Many large manufacturing businesses make their own products in-house. The production are scheduled to operate at specific times, and for a desired lot quantity. When the production is completed, the machine are not being used. These idling machines become big overhead burdens.
These large manufacturers provide off-peak hour production with low rates. The savings will lower your product manufacturing costs. These machines are run just to cover overheads.
The problem with this cost saving concept is plenty of manufacturers do not advertise their downtime. One has to find manufacturers that make products like their own because they won’t retool their machines for free. Once a suitable shop is found, the next step would be to contact either the operations manager or the shop foreman. You must understand that your parts are produced during the manufacturer’s off-peak period. This will result in a longer lead-time compared to a normal machine shop.
A good instance of this concept is a small factory that manufactures racecar suspension parts. These components are made from 7075 aluminum alloy and machined completely in-house using a vertical machining center. They’re built to complement the assortment of parts made for their limited production custom racecars. Since they make only 20-25 cars a year, they schedule their jobs to run only on certain days of the week, producing a few suspension parts each time. For the remainder of the week, the machine is unproductive and is waiting for its next production run. This manufacturer then utilizes the idle time to provide job-shop machining services for other local manufacturers.