Process Optimization and New Process Development

Process Optimization

Process optimization can be applied to both new and existing processes. Existing processes are often not optimized as everyone becomes familiar with the different process steps and assumes that all the steps are indeed essential and being done correctly. Familiarity often leads to complacency. Process optimization begins by developing a detailed and complete process flowchart followed by a critical analysis of each processing step no matter how trivial. Many times, one or more process steps can be eliminated as you discover that they do not add any value. In other cases, multiple process steps can be combined into a single step to achieve higher efficiency and throughput with lower cost and less waste. Examining the quality controls in place for each processing step is also a critical step in process optimization.

Ecomatech has experience in reexamining and optimizing well entrenched processes and process sequences that have built-in inefficiencies.  We can bring a fresh set of eyes, questions, ideas, and approaches to your process that can greatly aid in process optimization.

Process Optimization – Examples

  • WC-Co Sintering – Equipment and Process Improvement of Sintering
  • Steel Heat Treatment – Eliminate Unnecessary Steps
  • Finishing Methods for Carbides – New High Intensity Methods
  • Vibratory Compaction of Matrix Materials for Fixed Cutter Oil Field Bits
  • Powder Processing and Pressing of WC-Co, (V,Ti)C-(Ni,Mo) and NiAl-TiB2
  • Hardfacing Techniques such as Oxy-Acetylene, TIG and Laser Cladding

New Process Development

Ecomatech has considerable experience in developing and optimizing new processes such as carbide injection molding and carbide recycling from mining tools.  Process optimization steps discussed above were used for new processes right from the beginning to make them more robust and less prone to undesirable variations resulting in high yields and very little scrap.

New Process Development – Examples

  • Carbide Injection Molding with High Yield and Very Low Rejection Rates
  • New Finishing methods for Cemented Carbides
  • Production of Transition Metal Silicides by Mechanical Alloying
  • Mechanical Plating for WC-Co Masonry Drill Tips
  • Laser Microjet Cutting
  • Carbide Insert Recovery and Recycling from Dull Rotary Mining Bits
  • Laser Cladding for Cone Erosion Protection in Sealed Bearing Rotary Bits
Process Optimization
Process Optimization