Manufacturing continues to be a large player in the U.S. economy. It employs 9% of the American workforce and encompasses 11% of total output. Plus, the sector picks up the slack when other manufacturers across the globe don’t have capabilities due to labor issues or supply chain problems. However, not every manufacturing firm across the country is a revenue generator. There are some companies, like yours, that struggle to make deadlines or maintain your machines. Something must be done to improve operations and outlook. To help, here are several manufacturing solutions that can benefit your business.
Review The Existing Workflow
While the initial production process setup seemed logical, its design is now dysfunctional. As a result, operations that took no time to complete now take longer. Perhaps this is due to technology or improper training. Take a look at your existing workflow when this happens. Throughout the history of your company a process could have been removed or added that caused the slowdown. Make adjustments to these steps to see if anything changes. In other words, complete an audit on your manufacturing to determine where the gaps in the workflow are located.
Your productivity levels quickly go down when a machine operator is sick, goes on vacation, or leaves altogether. This happens because the rest of your team isn’t trained on the manufacturing equipment’s operations. So, either the machine doesn’t run or it’s poorly handled. You need to cross-train your employees on every piece of equipment on the plant floor. You might want to find experts on low volume injection molding services so they will have an idea on how to improve things. If they have any questions, you have the power to turn to the manufacturer of this product to get the answers they need.
Update The Technology
Artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are no longer futuristic considerations. They’re here and should be utilized on your plant floor to maximize your business. After all, why would you want to have machines several years old when you get a new iPhone every few months? AI helps because it’s more than automation. It has the capacity to learn on its own. Thus, it adjusts its operational speed and tasks to maximize productivity without a loss of quality. On the other hand, IoT is used to maintain the speed of your entire production line. Through online and mobile applications, you have the power to monitor what a machine does. Should there be a problem, it alerts the proper representatives of the issue. In this way, it’s quickly handled to minimize the loss of revenue.
Schedule Regular Downtimes
There’s always an urge to run your manufacturing machines on a 24×7 basis. This works for a while to increase productivity and revenue. Eventually, the machines start to break down due to excessive use. When this happens your productivity is reduced to zero. Thus, you want to always schedule regular downtimes. This is not only for needed maintenance and replacement of machines. It’s also used to train workers and brainstorm on ways to improve operations. In a way, it recharges your plant floor to do more.
Keep Things Clean And Organized
A clean and organized plant floor goes beyond aesthetics. It’s also about the safety of your workers. More injuries occur in manufacturing businesses than in any other sector. When this happens, productivity is reduced to legal investigations and the need for mandatory changes. Additionally, your revenue could be affected if an employee takes you to court for a settlement that goes beyond workers’ compensation. This is why you must be proactive in the maintenance of your manufacturing floor. Remove anything that has the potential to cause injury. Should spills be detected, clean them and find their sources. Regular checks of the plan floor minimize the potential for harm.
The items mentioned above benefit the manufacturing business without major investment in renovation or new employees. Immediately enacting items like cross-training and scheduled downtime should allow you to see a rapid return on investment. Furthermore, your current workers will feel better about their roles. Thus, your employee retention should increase. If you decide to add AI and IoT mechanisms to your plant floor, ensure thorough research is done ahead of time.