What’s manufacturing in business if not for gaining revenue? So, what are your manufacturing throughput numbers saying about your business? You may not yet have the answer to that question, but you’ll probably have it at the end of this article!
Okay, we may be overselling ourselves a bit, but we are certain you’ll walk away from this knowing what to do next to increase your manufacturing throughput.
To reach your desired ROI (Return on Investment) with new technology, you should dive deep into your numbers and understand what they’re trying to tell you.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
What’s the Deal with Manufacturing Throughput, Anyway?
Manufacturing throughput is the term managers are in love with. They use it a lot, but it’s far from a void buzz term. It’s a valid goal all businesses want to achieve, and continuous improvement is the holy grail managers are chasing.
Continuous improvement in your manufacturing throughput means you’re on a purposeful journey to make some tweaks and changes that can bring your product development process to new heights and bring more value to your name.
Whatmore, continuous improvement fuels the rest of the team, too. Keeping your team happy and challenged means they’re always on their feet and creatively and strategically thinking about how they can do things better and faster.
So, how does one achieve this continuous improvement of manufacturing throughput? Well, an integrated method is the best way to go. Especially if you’re also focused on the digital aspects of today’s world. A digitalized production process forgoes silos and asks for holistic manufacturing improvement initiatives which are incremental.
Proven Ways to Fuel Your Manufacturing Process
Now that we’ve gotten the question “What is continuous improvement in manufacturing?” out of the way, let’s see what precise moves you can make today to prepare for a more prosperous future tomorrow. One of the key ways of navigating improvement in manufacturing is, of course, employing the help of expert product development consultancy.
Identify the Main Goal with Precision
Start with the circumstances and present the state as they are. Learn a great deal about the company culture you have and the relevant natural resources. Once you have determined the current situation, start making progress toward the goal. Consider the factory’s potential future in both the worst and best-case scenarios.
Focus on the important factors listed below to create a plan for progressive growth.
- What are the major performance metrics, and how does the current and projected manufacturing performance compare?
- What kind of improvement is required to meet the manufacturing targets set?
- What current fundamental skills and leadership qualities are required?
- What are the measures for monitoring success along the way to reaching those objectives?
Eliminate the Hurdles Along the Way
Even just by reading the word “bottleneck”, you may experience some thoughts popping into your head. You may already, consciously or subconsciously, know what are the bottlenecks in your company.
It may be a lack of resources, a supplier you can’t rely on, or a team member hogging the process. The point is, you should eliminate those bottlenecks tactfully. It may be hard changing some processes that have been around for a long time, but new seamless processes can very much help align your business with your new goals.
It may not even be a question of eliminating bottlenecks. It may be just the need for adding extra steps so that you can lessen the negative effect of the bottlenecks. All in all, the right solution for you will depend on things such as physical location, hardware and software needs, staff factors, and more. Use KPIs to discover which step to make.
Reduce Downtime in Equipment
Ignoring routine maintenance is one way to make things go more slowly. Downtime due to damaged or worn-out equipment is far more expensive in terms of both time and money than scheduled downtime for maintenance. And don’t even get us started on Murphy’s law – equipment breakdowns always occur when least expected.
Schedule routine maintenance to make sure your equipment is constantly in top condition rather than putting it off in the mistaken belief that you would speed up your shop floor. The optimum time to perform routine maintenance so that it has the least negative effects on your business is to be determined using the data you acquired in step one about your floor and workflow procedures. To keep your equipment functioning smoothly and unexpected equipment downtime to a minimum, train your equipment operators in routine maintenance.
Encourage Your Staff to Attend Training
The productivity of the production line and the caliber of the final product are significantly influenced by your employees. We’re talking to both top management and front-line staff.
Employees who lack the proper training could find it difficult to identify changes. Even worse, untrained workers may unintentionally cause delays because they are unaware of the full production process and how a change that saves them a minute adds an extra five minutes of work for someone else.
The key to increasing throughput is putting a focus on employee training so they have the knowledge and abilities to make smart, constructive improvements to the production process.
Experience is the best teacher, as we all know. To discuss how they would respond to a scenario involving a glitch in the manufacturing process, staff and management should play out potential scenarios. That helps you to understand where they need to improve.
Work on the Safety Procedures and Put Control Strategies Into Place
Many manufacturing companies also place a strong emphasis on laws regarding sanitization, hygiene, and other contaminants that may have an impact on worker and customer safety. If your organization doesn’t currently have updated safety measures, it can put them in place to ensure that delays caused by accidents or workplace dangers are quickly resolved.
By doing this, production facilities are kept tidy and safe, and shutdowns are avoided.
Developing and executing quality control checks and practices throughout a manufacturing process can reduce the risk of rejected parts and products. Rejected items that have a flaw can cause waste and increase your company’s throughput time to reproduce the product.
You can scan product parts for flaws using sophisticated imaging and identification technology to catch them early in the manufacturing process.
This is just scratching the surface of all the things you can do to ensure continuous improvement of your manufacturing process. If you’re looking to establish a reliable presence in your industry and shoot past your competitors, consider hiring expert product development and design consultancies with experience in your field.