As the saying goes, it takes money to make money — and that’s especially true in manufacturing. Labor, machinery, factory space, and materials are typically the biggest expenses for manufacturers. And as the marketplace becomes increasingly competitive, it’s critical to develop ways to curb production costs and maximize profits wherever possible.
First, it’s important to note that total production costs are affected by a number of factors — though they’re best understood as the cost incurred to convert raw materials (workpieces) into finished parts.
Production Costs = Labor Costs + Material and Consumable Costs + Factory Overhead
In today’s post-pandemic marketplace, labor and material costs fluctuate unpredictably, driving budget increases and forcing manufacturers to scrap their traditional revenue estimates.
WIth selecting the proper coolant, along with a disciplined maintenance program , high-quality coolants can serve as a reliable anchor to your budget — here’s how:
The Price of Production
In general, labor accounts for 31 percent of all production costs, followed by machinery at 26 percent, and factory overhead (building and administrative fees) at 22 percent. However, the pandemic’s effect on the marketplace has made these familiar models less reliable.
For example, labor costs are calculated based on wages to frontline workers. Unfortunately, the shrinking availability of skilled labor has led to a severe shortage, placing more demand on remaining employees and forcing manufacturers to incur overtime charges. The result? Reduced efficiency and increased production times and overall costs.
Supply chain issues and continuing trade constraints have caused drastic price increases in metal workpieces too. In May 2021, CNN reported the price of steel had tripled. With manufacturers already struggling from increasing demand for their products, losing profit is not an option.
Cutting Costs With Better Coolants
Cutting fluids are usually the least expensive category in every budget, comprising less than one percent of an operation’s total production cost. Though the expense is low, the decision on which fluid to use is important: Coolant impacts a manufacturer’s entire production process, directly affecting workpieces, cutting and machine tools, machine operators, and even the shop environment.
Choosing high-quality coolants is one of the most important and effective ways to reduce expenditures in every other budget category:
Improve Labor Efficiency
Compared to most products, TRIM® cutting fluids are formulated for longer sump life — which means they perform optimally for greater periods of time, allowing workers to focus more on machining and less on replacing fluids or cleaning the sump.
Plus, with superior cooling and lubricating properties, TRIM® cutting fluids significantly reduce cutting tool spend to create a better efficiency for machine operators. Machines can run longer without interruption due to cutting tool replacement or rework.
Stop Material Waste
All TRIM® cutting fluids are recognized for their low carry off, so less fluid is lost during operation. This minimizes the need to recharge sumps and keeps coolant consumption at a minimum. One customer reduced their coolant consumption by over 360 gallons per year by transitioning to TRIM® MicroSol® 585XT, leading to a 55 percent reduction in coolant spend.
High-performance cutting fluids also protect workpieces from damage during manufacturing. As the cost of raw materials fluctuates wildly, waste of any kind can drastically drive up costs. Products like TRIM® E923 reduce damage and even improve surface finishes on completed parts without additional rework, further improving labor efficiency.
Extend Tool Life
On average, cutting tools comprise roughly three percent of a manufacturer’s budget, but this can be greatly reduced by replacing them less frequently. TRIM® products lessen friction and heat so drastically that most customers notice extended tool life immediately.
An aerospace manufacturer in Europe increased their tool life by an astonishing 234 percent by switching to TRIM® HyperSol 888NXT. Using tools longer also reduces the amount of time needed to replace them, which further bolsters labor efficiency.
Limit Storage Needed
Regardless of your workspace’s size, chances are you could use more room. Since TRIM® is formulated to last longer and reduce consumption over competing products, you can purchase this coolant in lower quantities without fear of unexpectedly running out. This frees up storage space for more revenue-generating uses.
Using high-quality cutting fluids can ultimately control costs in other budget categories — every dollar adds up, and over time, this can result in a major impact on your profit margin.
More than selling products, Master Fluid Solutions works with customers as a valuable consultant to advise on coolant management and other strategies to improve operational efficiency. Call +1 800-537-3365 or email [email protected] to learn more about how we can help.