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Product Possibilities: How to Improve Your Manufacturing Process

David Johnson

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How to Improve Your Manufacturing Process

If you are in the business of manufacturing, you’ll know just how important it is for your business to be as productive and efficient as possible. Regardless of whether you specialise in laser cutting or the manufacturing of food products and everything in between, manufacturing efficiency can greatly help significantly reduce costs and time while improving output and customer satisfaction at the same time. Today, we have a look at 5 incredibly helpful tips that will help improve your manufacturing process, so stick around to find out more.

1. Stop Wasting Material

Material that is wasted is money down the drain, which is why doing your best to ensure that you waste as little material as possible is absolutely vital in improving your manufacturing process. One of the best ways to reduce waste is by recycling your scraps. Many manufacturers make the mistake of throwing out scraps and unused materials that they do not have a use for. If that is something your business is doing, it’s time to put an end to it. Even if you have no use for scraps, you can sell them to factories and other manufacturers for a profit. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

2. Regular Maintenance Of Equipment

Replacing your manufacturing equipment is incredibly costly which is why ensuring that you schedule regular maintenance of your existing equipment is key. The fastest way to slow things down is by ignoring regular maintenance, and downtime can cost your business thousands if not millions of dollars. To ensure that your equipment is always in tip-top shape, you should train all operators in regular maintenance and troubleshooting procedures. Regular maintenance checks by a professional should also be scheduled at least a few times a year in order to ensure that your equipment continues to run smoothly without any unexpected downtime that can greatly affect your productivity levels.

3. Ongoing Employee Training

The world of manufacturing is one that evolves and changes quicker than you can imagine, which is why ensuring that your employees receive ongoing training is key. Continuous learning will help your workforce remain up to date with current safety regulations and manufacturing trends, and is also an excellent retention tactic that will help keep your manufacturing process as efficient and uninterrupted as possible. It is important that you schedule training sessions whenever new machinery is introduced, as well as offering educational opportunities for staff who wish to advance existing skills or obtain new ones.

4. Capitalising On Manufacturing Trends

Have you heard of Industry 4.0? Industry 4.0 refers to the fourth industrial revolution that we are currently in the midst of, which is why as a manufacturer, you need to start capitalising on manufacturing trends as soon as possible. With digital technology constantly growing and changing, it is more important to stay ahead of the game than ever before. Industry 4.0 shifts a major focus to machine learning and autonomous robotics that many manufacturing businesses can benefit from in order to gain a competitive edge and greatly increase productivity and output levels.

Of course, not every single trend is going to apply to your business, which is why careful evaluation is key. Start by looking at the scope of each trend: does it affect the entire industry or only a handful of your competitors? Has it gained momentum in other industries as well? If so, you should definitely consider how your business can leverage it for maximum benefit.

5. Review Your Existing Workflow

Last but not least, we cannot stress enough the importance of reviewing your existing workflow. Three critical areas to pay attention to are people, processes and equipment/technology.

People – First up, are all your employees fully trained and qualified? Do they possess the skills needed for their job? Ensuring that you have a project manager who is in charge of keeping a critical pathway visible and on track is key.

Processes – Have you stuck to the same processes for the last 5 years? If so, it is time to really look at how you can update your processes in order to increase productivity and output levels. One of the best ways to do this is to utilize value stream mapping to help you create a detailed visualization of all steps in your work process that can help improve your processes by analysing both value-adding and wasteful steps that can be improved on.

Equipment/Technology – As we touched on earlier in this article, ensuring that your equipment and technology are both up to date and well maintained is vital to the manufacturing process. It is important to ask questions such as “is my technology optimal for current needs?” and “how easy would it be to make changes to production?”.

Before you make any changes to your processes, it is so important that you commit to understanding how everything works right now

And there you have it – 5 valuable tips that will bring your manufacturing process to the next level. Remember – increased productivity leads to better revenue and more opportunities to expand your business, so keeping on top of your game can be one of the best things you do for your business!

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