Four ways to boost efficiency in your manufacturing operations
By Erich Lawson
Efficiency is vital for manufacturing because it directly impacts total output, customer satisfaction and several other factors which in turn affect financial and environmental bottom line of the business.
Increased process efficiency can help your manufacturing business cut unnecessary costs, improve throughput and reduce its environmental footprint.
The four effective ways described below can help you dynamically alter your manufacturing processes to make them more efficient.
Let’s take a look:
Identify and Reduce Waste
With expansion in your manufacturing operations, the related amount of waste being produced is also bound to increase. This growing amount of waste negatively impacts your revenue generation.
The first step towards minimizing or reducing waste is identifying it. Hence, start by identifying the areas in your manufacturing processes which produce the most waste. Some of the most common examples of areas generally producing the maximum waste are inventory, production and transportation.
You will also need to know and categorize what type of waste is produced. For instance, is it dry or wet?
Next, you need to establish the measures required for eliminating the waste as per its nature. The process of handling waste also needs to be carried out thoughtfully. Nowadays, highly efficient machines such as self-contained compactors are available.
These are designed especially for spaces where space is a constraint and to reduce the volume of wet refuse without jamming or leaking. They require minimum maintenance and provide long-term value. Such waste reducing equipment can be a really good investment.
Train Your Employees
One of the most effective tools you can employ to improve the efficiency of your manufacturing processes, is to train your employees. Learn about the problem areas and develop the training programs accordingly.
Train your employees on multiple processes so that they can support each other, act as substitutes or provide relief in repetitive tasks as and when required. Training equips employees with thorough knowledge of the processes and their respective roles so that they can deliver their best.
Standardize and Organize
If even the simplest tasks are standardized in manufacturing operations, efficiency can be maximized. Create a checklist or protocol for every section on your manufacturing floor. Ensure that every employee follows this list or protocol without fail. Such simple measures are extremely effective in reducing downtime and improving overall quality of the output.
Similarly, organizing the workspace can boost efficiency by leaps and bounds. Every tool, part, instruction manual and material should have a specific place and every employee should know that place.
Adopt Lean Manufacturing Techniques
Lean manufacturing is a tried and tested way to minimize waste and maximize production in manufacturing processes. Its goal is to satisfy your customers at the lowest cost possible. Some of these techniques are Kaizen or continuous improvement, the 5s approach, overall equipment effectiveness and machine monitoring. These cover all the crucial aspects involved in manufacturing.
They help identify waste and problem areas such as machine downtimes, analyze and track them so that required action can be taken to eliminate waste and optimize production. With a little open-mindedness and exploration, you can discover a combination of lean manufacturing techniques which work the best for your organization.
Remember, it takes time as well as continuous and concentrated efforts to reap gains by improving the efficiency of your manufacturing business. Also, flexibility and willingness to adapt can help you achieve better results.
About the author: Erich Lawson is passionate about saving the environment through effective recycling techniques and modern innovations. He works with Compactor Management Company and writes on a variety of topics related to recycling, including tips and advice on how balers, compactors and shredders can be used to reduce industrial waste. He loves helping businesses understand how to lower their monthly garbage bills and increase revenue from recycling.