5 Ways To Enhance Productivity At Your Manufacturing Facility

By Staff Reporter , Sep 09, 2020 02:33 PM EDT
(Photo : pixabay)

Productivity is a noun we hear a lot when it comes to operating a business, and we hear it for a good reason. Time is money, and the more efficient your manufacturing productivity, the more money your company will make. Parameters that obstruct manufacturing productivity, like damaged machinery, are easy to observe and identify. However, sometimes the issues aren't as easy to notice, like when there's too much going on at the production site, and the complexity slows down the entire manufacturing operation. 

As you get into the habit of continually searching for ways to enhance manufacturing productivity, you'll build on your skill to quickly identify problems and address them. If you are struggling to improve production or even if everything runs smoothly at the moment, there are a couple of things you can do to enhance throughput without sacrificing quality from removing obstacles to reorganizing the way you work. Finding ways to improve productivity at your manufacturing facility comes down to adopting various technologies and trends that speed up production, create a safer workplace, and build a thriving workforce. Here are five profound ways to increase productivity at your manufacturing facility.

Update Technology And Manufacturing Processes

First, recognize your manufacturing facility's areas where technology and processes could change or update. Manufacturing processes that have been in place for a while are perhaps riddled with workarounds as new machinery and equipment were added, or some of the production methods have changed. Check if it's possible to make updates within the following areas: 

- See if you can utilize automation and advanced robotics as they are powerful tools for increasing effectiveness and reducing manufacturing errors. 

- Check if new software solutions can help you with inventory, scheduling, and monitoring workflow. 

- Various improvements in the manufacturing equipment can improve production speed, quality, production control, and more.

Speaking of new equipment and technology, always keep in mind the total cost of purchasing and how the bottom line will be affected. The high initial investment is worth it if the value of buying is lower than the technical process you are replacing and solves a real obstacle within the production facility. For instance, a computer-controlled pipe bending machine is a beautiful technology addition for any business that works in the piping industry as the equipment puts numerous benefits on the table while being cost-effective at the same time.

Data Is Essential In 2020 

As you learn more about what's going on in your manufacturing procedures, you will become better situated to improve overall productivity. Nowadays, manufacturing analytics are vital, so collect data regularly, and reflect on the collected information to recognize patterns and concerns. It's always a good idea to track the number of production hours included in payroll, and how much product has been manufactured for that time. Count your inventory periodically, and calculate how often you turn over the amount you typically carry in your central warehouse.

Calculate the exact time that it takes to produce each item that you sell. Once you've gathered this useful information, look for parameters that correlate with particularly strong or disappointing numbers. You might even find out that the output per hour declines when a specific employee is on the floor, thus pointing to a staff issue that should be addressed immediately. Or perhaps, you might find that some particular product is considerably more expensive to manufacture than the others.

Shift the energy you spend on marketing towards data issues to produce with the highest efficiency, enhance productivity, and make and move more of what you do the best.

Embrace Artificial Intelligence (AI) 

Some of the most profitable manufacturing businesses worldwide embrace technology to give their employees easy access to collaboration, communications, and information even when they are not in the manufacturing facility. Modern-day manufacturing companies should embrace AI as a useful tool for enhancing productivity and a profound technological asset for their deadlines, schedules, and workforce productivity.

By utilizing the help of AI-supported manufacturing technology, on-site and off-site employees can get all the crucial up-to-date analytics information in real-time to modify production timelines or schedule the equipment maintenance in a superior manner. The AI technology offers unparalleled mobility and information accessibility to your employees, allowing them to get more work done in shorter periods. AI will ease the workload, reduce time-wasting procedures, and enhance productivity.

Modify The Facility Floor Layout To Cut Out Needless Movement Of Your Staff 

This is an exciting and original way to increase productivity within your manufacturing facility. All the staff's excessive movement in a manufacturing facility can hinder production and cause numerous other disruptions. Contemplate the possibility of rearranging the factory floor layout strategically, so it will allow the staff to do their duties with limited amounts of movement. Start by removing the unused tools from the area and set up the ones that your team needs in ways that make total sense for the jobs they perform. Consider if there is a way to shorten the travel path by modifying the placement of the equipment and tools in instances where staff must move components in between machines. 

Honda tried this innovative upgrade to the traditional assembly line layout so that each employee could handle several tasks along the assembly lines. They say this original setup increases their assembly line efficiency by 10% and reduces material handling by the same amount.

Scheduled Maintenance Practice 

The easiest way to slow things down in your manufacturing facility is by ignoring the regular maintenance of your machinery, tools, and software. Downtime for regular maintenance will cost much less than the downtime due to damaged and worn machinery. Maintenance should always be regular and prescheduled, as machinery breakage always comes at the worst possible time. Regular maintenance will ensure that your machinery continues to run smoothly without an unnecessary work halt, and here's how to address the issue: 

- Make sure to train all operators in regular maintenance and various troubleshooting procedures.

- Schedule preventive maintenance at regular intervals.

- Identify the optimal time for maintenance by using data.

- Never delay maintenance.

Final Thoughts

Of course, our five suggestions won't cause overnight improvement, but they're well worth trying as part of a long-lasting commitment to enhancing your manufacturing facility's productivity levels. It doesn't matter which ones you will choose to go with, never forget to seek feedback from the procedures along the way and modify them to your real-time needs to notice favorable outcomes. 

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