Efficiency is critical when it comes to manufacturing. The more efficient production is, the greater the return on investment (ROI) of your products will be. The thing is, as technology evolves, new technology and workflow advancements will emerge to improve your production system and manufacturing capabilities.
As such, it’s important to audit your manufacturing process regularly to determine if changes can be implemented. For example, the following are five ways that you can speed up your production line and increase productivity.
1. Schedule Downtime For Maintenance
It’s a common misconception that manufacturers should run their assembly lines 24/7 to increase production. While it may seem counterintuitive, downtime for upkeep can actually improve productivity and reduce equipment-related errors. Effective maintenance reduces bottlenecks (such as stoppages), enhances worker morale, and increases the longevity of your tools and machines.
From an ROI perspective, preventative maintenance is essential to your manufacturing facility. Failure to maintain your equipment can lead to plants and tools that break down at inopportune times, ultimately costing you lost profit. Not to mention that equipment breakdowns can result in a less safe shop floor as well.
2. Improve Your Inventory Management
Poor inventory management can result in having too much or too little inventory. Both can be a challenge to deal with. If you have too much inventory, you’ll end up taking up way too much space. If you have too little, it could result in a work stoppage if you run out of supplies needed for production.
First of all, implement software solutions that leverage automation to track inventory and create notifications when there are inventory shortages. You can also use machine learning to predict problems with the supply chain and implement processes that will protect against stoppages.
Secondly, to prevent having too big of an inventory, implement a Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory process. JIT refers to receiving materials only when they are needed for production or immediately before they are needed. The JIT inventory process helps reduce waste and save money on storage space while ensuring that you have the necessary supplies when it’s time to go into production.
3. Clear And Organize The Workspace
Nothing slows down production more than a messy workstation. When a workspace is cluttered, it makes it difficult to find items when they’re needed and it can result in costly errors. Think about all of the equipment and raw materials used on the assembly line itself. You’ll be at risk of losing the product or having it damaged as a result of clutter.
MakMake sure that employees know to keep their areas clean and organized by using digital signage to remind them and instruct them on how to do so.
4. Train Your Employees
Effective training will not only help you boost production; it will also make your employees feel invested in the company and more satisfied with their work. Investing in training will pay dividends not only by increasing productivity but by helping you avoid costly errors and mistakes.
5. Update Your Processes and Technology
Innovation is key to success in the modern age. Technology changes rapidly, and if your business doesn’t keep up it will get left behind. With that in mind, you should optimize your product development and production speed by adopting automation and machine learning.
You might at first be reluctant to automate certain tasks on your assembly line for fear of losing valuable manpower. However, you can generally maintain the same workforce while using technology to make them more efficient. This will allow them to focus their efforts on other areas that need help or require greater attention. Making your workers more effective is one of the most efficient ways to boost your manufacturing productivity.
One way you can automate the production process is by using a CNC machine. These machines are found in most factories and allow workers to have more control over the manufacturing process by offering them a computerized tool that takes some of the decision-making out of their hands.
Machine learning is one of the most effective ways that manufacturers can improve their production rates and efficiency. Machine learning works by recording specific data points on each transaction or machine, then using this information to predict demand for a product or how a part will perform under a given circumstance. For example, machine learning can help you determine the ideal time for an upgrade to your equipment, avoiding downtime and ensuring maximum productivity.
Another way machine learning can be beneficial to the manufacturing process is by helping you determine which tasks need human intervention and which can be automated.
Improving production time without sacrificing product quality is crucial to being a successful manufacturer. Tweaking your production process using these tips will help you make the efficiency improvements you need.