If you’re manufacturing your own products, then you have to realize just how much can go wrong during the manufacturing process. There are some cases where a problem is somewhat unforeseeable and, as such, it can be hard to plan around. However, the majority of causes of manufacturing downtime and failure can be predicted and can be planned for. Here, we’re going to look at some of the ways that you can plan around these potential failures and keep your production line running strong.
There are few things that can shut down work quite like an accident or injury. Manufacturing can be a dangerous business so an extra level of risk has to be accommodated, usually through training and by making sure that equipment is maintained and managed appropriately. However, it’s important that you understand the specifics of the risks that affect your production line and the ways that you can invest in fighting those threats. The best way to do this is through risk assessment. This is a process that looks at every aspect of your manufacturing process and identifies the individual components within each of them that could lead to accident and injury, before also identifying what can be done to mitigate them.
Lacking the skills that you need
Try as you might to prevent it, you are very likely to have employees absent at some point, whether it’s due to an accident or injury on the site, sickness, or personal matters that they need to take time off for. When that happens, you might be missing the vital skills that are necessary for some of the processes in your business. The best way to prepare for this is to make sure that there is no single process that can only be carried out by one person. You can look here for more information on cross-training, how to set it up that your employees learn skills from one another so that if one suddenly becomes inaccessible, you have at least one other person who can fulfill that role for them temporarily.
Disruption in your supply line
Manufacturing processes require a steady supply of materials, parts, and components to keep them going. As such, you need to make sure that you’re working with suppliers that are able to keep your supply lines as well-stocked as possible. You can click here for an example of the kind of supplier you might need, and make sure that you’re able to find those that carry the specific pieces that you need. Moreover, you might want to make sure that you can identify backup suppliers to make sure that if your supply chain fails, you are able to substitute the part that isn’t working temporarily. Even the most reliable partners can have their own supply chain hiccups, so it’s important to plan around them.
Machine failure has to be considered
Aside from the labor and materials that you need, your equipment is one of the most important assets when it comes to maintaining your productivity. Some equipment failure is always expected, as no machine is able to keep going without issue forever. To that end, you should make sure that you’re prepared for it. Put together an effective preventative maintenance schedule that sees every operator putting in the necessary work to keep their machines in good condition. Work with the manufacturers of the machinery, as well, to understand the most common point of failure and, if possible, to get the replacement pieces you are most likely to need ahead of time.
Preventing product loss during the manufacturing process
Just because your machines are able to keep working throughout the day does not mean that they are able to work without problems. You should be keeping a close look at the products that come out at the end of the process. Defects and failed products should be measured and, if they are totaling up to a considerable cost, you need to start looking more closely at the different parts of the manufacturing process to see where this loss is happening. It may be the case that you need to reconsider your choice of materials or your methods of maintaining and repairing your machinery.
Finding and avoiding bottlenecks
Manufacturing is a linear process, in which some components have to go through a range of processes one after the other. However, planning out the manufacturing process effectively is important to make sure that there are few, if not no, points in the process where you have to wait for one process in particular before the product can progress. These bottlenecks can be highly inefficient, forcing your team to have to wait for the availability of certain equipment or team members before they can continue with their own work. You can look here to see how to plan out your workflow to make sure that there are as few bottlenecks as possible.
The problems of excess inventory
Running an efficient and effective production line is all about the good use of your inventory. This means being able to turn your materials and components into the end product with as little loss as you can. However, just as losing too much inventory can become a problem, the same can be said for having too much inventory. If you invest in too many resources because of your overestimated demand, you can end up spending money and space storing products that you are not shifting. Similarly, if you underestimate demand, then you might not be able to capitalize and profit on your customer’s needs when they are at their hottest. For that reason, being able to accurately predict demand is important.
Of course, a lot of business owners will simply outsource their manufacturing to avoid having to deal with the headaches mentioned above. If you’re inexperienced in the world of manufacturing, that might be the appropriate response. However, if you are going to handle it, then the tips above can help.