Are you running a production line, trying to get your products made and to market? When all goes well, it should run as smoothly as butter, without any interruptions, hiccups, or unforeseen problems. However, that simply isn’t always the case. Wear and tear, errors, and other issues can lead to lost time, lost resources, and lost money. Here are the sources of loss you should be aware of and how you can minimize them.
Setup and adjustments
This shouldn’t be considered as something you should try to get rid of. Rather, you should try to measure it and manage. Learn how much time it takes you to get things set up, to prepare changeovers, and to make adjustments. Have a more formal schedule of planned maintenance and quality inspections, training employees to maintain their own machines. Not only will it help you better plan for setup and adjustments, but it can also help to reduce the next source of loss.
The biggest and most concerning source of them all. This counts for any time that you’re not seeing all equipment being as productive as it possibly can. There are a range of ways to combat it but the most important way is to find out what kind of failures happen most often. If your compressors keep giving out on you, then you might want to make sure you have a compressor repair kit on hand at all times, for instance. Shape your maintenance and ensure you have accessible repairs for the most common machinery failures to help reduce this loss.
Idling and human error
Sometimes, the machinery fails, but only for a brief moment. This isn’t too much of a concern unless it starts to happen a lot more often. Look at the sources of human error and address them with extra training, whether it’s misfeeding, incorrect settings, or other issues. A thorough equipment maintenance system is important, as well, for preventing misaligned sensors, obstructions, and so on.
Waste of products
Even when production is going steady and stable, you’re likely to end up seeing products that aren’t up to snuff. Defective parts may be able to be re-worked, but it’s important to look at which issues are most common and address what may be causing those issues, such as material expiration, handling errors, and so on. Incorporating a warehouse inventory management system can help you better track and manage your waste.
As machines keep working, it’s only natural that wear and tear begins to take place. Small equipment failures, a reduction in lubrication, and so on, can all lead to a slower production line. To prevent that, consider adopting the Six SIgma set of techniques to help improve and keep your processes sharp. Efficiency is something your team should be constantly working to maintain, not just a one-time improvement to be made.
Loss is a part of every production line and every manufacturing effort. However, with the tips above, you can at least make sure that you’re monitoring it, managing it, and always improving it.
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