The Machine Builder’s Guide to Improving Machine Turns

controlpanelEfficiency! Efficiency ! and Efficiency!  Every day, in the industrial environments we are all focused on improving efficiencies in our plants, to be able to do things better, easier, and faster, to get more done with as little efforts as possible. Manufacturers focus their efforts to improve their production processes while machine builders are challenged to produce more machines with limited resources. Sometimes, we focus so much on the human and machine capabilities factors through process improvement initiatives such as six-sigma, KANBAN, and other methods, that we tend to overlook some easier ways that can add tremendous value to our endeavors.

“Machine turns” or “turns” is a powerful measure of productivity for the machine builders to measure their efficiency. This determines, with given resources, how many machines they can produce per year in the same space.

Recently, collecting thoughts from industry experts, reviewing various case studies, and based on personal experiences, we compiled a white paper that reveals on how distributed modular controls architecture can boost productivity in system integration and machine build processes. For over few decades, an automated system is accompanied by a huge controls cabinet hosting processors, power-supplies and terminations of hundreds, if not thousands of wires. Building this cabinet, troubleshooting it and maintaining it is laborious activity that costs money and time all across the life cycle of the system.

Distributed modular controls architecture eliminates lot of these activities, provides tools for ease of troubleshooting and ensures a scalable architecture. Most importantly, it saves valuable labor time per machine. Thus, improving the machine turns on the floor.

Balluff recently released a white paper with practical examples that identifies how machine builders and integrators can significantly impact their operations with the choice of controls architecture. The paper also provides guidance on determining the magnitude of impact you can expect, and offers recommendations on how to go-about making the change.

Request your copy here or visit for more information.

Automated Assembly Lines Are Shrinking

There is a common trend in the market for smaller more efficient assembly machines. Machine builders and end users are challenged with faster moving, smaller production lines that require smaller sensors and brackets. Balluff has a compete line up of miniaturized sensors. Let’s take a look below of a common challenge for high acceleration machine movement and how miniature sensors can provide a solution.

 miniappCustomer Demands: 

  • Anything mounted to the moving mechanism must be low mass
  • Added mass reduces acceleration  capability of a given motor and drive system
  • Added mass increases motor and drive size requirements to meet acceleration specs (cycle times) driving cost up
  • Large motors increase energy consumption which makes the machine less competitive in the market (less efficient)
  • Conventional sensors and brackets are much too heavy (and usually…too large) to meet this challenge


  • minipennyIncredibly miniaturized, self – contained inductive sensors
  • Miniature size = inherently low mass
  • Corresponding tiny brackets = inherently low mass
  • Totally self – contained electronics = zero space taken up by separate amplifier or electronics
  • Miniaturization of sensors allow installation in compact tooling where previously nothing would fit
  • Enhances the level of machine automation/control that customers can achieve for their machines

Stay tuned for more information on how other sensor technologies can be implemented into smaller assembly machines. For more information on mini sensors, click here.