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The success of the manufacturing industry always depends on the ways you increase efficiency and productivity. The evolution of these qualities, however, was often limited by a certain technological glass ceiling or outdated business practices.
Well, it is good to know then that we are living in a time when all sorts of ceilings are broken, and boundaries are being pushed left and right. As you can probably imagine, the ways to increase manufacturing productivity are seeing major benefits from this fast-paced tech development.
Yes, ranging from the latest diagnostic services to ever-growing levels of automation, new tech innovations are making the manufacturing industry leaner, meaner, and more productive with each passing day.
Well, let us take a look then at some of the proven ways you can use these trends to put your brand on healthier and more efficient foundations as well.
Put more effort into employee training
That’s right – no matter how much we rely on modern tech to get the job done, your workers are still the heart pumping blood through the veins of your company. If they are not capable of tapping into their potential 100% all the investments you make in equipment and tech upgrades will fall flat. Do your best then to make your workforce capable of tackling daily chores, proactive, and empowered to act independently. You can meet these goals through a series of training sessions, team-building activities, a clear communication hierarchy, and, of course, stimulating financial incentives.
Give way to higher levels of automation
When it comes to redundant, repeatable, tasks with predictable results, machines can increase manufacturing productivity far more quickly than human beings. What’s even more important, they do these tasks with practically nonexistent margin for error. This transition will require transition to more IoT-focused equipment and certain workflow overhauls, but, in the end, the benefits you are going to get will more than outweigh your investments. These concepts are especially applicable in terms of stacking, welding, polishing, labelling, and assembly, but you can find countless other use cases as well.
Implement more efficient maintenance strategies
To put it simply, the equipment that is properly maintained is capable of putting out much stronger performance than the tools in shambles. The problem here is that manufacturing equipment tends to degrade very slowly and the tangible drops in efficiency are not that easy to detect until they cause major problems. Well, why not ask for the services of professional vibration consultants who will use vibration measuring to detect the flaws in the moving equipment? Or some other cutting-edge diagnostic approach. The sooner you identify the problems, the more productivity will be saved.
Outsource tasks of lower priority
The manufacturing industry revolves entirely around industrial output. All the ancillary tasks you need to perform along the way make the manufacturing process possible but they are not critical for its success. Reaching the desirable operational efficiency in these fields, at least in-house requires too many resources without making a tangible impact on the improvements. Why would you not, then, outsource these tasks to parties with already developed in-house assets and experience in the said fields? This move will make logistics, bookkeeping, maintenance, and other similar duties a breeze.
Pay higher attention to quality control
Traditionally, quality control is a process that revolves around meeting your customers’ expectations and always rolling out the best possible products you can. However, to meet these goals, you will also need to keep very detailed manufacturing records, look for flaws in your manufacturing process, and perform relentless reassessments and audits. Well, all these things are, at the same time, going a long way in improving manufacturing productivity. If you want to get the most out of your efforts, set some quality standards and KPIs that will keep your audits more focused and provide actionable results.
This may prove to be one of the most difficult challenges you will need to face. But, business models like remote work, flexible scheduling, and telecommuting have proved to be capable of producing massive productivity spikes. How can you implement these ideas in the manufacturing industry? It’s really hard, but all of your employees have periods when they are capable of giving their 110%. When they are not at their peak level they should be either reassigned to lower-priority tasks or sent home to wrap up the telecommuting chores. This is one big puzzle, but it’s a puzzle worth cracking.
Keep refining your workflow
This issue may sound closely connected to quality control, but, in reality, it’s far more encompassing. It covers logistics, when and why you are going to call your professional vibrations consultants and all other things that may have an impact on the manufacturing process. So, even if you manage to fine-tune your industrial output, your efficiency will depend on vendors, inspections, marketing, order quotas, and numerous other factors. You need to ensure, all these pieces are moving together and they are not producing bottlenecks. Each new product roll-out presents a new opportunity to refine workflow even further.
Move your infrastructure to the cloud
We are, of course, talking about workflow components like diagnostics, IoT management, quality assurance, bookkeeping, and other business activities that are not directly tied to manufacturing. But, as soon as you move these things to the cloud, you will make them accessible 24/7 anywhere on the globe which opens countless opportunities in terms of outsourcing and remote work, but also usage of new tech assets like VR and AR. So, you are getting a leaner and more optimized workflow as well as new employee engagement options in the same stroke. That is something worth considering.
So, in the very end, we hope these couple of suggestions gave you a better idea about the various aspects of the manufacturing process and outlined the ways you can make them more optimized and productive. The present-day business environment is very competitive and dense so following in other’s footsteps is not an option. What you need to try to lead the pack. These quick ways to increase your in-house manufacturing productivity do sound like a good way to start.