Operating a manufacturing plant is never cut and dry. There are all kinds of variables that will affect the workflow and efficiency of the plant. The key is to obviously find that perfect balance where things are chugging along at a good pace in an accurate manner, without much if any downtime. But how can you get to that point? How can you help your manufacturing plant to operate in a more efficient manner and truly maximize the profits?
Here we’ll take a look at five tips that can help you achieve efficiency.
Take a Close Look at the Current Workflow
Before you start making any changes and tweaks, it’s important to take a close and thorough look at the current workflow. There will be processes and steps that work and are efficient, and then there will be those that don’t. Changing too many things at once likely won’t help in the efficiency department.
What About Staff?
The staff you have in place also plays a huge role in efficiency. Questions such as are there enough staff, are there too many staff, do they have the right skills and experience, are they working at the pace needed, and do they perform their job accurately are key. If you find inefficiencies within the staff, now is the time to make adjustments.
Keep in mind if you plan on moving staff around or hiring additional people, you will need to factor in a training period.
Look Into Automation
Of course, another way to increase efficiency is to look at ways to automate processes in the manufacturing plant. This doesn’t mean the entire plant needs to be automated, but even small segments of the process can make a difference. Automation can help make things go faster, reduce errors, and cut back on the number of staff you need to employ, which means money savings.
Take, for example, a carton erector (also called a case erector), which as its name implies is able to quickly take that case blank and transform it into a fully-erected bottom-sealed case. It does so efficiently and properly, allowing you to get much more done than if you were to have an employee doing the same job.
Is Your Equipment in Sound Condition?
Then there is the exercise of examining your current equipment and machinery to determine if it’s still adequate. Is it still able to fulfill all the manufacturing demands and needs? Are there more breakdowns than times where the machines are running smoothly? Have you reached full capacity with your current machines? There will likely come a point where keeping your current equipment and machines will act as more of a detriment to the plant than an advantage.
If you decide to keep your machines, it’s wise to set up a schedule maintenance routine to stay on top of things before they have a chance to breakdown.
They Need to Work in Harmony with One Another
At the end of the day, improving efficiency isn’t something that is done overnight or with one small adjustment; it is a number of changes and tweaks that work in harmony with one another.