How Vortakt’s Ongoing Dedication to Efficiency Benefits the Firearm Manufacturing Process
In a busy market characterized by backorders and surging demand, the efficiency of your upstream suppliers can make all the difference to your business’s bottom line. While all suppliers may attempt to improve their operational efficiency to some extent, Vortakt's reinvestment of resources toward continuous improvement enables us to up-level our processes and pass these efficiencies on to our customers at a level unparalleled across the barrel manufacturing industry. Firearm manufacturers stand to benefit the most from Vortakt’s steadfast dedication to efficiency in our manufacturing and business processes, especially during periods of industry-wide inventory shortages and supply chain disruption.
Finding Efficiency in Production
The most prominent example of Vortakt’s commitment to efficiency is our cutting-edge manufacturing equipment and automation. Vortakt is currently in the process of adding a fully automated manufacturing cell that is capable of drilling, reaming, and rifling more than 3,600 barrels per week. This advanced technology operates alongside our semi-automated rifling cell and additional CNC machining centers to expand our production capacity and reduce turnaround times. Our relationship with our sister division UNISIG uniquely positions us to improve our manufacturing technology and add new equipment in response to market demands in a fraction of the time that it would take other manufacturers. By using the most advanced systems available, we are able to leverage the full spectrum of automation–not just robotics, but also software and equipment–giving our operators the ability to maintain multiple pieces of machinery simultaneously.
Our search for efficiencies doesn’t end with implementing the most current technology. We are always improving every step of the manufacturing process, from our internal operations to logistics and beyond. Even small changes (like adding an automated band saw to our production floor) provide incremental improvements that cumulatively create a huge impact on our manufacturing process.
These operational efficiencies extend beyond the shop floor. We also work closely with our suppliers to source materials designed to our exacting specifications. By ensuring these raw materials meet our unique requirements for composition and machinability, we are able to minimize our scrap rate and ensure a more consistent end product. Vortakt receives its materials in a polished condition with stringent straightness tolerances, alleviating some additional machining processes typically required by other manufacturers who receive their raw material in a standard "hot rolled" condition.
How Our Efficiency Benefits Firearm Manufacturers
For every process improvement that we make, we pass along the cost and time savings to our customers. Our dedication to efficiency has allowed us to keep our prices very stable over the years, even as material costs continue to rise. As the firearm industry struggles to keep up with soaring demand, we continue to expand our production capacity and keep order turnaround time as tight as possible. Our automated processes are a large part of our overall strategy to meet market demand.
This commitment to continually optimizing the manufacturing process benefits downstream manufacturers by keeping our production schedule on track, and our overall product costs down. This relentless drive for efficiency may also include steps that allow us to seamlessly integrate our production planning with that of our OEM clients.
Our shipping department recently overhauled our pistol barrel packaging to allow us to store more semi-finished "lollipop" barrels in a single crate than we had previously. This nominal process update not only served to reduce overall shipping costs, but also stored the semi-finished barrels in a manner where our client was able to effectively leverage downstream automation with the unloading and finish machining of those barrels, allowing their robots to pull the semi-finished inventory directly from the shipping crate!
Because we manufacture barrels to each customer’s unique specifications through precision automation, we consistently deliver product that meets client needs time after time, with no need to adjust processes or equipment to account for variable quality. In that way, our commitment to becoming more efficient helps our customers become more efficient too.
Our commitment to delivering a product that maintains specified tolerances and a remarkable level of consistency serves to help downstream manufacturers reduce the amount of time required to support warranty requests, customer service inquiries, and process costly returns that they may encounter with less reliable barrel manufacturers.
Continuous Improvement As Company Culture
Identifying how we can become more efficient is at the very core of what makes Vortakt who we are. Because our company is comprised of engineers and skilled machinists, we are always looking for a better way of doing what we do. We make a habit of reinvesting in our operations and rewarding team members for initiatives that improve our internal processes. This “never enough” attitude drives us to continuously rethink and rework the barrel manufacturing process because we recognize that the more efficient we are, the more our customers can directly benefit from each of those incremental improvements.