Machine Tool Procurement Activity


In the book “In the wonderland of Indian Management”, written by Mr.Sharu Ranganekar. was a very interesting book on Management, contained many of the management solutions expressed in a hilarious way. There is an activity of selection of a stenotypist (a species which is almost extinct now) where the Boss after scrutiny of all merits and demerits of the prospective candidates, chooses one young lady with ‘blond legs’.  Selection and procurement of machine tools can not be that personal. In the present time, the procurement activity in itself has become very complex through very many controls and today, it is seldom left to one person, but generally done through a group of persons.

Machine tool is capital equipment – an asset of an organization and as such needs selection process performed prudently. The finance department as well as the decision makers needs to be convinced that the investment is –

  • Need Based (the reason for purchase is known)
  • Costs involved are minimum
  • The Machine to be purchased is of good quality and reliability
  • Will last long,
  • Gives desired productivity and quality
  • Machine will have high OE (Overall Efficiency) (Minimum MTTR and High MTBF)
  • There will be many more that I leave readers to add.

But the whole episode of a machine purchase activity starts by knowing clearly about the following:

  • Purpose of Purchase – Like may be replacement of present old equipment, to enhance manufacturing capacity, required for a totally new product-project. Generally companies will make the funding accordingly. The cost calculations will defer
  • Essential documents required for selection of a machine are:
    • Component drawing for part as comes to the machine including component material condition details.
    • Component drawing for part as leaves the machine – dimensional and quality requirements
    • Production volumes and available time per day
    • Ball park investment budget

In present time the rules of management have changed a lot and many restrictions are imposed which prevents the buyer to part with such details. When the ball park investment is talked about the answer generally is ‘Minimum’.  However, even in this competitive world today, what is required is ‘trust’, a kind of trust that a patient shows when he approaches a doctor or shows it with his close friend! Please trust thy supplier; ultimately he will be the one who has an answer to your requirements. Make friends with him.

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Shrikrishna Prabhakar Vaidya

Mechanical & Electrical engineer with 33+ years experience in manufacturing engineering, particularly in metal cutting processes and machine tools.

Working as a freelance consultant in manufacturing for last 15 years.