There’s no end to optimizing efficiency in manufacturing facilities – it’s more of a process than a task. For instance, while a manager might think that they’ve done all they can and achieved maximum efficiency within the plant, there might be several changes down the line. Factors such as new workers, updated machinery, changes in layout, among others, impact efficiency and cause downtime in production. For that, organizations must constantly be looking at ways to optimize efficiency. With that out of the way, let’s look at five tips and tricks to maximize efficiency within manufacturing plants.
Five tips and tricks for optimizing efficiency in manufacturing plants
Incorporate feedback from machine operators
To improve efficiency in manufacturing plants, organizations need to incorporate feedback from the machine operators. While many might think that adhering to the manufacturer’s guidelines and following the latest practices are enough, they’re not. Machine operators can provide valuable information to help identify critical points during which maintenance is required, reduce equipment downtime, and minimize production disruptions – improving manufacturing efficiency in the process.
Ensure effective and transparent communication between teams
One of the biggest impediments to optimizing manufacturing efficiency is the lack of proper communication among different teams. Working within bubbles leads to inefficiencies as teams aren’t aware of tasks that are going on in other teams. For instance, the conveyor belt operator doesn’t know what’s happening with the lathe operator. Problems within one of the processes will lead to bottlenecks, confusion, and miscommunication.
Ensuring proper communication amongst the different teams will ensure transparency, help everyone be on the same page, and inform everyone about potential issues – leading to reduced bottlenecks and improved efficiency down the line.
One of the simplest ways to optimize efficiency in manufacturing plants is by standardizing tasks. Doing so helps workers become experts at what they do, take lesser time, leave no room for errors, and help them operate as one cohesive unit. These lead to precise operations, lower unplanned downtime, and improved productivity.
Other than providing training to workers, providing them with checklists that detail how to execute their tasks can be pretty beneficial. Organizations can easily attach the checklists at the workstations that highlight the benefits of standardization.
Quantify processes to detect inefficiencies
While processes, equipment, and everything else involved in manufacturing might be different and working, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement. Optimizing efficiency is an ongoing process rather than a task.
Many organizations choose to quantify every aspect of the manufacturing plant – putting a value on everything helps identify which aspects have room for improvement and which ones are already working. For instance, two processes are being delayed because they require a common tool for both tasks. However, organizations can remedy this if these processes are brought closer, or else another tool is acquired – boosting efficiency in both cases.
Ensure effective maintenance management
One of the critical components of manufacturing is the machinery used, and if maintenance management isn’t ensured, these pieces of equipment will malfunction or break down. As a result, this will severely impact efficiency as malfunctioning equipment leads to disruptions, bottlenecks, and even losses.
Ensuring that all machinery pieces are receiving maintenance can drastically reduce unexpected equipment failures, reduce disruptions, and boost efficiency. When used with a modern CMMS software solution, preventive maintenance can help schedule maintenance tasks and activities, carry out inspections, and streamline repairs.
In fact, the benefits of maintenance management are many – assets run more efficiently, their longevity is extended, and several costs are reduced.
However, not all pieces of machinery require preventive maintenance. For instance, lighting and other relevant systems can make do with reactive maintenance as there’s no scope for providing maintenance to these systems.
While these are just a few tips and tricks, there are several other ways organizations can improve efficiency in manufacturing plants. Organizations have to identify their current issues and feasibly address them, and even after that, there’s always room for improvement and optimization. Remember – improving efficiency is a process and not a task!