Considerations when Faced with an Insitu Machining Requirement
Insitu or Offsite
Is insitu the best option? If the part can be easily shipped to a machine shop then this should always be the first option. More often than not, insitu machining will be more expensive and any time savings in shipping the component and waiting for a slot on a machine will be outweighed by the time required on site. Insitu becomes a really great option when strip down is either not practical or causes significant time and cost. Reekie Machining can offer both insitu and off site machining options.
What is required?
Ensure you have a good understanding of the required repair including a written specification which should contain dimensions and tolerances. Ideally a drawing showing the repair but if that is not available then a marked up picture or sketch.
What Information is Available?
An option is to have a technician to attend site to carry out a site survey however with sufficient information this is often not required. Site surveys are time consuming when time can be at a premium. It is very difficult to obtain all the sizes required and to sketch in 3 dimensions. Taking time to look out all the relevant drawings and to take some photos saves time and helps to ensure correct equipment preparation.
The first to site may not be the first to complete
There is no one size fits all insitu machine. Despite having man power available the insitu machining provider may require some time to pull together all the parts required for the job. Taking time to develop a detailed work pack and preparing the correct fixtures and tooling for the job pays dividends at site. Waiting a day or two for a well prepared insitu machining company will almost always get your plant up and running quicker with reduced risk to your program.
Your Downtime Cost
The duration of most insitu machining jobs can vary significantly depending on the machining solution offered by your insitu machining supplier. The training and experience of the machinists, the equipment available, the number of set ups and tooling used, all contribute to the time taken. Superior machining solutions can come at cost. However the cost for each additional day taken to complete the task should be factored in when comparing prices – some insitu machining providers specialise in keeping their customers downtime to a minimum when each day of lost generation is significant.