Two Ways Improper Balancing Can Affect Your Profits
Unbalance is a naturally occurring, and expected phenomenon with all rotating components. It can occur suddenly, or build up over time, and is caused by any number of factors. Distortions due to stress, uneven thermal distribution, or deposit build-up on the part are a few of the most common causes for unbalance in rotating machinery. Every rotating part will need to be balanced at some point within its lifespan, and it’s vital that the unbalance correction is performed properly.
If you are unfamiliar with the balancing process, there is the possibility that your service provider can incorrectly “correct” the unbalance in your rotating component. This will occur when balance tooling and set-up are not properly developed, or the service provider’s personnel is not fully knowledgeable about the balance process required for the particular rotating component. An improperly balanced part (or batch of parts) can lead to severe consequences to your bottom line.
Delays & Missed Deadlines
As with all manufacturing processes, project schedules are extraordinarily sensitive. However, balancing services for the manufacturing industry usually occur at the very end of the component’s build process, right before delivery to the customer.
If improper balancing occurs and is detected, there’s a high possibility that the delays will directly affect your client’s revenue for the month. So not only will you be paying for the rebalancing, but you run the risk of losing future contracts with your customer. However, the more realistic possibility is that the incorrect balancing is not caught in time, and the rotating components are shipped directly to your customer (which leads to the next potential hit to your bottom line).
Non-Conformance & Part Failures
When improper balancing occurs, it is close to impossible to detect immediately. This means that there is a high probability that non-conforming parts are entering the field. In a best case scenario, the unbalance is detected by your client when assembled into the final product, but before full product launch. You will not only incur the costs of transporting parts back and forth and the second round of balance correction, but you will also incur the metaphoric cost of lost faith from your client. It is also possible that the initial improper unbalance correction will be so severe that the parts will need to be scrapped – a catastrophic scenario for any profit margin. In the worst case scenario, total part failure will occur in the field as a result of an improperly balanced part. The costs of part failure in the field can be ruinous.
The key to avoiding profit loss and potential part failures due to unbalance in your rotating components is in understanding what a good balance provider looks like and fully understanding the process.