Efficiency is important for any business, whether you’re service oriented or involved in manufacturing.
Manufacturing more efficiently can help you to cut costs, improve throughput and reduce your environmental impact. These improvements can then lead to increased sales, better quality and a better company image.
Don’t waste material
Waste can refer to materials, energy, man hours or space. Wasted materials can cost your business a lot of money so it’s important to reduce this kind of wastage. Design to use less material from the start.
Find a way to recycle scraps and factory turns by using them yourself or selling them on to a company who can. Optimise your processes to use all available material. Could you use more materials before the waste is scrapped? Could you use processes like precision stamping to keep work accurate without sacrificing speed?
Hands-on training is the most effective way of training. Invest in your employees by training them on multiple processes. This will mean that they can help one another troubleshoot issues or fill in for each other, making the line work much more efficiently. Everyone on the factory floor having a good grasp of the whole process, they will better understand their own role and how it fits within the process.
Assign a monetary value to every part of your manufacturing process. Material costs are the obvious one but don’t forget to take into man-hours, the wear and tear on your equipment and planned obsolescence. Assigning numbers to every aspect of manufacturing so you can see which areas need your attention to improve efficiency and business growth
An efficient workspace needs to be well organised. Think about the set up of your factory floor. Are the important hand tools easy to find? Are waste products dealt with promptly or left to pile up somewhere? Make sure that everything, including tools, materials, parts and waste products have a home, and that every member of staff knows where that home is.
While everyone has their own approach, the world of manufacturing doesn’t have a lot of room for the individual approach. Every task on the line, no matter how small, should be standardised to make sure you can work at maximum efficiency. Make a checklist and place one in each workspace. Make sure that every staff member who works within that workspace knows the list and follows it. This can help to reduce downtime and improve product quality.
Manage equipment failure
Preventative maintenance means performing maintenance tasks based on the schedule of wear for a tool or piece of equipment. The idea is to maintain the equipment before it needs it, so you don’t have any downtime caused by broken or worn out tools. Pre-empting problems with those pieces of equipment that are essential to your business is great practice, and it can help you to make sure that manufacturing doesn’t have to be halted in order for you to make repairs.