Some Strategies To Perk Up Productivity
For a manufacturing company, productivity improvements had always been a foremost concern. For the production managers, these had been a constant challenge.
Thankfully, there had been studies, experiments, and subsequent findings on how to improve productivity. After some time, many great methods were tried, tested, and were proven effective and are now in use by many companies. They come in many different configurations but are basically the same strategies.
One of the best methods used was to measure, analyze and then to set improvement goals. Afterwards, a workable productivity improvement plan was designed and was worked on to near-ideal finish.
Some of the other methods are as listed. The problems were culled from actual cases, including the actual strategies mapped out and the solutions that were accordingly made.
One recurring problem of the plant employees is being informed of production goals when it is too late. One method to correct this is to present a real-time set of goals.
The strategy is to bring real-time information to the plant floor on the actual production goal. These can either be displayed on a shift or job-based goal for everyone to refer to.
The target must be displayed in real-time, counted on the basis of the product’s take time (length of manufacture from start to finish). Actual count can be shown, including calculated production efficiency, and all other manufacturing factors involved.
In effect, workers can respond to information that exactly tells them details of their work in relation to production goals. Production monitor displays are great aids.
Reduced speed operations
There are cases where downtime events seemed to be under control but the manufacturing process continues to miss target production.
The strategy is to check on the small stops and reduced speed operations. Downtimes are easily identifiable because the equipments (or the whole process) are not running.
Production monitors can be set up to show all the number of small production stops, reduced cycle speeds, and other normally undetectable downtimes. This can help anticipate these minuscule downtimes to be corrected immediately.
A company usually encounters these familiar forms of losses: downtime loss (equipment failures, setup changeovers, etc.), speed loss (small stops, rough running, etc.) and quality loss (scrap, reworking, etc).
The key to productivity improvement is to know what they are and how to solve them. Again, a production monitor must be set up to display these real-time losses. It will then enable teams to identify and correct problems as they occur – in real time.
Changeover time must be displayed by everyone to see. Knowing the remaining or estimated time to job completion will enable operators to determine when to start internal set-up procedures.
These are processes that can be handled during operation or runtime, and is considered one very effective tool of minimizing changeover time.
The production display should include the number of pieces to go, or an estimated time of completion based on the current run speed. It has to include also the changeover in-process time for everyone. Some companies make color-coded displays which everyone can respond to without reading the details.
The preceding strategies and solutions are just some of the tested productivity improvement techniques now in use. It is expected more improvement methods will be coming in the future.