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MFD: Mechanical Fabrication Department

Tips on Saving Time and Money on Your Jobs

Some suggestions on how to save time and money on your job in the Mechanical Fabrication Department:

Account for the material.

Though we do provide the service of ordering virtually any material required for your job, it does take extra time to do so when the material is not readily available through either SLAC's metal stores or in our surplus inventory. The MFD surplus material inventory list is available online at MFD Light Machine Shop. If your job requires specialized material that would otherwise have to be ordered, using material we have on hand, or ordering it yourself in advance, can help insure that your job does not stall in the queue waiting for material to arrive.

Submit your job directly to Production Planning.

It may seem at first that you may speed up the turnaround time on your job by submitting it directly to the shop floor, but the truth is that the MFD supervisor must take the time to fill out and submit the proper forms to Production Planning anyway. By taking your job directly to the shop, you may be adding both labor cost and unnecessary delay to your project.

Clear sketches/drawings.

If a drawing is an "E" size, please provide us with that same size drawing. The same goes for other sizes of drawings. In addition, ideally we like to receive drawings done in black ink (for ease of making additional copies). If you do supply drawings in color, please do not use a non-photo blue as one of the colors of your drawing. And speaking of colors, please keep in mind that if you provide a sketch or drawing that has items highlighted, you should provide us with at least three copies (since when we attempt to make additional copies, the highlighted portions print out black).

Also relating to "clarity" of sketches and drawings, please take the time to double-check that documentation you are provided contains accurate and sufficient information for us to perform the work requested. We do perform a review of the drawings at the job input stage, and when we encounter errors or omissions it costs extra time and money that must be spent following up to clarify the details of a job.

Fill out the MFD job input form clearly and completely.

The job input form is available on the web. By using this common form and filling out all the required fields, jobs can be entered into the system and make their way to the shop floor much quicker. Please note in particular the boxes for "QC: Yes/No," and "Quantity Required".

Charge numbers.

MFD is able to accommodate the charging of jobs to multiple account numbers, and these generally fall into two categories:

  1. Charging labor and materials to separate account numbers: MFD can accommodate this quite easily, and there is no additional time or effort necessary to proceed with your job input.
  2. Dividing labor between more than one account number: MFD is able to accommodate this what we will do is open multiple MFD job Files one for each account number.

Supply a realistic due date.

If you truly need your part tomorrow, put down tomorrow’s date. We do our best to expedite jobs that are marked "ASAP," but if the job is not accompanied by a due date, there is really no way we can accurately plan or schedule the work in our manufacturing system.

If you don’t really need your part in a week, please don’t supply a due date of next week. You wouldn’t want other jobs to unnecessarily bump the schedule of your job; please don’t do it to others.

A few words on priorities.

Our system currently schedules jobs on the basis of first-in, first-out, meaning that jobs are generally worked on in the order that they are received. Naturally, this is modified as lab priorities dictate. If you feel your job may not be getting the attention it needs, please contact Bill Misson or Phil Cutino. They are typically kept up to date on current laboratory priorities (which drive our shop priorities), and have the ability to make official priority changes or exceptions internally, MFD-wide.

In addition, realize that realistically your job will, in most cases, not be input or started the same day you submit it. You are submitting a job to a shop that already has an existing work load – meaning it is not common for our shops to have personnel standing around waiting for a job. Finally, please do not address the issue of priorities with shop supervisors. Bill Misson or Phil Cutino are the correct contacts for these issues.

Don’t move parts yourself.

If you have a job in the system that requires multiple shops (i.e., machining, welding, cleaning, and assembly), please don’t take the initiative to move parts from one location to another. If you are concerned that a part may be just sitting and waiting to go to the next step in production, direct it to the attention of an MFD supervisor or preferably to a member of MFD Production Control. If you move the part, it is more likely that your job will be slowed down because of the extra effort required to follow up on the history of a part that "just walked in the door."

There are a few ways you can check the status of your job(s) in the MFD shops.

  1. Check status of your job online at -
  2. Call or email a member of MFD Production Control.

Unless you have a job that involves only one shop (i.e., machining only, or welding only) it is in your best interest to use these methods to inquire job status. Bill is in constant contact with all of the MFD shops and can provide you a more inclusive picture of what is happening with your job.

If you have questions about any of the above suggestions, please feel free to send email to Bill Misson.

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