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Tips for Streamlining Processes in Your Manufacturing Plant

by EmmaSturgis

Streamlining processes in your manufacturing plant can make a huge difference in your team’s productivity. Efficiency is essential when dealing with high volumes and tight deadlines. Still, sometimes we miss out on easy improvements because we are too focused on other tasks – like engineering, marketing, or logistics. Here are simple tips for streamlining processes in your manufacturing plant.

Develop a Process to Minimize Wasted Work

No matter what the end product looks like, there’s no use in putting unnecessary steps into your manufacturing process. This can happen for various reasons: a change to the standard process without updating the documentation, an individual in your team who thinks their solution is better than everybody else’s, or a misunderstanding of what happens during the manufacturing process. Whatever the reason, it’s important to streamline your processes as much as possible, so there aren’t any steps that don’t need to be there.

Invest in Better Machines

Before you think about streamlining, ensure the equipment your team uses is the best. Machines that are outdated or malfunctioning during the peak season will slow down your entire manufacturing process, costing you money in lost time and productivity. For instance, if the machine that heats up your molds was melting your parts – would you even have time to worry about streamlining steps?

Invest in Better Tools

Using the best technology for everything from CAD to computer-aided inspection to CNC machines can also make a huge difference in your productivity. For example, investing in a better software solution can reduce errors, allow you to communicate design concerns with your team members more easily, and eliminate hours of tedious work.

Improve Manufacturing Quality Control

It’s easy to miss a minor detail when the machine runs, but some of the most important things for quality control happen offline. For example, when you spot a mold in the works, does your team know how it got there and what should be done about it? Does everyone on your team know how to fix minor defects so they don’t cost you time and money?

Reduce Variability

Variability is almost as important as quality control. It’s common for situations to arise that are out of your team’s control – like changes in product specifications from the design engineer or changes in your customers’ schedules and priorities – but it’s important to take proactive steps, so these kinds of things don’t escalate and become a problem for you. Companies like MilliBox are equipped with 3D positioners to help reduce variability by keeping your molds and parts in their ideal position.

Streamline Your Manufacturing Security Standards

Most people aren’t familiar with the fact that manufacturing plants require different security standards than other types of businesses. For example, many manufacturing plants have tight identification cards and badge specifications, but a restaurant doesn’t have to worry about them so much.

A streamlined manufacturing process is easy to get more done with the same number of people. By reducing the number of steps involved in your production process, you can concentrate on getting your product to market faster and at a lower cost. With time spent optimizing, those steps can be precious, so it’s important to start by finding out what steps are taking most of your time and which are letting you down.

 

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