Four ways to run a more efficient manufacturing plant

Here are some suggestions for key ways to improve efficiency at your manufacturing plant, without necessarily investing huge sums of money.

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1. Take a look at your workflow

Does it flow, or is it a series of start/stop processes, bottlenecks and interrupted production? The key requirement is to know your baseline numbers in terms of materials used, speed, power consumption, quality, costs and other variables. Then you can start to change aspects of your workflow to see which has the most effect on the base numbers. It’s also a good idea to map the “slack” and see where it can be reduced, or how processes can be reconfigured to run more rapidly or efficiently.

2. Train your workforce

A highly trained workforce is a more productive one, and new training methods mean that you needn’t disrupt production by sending staff to expensive off-site courses. Try webinars, YouTube, university MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and so on. Cambridge University’s Institute for Management points out that new technology developments can only deliver a revolution in production methods if firms drive down their costs and increase productivity – https://www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/insights/advanced-manufacturing/increasing-capability-and-productivity-in-manufacturing/. Training is one of the key ways to make your staff more productive.

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3. Build constant improvement into your processes

Make sure you have communication channels that allow your managers to feed improvement ideas into all business processes. Ask your managers to take a look at the new types of electrical control components Electrical Control Components that are available, to see whether any might be able to automate or speed up current processes. Small, incremental improvements can make substantial differences to productivity over time.

4. Invest in smarter equipment

Controls for manufacturing equipment have become much smarter recently, and some of the new electrical control components can significantly increase manufacturing plant efficiency. As we move towards an AI future, these components will drive more equipment, and run entire work processes in manufacturing facilities.

These four suggestions can help you to improve your process design, upskill your workforce, get into a virtuous constant improvement cycle, and provide a roadmap for efficiency investments. There are four more things you can do to finish the job of giving your manufacturing facility an efficiency upgrade, and we’ll be looking at these in the next piece.

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