Configured to Save Time

MISUMI
Written by Karen Hawthorne

MISUMI is pivotal for leading-edge manufacturing. The company works with engineers to develop innovative machines and then provides them with all the parts they need to build them.
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If you’ve ever watched those TV docushows that feature factory assembly lines, you’ve likely seen the results of MISUMI knowhow and software at work in manufacturing machines. That’s because before the cars roll off the line, or before a semiconductor is ready to be added to a microprocessor chip, there has to be an assembly line. And for that assembly line to operate, it has to have the components that make the machines do what they are supposed to do. And when it comes to making those parts and helping designers configure the parts they need, it’s MISUMI that has the clear advantage.

So, if you are an engineer who has been tasked to create the machines that will help build the next great car, there are a couple of things that have to happen. First you have to design the components that will make your machines do what they are supposed to do. Then after designing those machine components, you will also have to get them built.

Sound easy? How about if you have to make multiple changes to your design to get your machines to work properly? And when you’ve finished designing the machines, you have to get a whole lot of unique, custom components built or else they just won’t work.

Let’s break this down a bit. Let’s say that you are designing components to make your machine work, you are likely on your computer using CAD technology, short for computer-aided design and drafting. But the design process can take a long time and it can be very complicated to figure out what components you need for your machines as well as having to source them – especially if you have a client who is changing their mind on the details about the final product. Or they are asking you to add steps to the process that you didn’t know about before. It’s at this point that MISUMI becomes your new best friend.

“We’ve done independent testing and we found that if you use our new inCAD Components tool, it can save you up to 30 percent of your design time,” says Michael Larmon, Marketing Director of MSIUMI USA.

MISUMI developed a suite of tools called Rapid Design that essentially helps engineers do their job quicker and better. No longer do designers need to draw everything from scratch or download CAD files from websites to upload into their platform. Rapid Design provides integrated access to millions of MISUMI mechanical components available for modification. And if you are still looking for ideas, the Rapid Design inCAD library offers hundreds of preconfigured assemblies.

The company’s latest edition to the Rapid Design suite of tools is called inCAD Components. It allows you to import and significantly modify components in dimensions as small as 10 microns. And inCAD Components is unique in the market. It syncs up with the SOLIDWORKS platform which is a globally recognized leader in CAD design tools. That means you can make adjustments to your design without having to download and upload files from another program, again saving you more time and making your design process more agile if your clients come with unexpected requests. The bonus for the tool is that it’s free after you set up your MISUMI account.

Larmon joined the company a little more than a year ago and has made a point to get the word out about all the solutions MISUMI has to offer manufacturing, engineering and automation firms. With his background in building out roadmaps for marketing programs and introducing sales enablement and lead generation tools, he is making sure that MISUMI’s marketing and sales teams are working closely together to provide clients with the complete picture of what MISUMI can offer.

And MISUMI does offer a lot – about 25.3 million global components that can be configured into 80 sextillion different part numbers. (That would be 80,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 part configurations, if you’re wondering.)

MISUMI is a global manufacturing giant out of Tokyo, Japan that has had a presence in the U.S. since the late 80s. Between the online design and proliferate parts and configurations distribution network, the company truly is a one-stop shop for engineers and people working in manufacturing.

“Where MISUMI fits into the equation is that you can take any one of our standard parts, configure it online to how you need it to be,” Larmon says. “Let’s say you have a simple shaft and you need one end to be tapered and the other end fitted to a larger part. So normally if you needed that, you would have to get it custom-made. But at MISUMI, we can configure it to whatever need you have, and you only have to order one. And in most instances, we can get that to you in four days or less. That’s a very unique and powerful story.” Most suppliers require a minimum order and the lead times to get a part into a customer’s hand can be long.

“We can tell our customers that we can get them something a heck of a lot quicker and you only need to buy one, and we will most likely be price-competitive for you too. If you are working on a new build or if you are maintaining a Japanese-branded product, and you might not know where to find replacement parts, you can come to us and we can have you back up and running in a week.”

And while this is great for the people who know what MISUMI can do, the company is fast becoming more active in educating and informing both engineering students and the professional engineering community on how MISUMI can save them valuable time and cut down on the costs to build manufacturing equipment. One recent initiative was giving people a chance to use its product firsthand at MISUMI’s Rapid Design Experience Event at the SOLIDWORKS WORLD 2019 conference in Dallas. “It’s a really good opportunity to take Rapid Design out for a test drive and see what it can offer,” Larmon says.

The company has also launched a MISUMI University program where representatives go out and talk to students at American and Canadian colleges and universities to give them their first experience of the company and how MISUMI can help their studies and their career.

The education outreach doesn’t stop there for the company. It also has a MISUMI Masterclass program where team members travel to customers and do a deep-dive instructional session. “The morning is a classroom environment and the afternoon is hands-on,” says Larmon. “So people walk away with a really good understanding of not only how to use our products, but of the product itself. We hope that by teaching engineers how to use our products to build better machines we will become a trusted partner.”

MISUMI also plans to offer more classes and include an online option, with the goal of accreditation and certification.

In conclusion, when you see the machines on an assembly line at work, it’s a pretty good bet that more and more of them will have at least a few of MISUMI’s 80 sextillion configured parts inside making them work.

For more information, please visit us.misumi-ec.com

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