By Paul Savides, Managing Director, PBS Machine Tools

Dealing directly with OEMs like Toyota and first-tier suppliers who provide products to Ford, VW etc., we have found the world is changing. A white paper from the World Economic Forum and Kearney illustrates the changing nature of manufacturing, which was evident even before it was exaggerated by the Covid pandemic. This is also the case in South Africa.

Now, Varietal Manufacturing is Upon Us

Mass Customisation has created a problem in traditional production financing models regarding mass production. Consumer demand is causing manufacturers to produce more model variants, and this is greatly affecting economies of scale because they sell less of each model. This is causing numerous OEMs in the automotive industry to begin divestment, particularly due to mass customisation.

The biggest casualty in divestment is the loss of jobs, due to the need for more manufacturing capabilities and agility as they change to smaller batches. However, the benefit is a larger supply chain that must be manned, monitored and controlled.

Our role has evolved to become a Value Integrator

As our strength lies in value integration, PBS Machine Tools acknowledged that we need to align with associates that we could not only collaborate with, but also promote as our trusted partners.

Developing Relationships to Future-Proof production

Tongtai Machine & Tool Co. Ltd is an ideal partner for manufacturers who are interested to future-proof their production and indeed their business. Industrial design emphasizes that future-proof products must have a high durability, which means a good cost performance ratio. This is very true as Tongtai has proved in the South Africa market that:

  • They are a leading provider of integrated solutions
  • They produce machines that bring performance and value to the customer
  • Spares and service requirements for over 1,000 machines is <4% of total turnover

Examples of solutions Tongtai have provided through full turnkey projects in the automotive industry in South Africa include:

  • Hub and shaft
  • Brake disc
  • Brake drum
  • Flywheel
  • Timing chain cover and
  • Rear axle machining lines
  • Cam Cover

In another instance, Tongtai showed their versatility when they were prepared to depart from their core business to meet a customer specific demand , and they provided us with an automated, heavy duty 6M X-Axis horizontal machining cell for use in the railway industry to machine bolsters and side-frames for trains, in one setup.

Future-Proofing your business

The potential to future-proof any business is assured with Tongtai’s methodology and products. A current example of this is the smart manufacturing, High Mix – Low Volume (HMLV) system Tongtai developed for the automotive industry which is flexible and capable of providing a manufacturing solution that allows selective:

  • Customer driven small volumes
  • Large varietal production to meet needs
  • Enabling agile manufacturing and
  • That can easily satisfy mass customisation

Advances such as this, in equipment critical to the manufacturing process, can bring immense value in enhancing the operational efficiency of a company. It also allows a manufacturer to follow the “units of production depreciation” financial model that allows you to determine the value of an asset based on usage and anticipated lifespan.

Capacity Utilization Indicators

Combining this with an OEE model that enhances time utilization, piece performance and piece quality, Tongtai can enhance the future of any business using CNC machines.

This is accomplished with the introduction of Intelligent Manufacturing Solutions including sensors, edge computing, full line management and maintenance systems that are now available if you are a single or multiple machine tool user.

We have the tools and, are just a call away to assist you in future-proofing your company for future generations.

For more information please contact PBS Machine Tools – Tel: 011 914-3360.

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