As global businesses continue to grow fast, manufacturers want to make their plants and factories more efficient. That will allow them to deliver high-quality products at breakthrough speeds.
With that in mind, let us look at a few additions and modifications that can help manufacturers, like you, make your manufacturing plants more efficient.
1. Identify Bottlenecks in Your Production Line
Production bottlenecks are some of the most common reasons behind delays and downtime at manufacturing plants. They occur when the production line encounters a breakdown or stall.
So, identifying these bottlenecks is the first major task to making your Manufacturing Plant more efficient. Once you have done that and devised a plan to resolve the issues, you can start working on making further changes.
Bottlenecks don’t always take place because of faulty equipment. Organizational issues or lack of skilled manpower can also lead to this chaos. Mass training and awareness is the only way out of such a scenario.
2. Prioritize Automation
Automating certain tasks is a great way to reduce time wastage and production costs. When contemplating what to automate, always look for mundane tasks that require consistency, like packaging lines. More specifically, you would want an automatic or semi-automatic labeling system deployed at your Manufacturing Plant.
Automatic labeling machines are not just efficient, but also accurate and time-saving. Such labeling solutions give manufacturers more control over their production lines and let them maximize their momentum.
However, an automatic labeling machine will only be as good as the company you buy it from. Hence, take your time while buying such labeling equipment, so that you don’t have to regret it later on.
Many manufacturers integrate IoT – Internet of Things – practices into their automated systems. And while that can escalate operational costs, it will also make the workflow more efficient.
3. Implement Cellular Manufacturing
Cellular manufacturing is an integral part of the lean manufacturing playbook. It is a method where manufacturers aim to reduce costs and improve efficiency by grouping similar Manufacturing Plant processes.
As the name suggests, cellular manufacturing works with cells. The cells represent different workspaces of your Manufacturing Plant process, and each cell performs a standardized set of tasks.
A cell contains both machines and your employees. The cells can carry out different types of jobs, but instead, you only allow them to do specific tasks. That reduces the downtime for making adjustments like recalibration or additional tool installation. It also ensures better quality and more consistency.
For instance, a printing machine at a garment factory can work on both t-shirts and sweaters with some minor adjustments. However, you only allow it to do one of the two tasks at any given time.
4. Maintain Your Inventory
There is nothing sadder than having to stop or delay production because you ran out of resources or raw materials. Given the size of their factories, many manufacturers avoid stocking up their inventories.
Too much inventory means they need massive storage space. And when they can’t afford to do that, they might stock up on only what is necessary or less. Eventually, that comes back to haunt them when they have to stop production because of a lack of inventory.
Following lean manufacturing principles to optimize and manage your inventory is a good way to avoid this. And to go ahead with that, you need to make only minor additions to your Manufacturing Plant process.
Software-based inventory tracking is a common approach to solving this issue. In a way, the software helps automate your inventory management process. So when you are short on something, you will get automatic notifications.
In some cases, the software will directly notify your vendors. That means you will have more inventory heading your way before you even know there is a shortage.
Further data analysis of the inventory management system will show you inventory trends. That will help you predict shortages long before you reach the end of your inventory.
5. Implement Predictive Maintenance
Predictive maintenance helps determine the state and condition of your plant’s equipment and machinery. In doing so, the predictive system can estimate when you should carry out maintenance work on them. That is especially useful in factories where machine downtime can impact production.
Predictive maintenance promises more cost savings than routine maintenance. The system uses technology like the Internet of Things, and machine learning to provide you with the necessary information. The combination of all these technologies helps determine the most appropriate time for you to schedule maintenance work.
Compared to many of the other additions we have discussed, predictive maintenance is a bit expensive. The cost of different sensors and computing platforms will cost anything between $1,000 to $5,000.
That will depend on the type of sensors you are using. Software costs per year will amount to a minimum of $600. For installation, you will have to spend anything between $1,000 and $10,000.
Lastly, you will need an engineer to oversee this side of things. Based on Glassdoor’s reports, you will have to pay that maintenance engineer around $90,000 annually.
And with that, we conclude this list of additions and modifications for making a manufacturing plant more efficient. Manufacturers all around the world are reaping amazing benefits by integrating these changes into their plants. If you are running a Manufacturing Plant of your own, it is high time you too looked into these.