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Vital factors you need to consider when using low volume manufacturing
by Nice Rapid | Oct 04,2020 | low volume manufacturing

The use and application of low-volume manufacturing have been on the rise in recent years? But what is low-volume manufacturing by definition? They are no clear and concise definition of low-volume production as its subjective and its definition depends on the type of industry that you are in.

But, the most common meaning is the fabrication of a product or parts to sell to the wider market as end-products. The manufacturing technique uses low-volume tools such as vacuum casting, 3D printing, and CNC machining.

Before incorporating this production method into your manufacturing process, here are some of the vital things that you need to factor in.

Bridging gap

One of the key benefits of low-volume manufacturing is suitable for small production run and cycles. It's used in the production of prototypes using the same components and materials, these technique bridges the gap between prototype design and the final end-product.

Low-volume production is used in verification as well as performance testing allowing you to validate all the parts and products to test their viability and functionality providing deeper insights into some of the defects providing you with an opportunity to fix and address them.

The manufacturing technique will enable you to save a lot of time and money which in turn allows the manufacturers to pass on this benefit onto their clients.

The complexity of the design

If your prototypes have complex and intricate designs, low-volume production is the most preferred option as it enables designers and engineers to curate designs that will make excellent parts.

The challenges encountered during the design phase can be countered and addressed earlier as the correction will be made during the production run enabling you to fully maximize the design process and create the best function or product.

Raw-materials used

Aside from just the amount/quantity to be produced, one of the most vital factors that you need to consider is materials that will be used during low-volume production. Nowadays, there are plenty of materials to be used during the whole manufacturing process this provides clients with a wide pool of options.

The manufacturing technique also allows the factoring in of the surface smoothness of your final product or part.

Quantity

To have a clear picture / perspective, for those in the automotive sector, low-volume manufacturing techniques can use the rapid tooling process to create anywhere between 50,000 to 100,000 parts.

For the medical sector, the number of parts created will be significantly low owing to the design complexities, rapid tooling can create more than 100 parts. One of the key advantages of low-volume production is the design options and product aesthetics have the same importance just as the overall budget of the project,

The economic sense of this production technique is what has made it the ideal process used to produce machine parts or products.

For years, there has been a gray area between product conception and mass-production, thanks to low-volume manufacturing this void has been filled. Before jumping into full-production which comes with its fair share of risks, low-volume production provides you with the perfect solution that will help you avoid problems before the rolling out of mass production.

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