No shop wants to have scrap material. It is possible to sell or recycle scrap, but it’s better not to have it in the first place. Reducing your shop’s scraps can raise your bottom line and improve the flow of work on your shop floor.

Quality Control

One of the easiest ways to reduce scrap material is to improve the quality of parts at every step. It’s easiest to do this with an ERP system in place. E2 has quality control software that can allow your shop to easily show quality standards to the folks on the floor. Sharing these standards will decrease parts that don’t fit the standard and allow parts to be corrected at every step. With more parts that fit within the needed tolerances, you’ll have fewer rejected parts and less scrap.

The Right Tool

Different machines can do a variety of different steps. However, some of these machines can do certain steps better than others. For example, you could use a CNC metal punch or a laser to cut material. If you need defined lines with little material in between pieces, a laser would be the better choice. On the other hand, a CNC metal punch is better to cut and make bends. If you use the tool that does the job you need and uses the right amount of material, you’ll have less scrap. Make sure you’re using the right tool not only for that step but also the tool that will make further steps easier.

The Right Container

One of the most frustrating things has to be completing a job and then finding out that by the time it got to the customer, some of the parts were damaged. Some pieces are sturdy and will not break or scratch easily. However, other pieces need a little more care to get to the customer in good condition. With the right packaging, you can protect the more delicate pieces and ensure you eliminate these returns. All too often returns mean scrapping that piece and making a new one, so limiting your returns saves your shop hassle in more ways than one.

Employee Motivation

All of the points above will help decrease scrap, but the most important aspect to consider is the people who are making these parts. If your employees want to do the best job they can, then they will. Employee motivation is a tricky thing, but one thing that can help with turning out perfect parts is a reward system. Again, quality control software can help you here. With detailed criteria and a quick way to track parts good and parts scrapped, you can track and reward the employees with the most pieces good. Or you could make it a shop-wide effort to get pieces good vs pieces scrapped to a certain ratio and reward the entire shop once that ratio is reached. This all starts with accurate and quick data-gathering.


Decreasing your shop’s scrap material saves your shop time and money. It can even be a springboard for further improvements, like earning certifications. If your shop is already documenting quality information, an ISO certification becomes much easier. Either way, decreasing scrap will improve your shop’s bottom line and save space for more valuable things.

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