Laney Smith and Tom Rock were ready to diversify their RockSmith Precision Machining, Inc., custom machine shop business. So they purchased the licenses for two Los Alamos National Laboratory tools, expecting to machine and mass-produce the intricate tools used for disabling explosive devices. But they didn’t realize they were missing some of the key elements for success: improved production output and better inventory control.
That’s where New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NM MEP) stepped in to help. Through the NMSBA Program, Matt Moser of NM MEP analyzed the process RockSmith used to produce the tools, as well as the costs involved and the required machining time. Based on his evaluation, Moser set up a visual organization system to guide the machinists through four production stages. He then organized their inventory with production maps, colorcoded bins, and shelving to match the production stages.
With the newly organized manufacturing process, RockSmith can now increase its manufacturing capacity and provide precise delivery estimates for the tools. For example, RockSmith’s initial order for 80 units took more than 11 months to produce, but after NM MEP’s assistance, the company can produce 200 units in the same amount of time. Further, by streamlining tool production, RockSmith’s owners can assign some of the work to less skilled workers, freeing up their time for higher-value custom work.