First Operation Blanking

THE COST OF LIVING IN A MATERIAL WORLD

CAN FIRST OPERATION BLANKING HELP YOUR BUSINESS ELIMINATE WASTE AND SAVE MONEY?

Do you run your material on small presses with insufficient bed size or tonnage? Are your blanking speeds based on slower forming presses or other equipment? Maybe you are simply not aware of the potential material and labor savings of outsourcing your first operation blanking needs. 

You don’t know what you don’t know, right?

This white paper will take you through the advantages and disadvantages of buying blanks versus producing them in your own operation. Outsourcing may optimize your floor space, reduce your labor costs and decrease your freight expenses. This information will help you determine what is right for your business.

ADVANTAGES OF NESTING

Are you familiar with nesting? Nesting in multiple-out dies is a terrific way to save on material. It is the placing of blanks closer together or “inside the scrap” on the dies. This usually results in a great deal of material savings. Nesting not only reduces the gross weight per piece, it drastically improves efficiencies by blanking at master coil widths.

If you don’t have the equipment or space to nest a full coil, you should consider outsourcing blanking to save on material.

Manufacturer’s original layout (slit coil):

Steel Blanking

New layout utilizing coil width:

Steel Blanking
 

AVERAGE MATERIAL SAVINGS ARE TYPICALLY  7% - 8%


GIVE ME SOME SPACE

By outsourcing blanks, you will have 100 percent usable material. You can look like a hero and reduce your inventory by knowing the exact quantity ordered versus estimating the pieces produced from a coil. Just in Time (JIT) inventory management is easier to control with a known quantity of parts; you can eliminate the guesswork by having an exact piece count.  

Another space-saving idea is that a press currently being used for blanking could be used for other value-added production. Also, floor space currently being utilized for scrap handling due to the blanking operation will now be open for other uses.

TIME WELL SPENT

There are significant labor time savings due to the elimination of coil changes when manufacturers purchase first operation blanks from an outside source versus producing internally. 

Blank-fed operations can run continuously while coil feeding can take up to 10-15 minutes per change-over. 

Press operators at your facility will also save on the time spent inspecting blanks in your operation, as they should arrive already inspected. 

Also, you can realize significant freight savings due to shipping only the net weight of a blank, instead of paying to ship the scrap as well.

LEAVE YOUR SCRAP BEHIND

Here is an example of how you can calculate your savings. Using a 15-inch diameter blank at .150 gauge:
  • This weighs out at 10.09 lbs. gross weight when produced as a 1-out from a 15.5” wide coil
  • The net weight of that same blank is 7.51 lbs.
  • Your estimated volume is 500,000 blanks per year
  • 500,000 x 10.09 lbs. = 5,045,000 lbs. or approximately 126 truckloads per year if producing from a coil in-house
  • Shipping only the blank at net weight is 500,000 x 7.51 lbs. or approximately 93 truckloads per year
This is a savings of 645 tons of steel and approximately 33 truckloads per year. As you can see, your savings in material, space and time can really add up.
 
Feel free to print out below worksheet to estimate potential savings and relative Return on Investment.
 
Blanking Worksheet

POSSIBLE DISADVANTAGES OF OUTSOURCING

Some manufacturers may hesitate on outsourcing due to the increased tooling cost when comparing a one-out to a multiple-out die. A multiple-out die is a greater investment than a single-out die. Other manufacturers are more comfortable playing it safe and being cautious of losing control of material flow to their final operation. By not processing in-house, your supply chain is in the hands of someone else. Be sure to choose a partner you trust with a strong reputation.

WEIGHING YOUR OPTIONS

For many manufacturers, saving on freight and yielding improvement through nesting eliminates a tremendous amount of waste and outsourcing is the obvious choice. For others, losing control of material flow is just too scary. 

The disadvantages may make you stop and think about if outsourcing is really worth it. The only way to know is to weigh your options (literally…weigh them out). In a volatile steel market, buying only the steel you use and reducing scrap will help eliminate your risk.

If you do decide to outsource your blanks, keep in mind the
advantages of finding a processor that can also pickle, slit, and coat at their blanking location to help improve your supply chain and further reduce your freight costs. 
 

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Phone: 877-250-6689

Email: SteelMarketing@WorthingtonIndustries.com

 

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