The manufacturing industry is always changing. There are new technologies to learn and innovations that need to be monitored. All of these things can put a lot of pressure on performance in order to retain the competitive edge. This can sadly lead to mistakes that can cost your company money and compromise safety.
In this article, we will discuss seven ways you can improve manufacturing performance and avoid such mistakes.
Stay Up To Date On Trends
The world of manufacturing rarely remains still. If there is a shortage of forklift drivers, scientists will be working on automated handling solutions. If you know what’s happening in the industry, it will be easier to answer questions about current technologies and innovations as they arise. You’ll also have a better understanding of what your company should invest in to increase performance and reduce risks. Finding out what other companies are doing can help you develop a better understanding of these trends, and you can also learn from their mistakes.
Having a good relationship with your suppliers can be beneficial for both parties. They often have valuable insights into current innovations and technologies that may not yet exist in-house. They can provide documentation and free demonstrations to help you make informed decisions.
Maintain Your Equipment
Machines need routine maintenance for them to work properly. Machines have moving parts that require lubrication in order to function smoothly, and there are many other things to address as well.
If you conduct equipment maintenance regularly, it will reduce the likelihood of it malfunctioning. This is essential because it can break down quickly, and equipment downtime will have a direct impact on your productivity. If you can, use your equipment less often than is recommended by its manufacturer (check for the machine’s “duty cycle”). This will reduce wear and tear and makes it less likely to malfunction. Safety is an important aspect here as well, so make sure everything is fit for use and not being overworked.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of information on the internet that can help you. You can learn about cartoner machines, sleeves, and multipackers online. Help and advice can be gained for your servo technology and adaptable platforms. When your equipment is fully operational, there will be greater throughput, less waste, and enhanced production efficiency.
Understand The Work Process
If you don’t understand how everything works together, you won’t know how to improve it. Talk with quality engineers/technicians about your products and processes. They should understand any relevant data concerning production rates and other metrics. This includes understanding installation dates on new equipment, downtime logs from maintenance teams, line efficiencies, and so on.
You’ll also need to talk with people who are closest to a problem or work process (i.e.: operators) before jumping into solutions. If an operator tells you they aren’t sure why something’s happening, or they have an idea, this information could be valuable.
Streamline The Production Process
There may be different people and a number of steps involved in producing something. It’s therefore important to look at every step in the process and examine if there are any unnecessary ones that can be removed.
Having a streamlined production process can mean increased revenue and higher efficiency levels. Productivity can be enhanced and there can be fewer errors.
Implement Continuous Improvement
Nothing stays the same forever, so it’s important to always be looking for ways to improve and grow. Your strategy should focus on ensuring that your company is able to meet customer needs in an efficient manner while keeping costs down through process improvements.
Something that worked well before may not be as effective now, so the strategy is about adapting to change. This includes updating policies and procedures alongside employees’ roles and responsibilities in order to keep up with new technologies and innovations.
Ensure That You Have All The Necessary Resources
If you don’t have sufficient parts or equipment, your effectiveness will be limited. There could be unexpected orders or shortages which could cost you valuable business. You need to know whether your stock is too low or too high. Your inventory levels should reflect your business activity. Stock that is sitting around is not doing anything for you other than wasting money and space.
When you buy products from a supplier, they may provide an inventory balance report, which can give you accurate information about your stock and ongoing needs. If staying on top of your inventory sounds like too much hard work, then automation could be the answer. Automated inventory monitoring frees staff for other tasks whilst ensuring there is always enough stock.
People are also essential for your business. If you’re short-staffed, business performance will suffer. Assess the previous year and look at staff holidays, sickness, and absences. You may need to provide further training or recruit more staff to manage your future needs.
Train And Motivate Your Staff
Staff training is paramount because it ensures that they are qualified and have sufficient knowledge to perform their jobs. You can train them on specific tasks or train them as generalists, depending on what you need. Training should be ongoing because employees, equipment, and procedures change over time. This can also be part of the promotion process.
Motivating your workforce starts with listening to staff and providing feedback – positive reinforcement works well here! Offer a good salary package, provide opportunities for growth within the company, offer incentives outside of work hours (such as daycare) and give workers the chance to make decisions about how things get done. You can also motivate your workforce by providing them with a safe environment to work in. As we have said, this includes training and regularly maintaining your equipment.
There are many ways that you can improve the manufacturing performance of your company. It doesn’t need to affect morale because it can involve having a safer, more efficient, and profitable company to work for. You can stay competitive in an industry that is highly saturated, and maintain your foothold in the industry.
Author: Allen Brown – A dad of 3 kids and a keen writer, covering a range of topics such as Internet marketing, SEO and more! When not writing, he’s found behind a drum kit.