explain why your drills are more useful than your competition’s.

Explain Your Process

How exactly does your business meet your market’s needs? You’ve pitched your products in your opening section, and now you need to explain how they’re made. List the necessary supplies, equipment, and manufacturing steps in as much detail as possible. Estimate how many employees you need to handle each step, and identify potential vendors and their prices. The more specifics you can provide, the more your investors are willing to support your idea.

Propose Your Budget

Now it’s time for the tricky part of your business plan: your budget proposal. If you ask for too much money, your investors see your business as unsustainable, but if you ask for too little, they think you haven’t thought your plan through. Work with an accountant to estimate your business’s startup costs as well as your monthly operations. Then, suggest potential sources of startup capital, including your savings, loans, and crowdfunding.

Making your business plan takes lots of research and effort, but it’s a concrete step towards getting the funding you need to open your small business.…

What To Look for When Choosing Cat Engine Parts

Your company’s heavy equipment needs to work day in and day out, which is why you chose a Caterpillar product in the first place. However, every part will reach the end of its useable lifespan at some point, and you may be tempted to to replace them with parts from a different manufacturer. Here’s why you should reconsider and stick with genuine Cat engine parts for your machines.

Guaranteed Compatibility

Although a lot of salespeople will tell you that their off-brand parts are just as good as the real thing, there is still a chance that the part won’t be fully compatible. With all of the interconnected electronics in today’s high-tech equipment, there’s no telling when a non-Cat part will fail to integrate properly. Using Cat’s online tool, you can input the serial number for your equipment to find exactly the part you need the first time.

Dealer Options

Choosing a dealer to buy parts from can sometimes be a chore. You want a partner that’s reliable and can answer any questions you might have about your equipment and its components. Cat has an extensive network of dealer partners to choose from, all of which have teams who can provide brand-specific expertise. Look for a dealer that provides transparent pricing and offers a range of services like preventative maintenance.

Warranty

There are few things worse than buying new parts and having them turn out defective, only to find out that there is no warranty in place to cover issues with the manufacturing. When you’re looking for parts for your Cat equipment, be sure you give yourself the peace of mind offered by warrantied components. Your diesel, natural gas and marine engines are crucial assets, and finding a reputable dealer is one of the best ways to protect them for their full lifespan.

Making a DIY Thermocouple

A thermocouple is a device that can be used to measure temperatures. They can be used for anything from measuring a cooking turkey’s temperature to a home heating system. You can buy thermocouple connectors at the store if you expect to need a lot of them. However, if you need one, you can make your own. This is also a good science project for when the kids are bored. If nothing else, it will provide some entertainment and a working thermocouple probe.

The key to making your own is preparation. Once you have successfully gathered your materials, you can begin construction. Yes, your neighbors will look at you funny. But it will be pretty cool when you have a thermometer you built yourself. Read on for materials and instructions.

1. Materials

You will need a thermocouple wire. Sometimes, you will be able to use cheap wires. However, a more expensive version will give you the best results. You will also need a method to spot weld.

2. Manufacturing

First, you must remove the outer insulation. Then, strip each of the individual wires inside the insulation. Bend the wires so they touch. Weld them into this position. Now, you have a functioning thermocouple. However, you will want to calibrate it first.

3. Calibration

You will need the appropriate tools to use your thermocouple. Once you have these, it is time to calibrate it. To do this, gather your tools. Then, fill a bowl with ice water and another bowl with boiling water. You may want to add salt to the ice water bath. Then, use a normal thermometer to measure the temperature. Then, use your thermocouple to measure the temperature in the air and the cold water bath. Write down the readings and take the temperature of the boiling water bath.

Thermocouples can be a fun science project with the kids or something you want to do if you only need one. Either way, following these steps gives you a working temperature sensor.…