Configurable Components Deliver Time/Cost Savings for Factory Automation and Motion Control System Builders


Under economic pressure to control costs and increase efficiencies, companies find precisely configured components a practical solution.

July 7, 2009 (Schaumburg, IL) Misumi USA, Inc., a subsidiary of Misumi Corporation, part of Misumi Group, Inc. (Tokyo: 9962) reports that many of its automation machine builder customers are finding innovative ways to save time and costs in their product development, engineering and production cycles by standardizing many of their mechanical components and by replacing previously custom-built parts with configurable components. These components can be sized to extremely precise dimensional tolerances and can be ordered in different materials and finishes, depending on the application.

According to Patrick Esposito, Marketing Manager for Misumi USA, "In today's tough global economy, industrial equipment manufacturers are striving to reduce costs and increase efficiency - without compromising design integrity, quality and customer service. Using configurable components in their machinery wherever possible has proven to be a successful strategy. Many Misumi customers using configurable components, as opposed to designing them in-house or through a job shop, report dramatic time and cost savings. And, they say their customers find that standardization means faster, easier maintenance and repair, as well as reduced machine downtime when part replacement becomes necessary."

One example is Orbitform Group of Jackson, Michigan, a manufacturer of standard and custom-designed forming, fastening and assembly machinery for the automotive, aviation, medical device and industries. Daniel Shirkey, Manager of Orbitform's Business Development Group notes that the engineering team's use of configurable components has helped to improve the design process while reducing engineering time and costs.

Shirkey quotes one Orbitform engineer as saying: "We frequently order configurable tooling components from Misumi. They are typically available within a week, at a significantly lower cost that if we were to design and make the detailed custom part ourselves." The engineer also credits Misumi's 3D CAD Configurator as a time-saver, eliminating the need for detailed drawings to be made in-house. He estimates these downloads typically result in cost savings amounting to 15-40 percent, and time savings in the 50 percent range.

Another Misumi customer gaining value from using configured components is Genesis Automation, St. Charles, Illinois, a custom designer/builder of automated assembly, test and process machinery for a wide range of industries.

According to Chris Reinert, Genesis Automation's Director of Operations, "With the Misumi Web Ordering System, we can literally price out different design approaches, using the immediacy of the RFQ option and know what's feasible and what's not. Also, by ganging products for shipment, we save inventory carrying costs, as all the necessary components can be delivered to our plant simultaneously, just prior to a build. It would not be exaggerating to say this results in savings by a factor of five over what had been our traditional methodology." Genesis Automation's systems can contain up to 18,000 components and Misumi components on some of these can reach as high as 55 percent, including shaft, bearings, plates, stands, brackets, ball screws, fasteners, actuators and couplings.

Other leading machine builders have reported similar positive results, including: cost savings of up to 50 percent and time savings of up to 60 percent as compared with in-house design, production and machining. Additional benefits cited include greater modularity of systems, improved appearance, reduced build time and faster time-to-market.

Misumi imposes no minimum order requirements or set-up charges on its product portfolio of more than 500,000 metric and inch mechanical components. At the heart of Misumi's unique business model is the online CAD configurator and web ordering system where complete information on pricing, materials, configuration options, and delivery times are quickly and easily accessible.

About MISUMI USA, Inc.

Located in Schaumburg, Illinois, MISUMI USA, Inc. was established in 1988 as a Subsidiary of Misumi Corporation, a part of the Misumi Group (TOKYO: 9962). MISUMI USA, Inc. is a leading supplier of fixed and configurable components such as single-axis actuators, linear shafts, aluminum extrusions, linear guides, XY stages and other components for factory automation and various machine builds. For a complete list of available components, please visit www.misumiusa.com.

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