4 Ways To Increase Factory Throughput
Increasing throughput is important to many businesses. It may be necessary to fill the larger orders your customers are submitting. Relying on overtime to fill orders raises your costs, while delays in delivery could cost you your customers. Greater throughput could even reduce your price per item, increasing profits. Or you’ll simply be able to sell more products, raising revenue. Here are 4 ways to increase your factory’s throughput.Eliminate Your Bottlenecks
Bottlenecks refer to those choke points in your operation where throughput is lower than everything else. After all, the production line can only produce as much as the slowest operation. Once you identify the bottleneck, you can eliminate it. Whether this is installing faster equipment, changing the flow of operations or eliminating steps that are no longer needed depends on your business. You may find it necessary to install a second workstation for a given operation, that workers need to be retrained in better methods, or increased automation is necessary to get as much out of the line as you were expecting.
Factories have been steadily automating because machines work faster and can work longer than humans can. This is why automation is one of the first solutions people come up with to increase production.
The question for many businesses is what is left to automate and see significant returns on the automation. The most common answer is in your packaging and shipping areas. Companies like INSITE Packaging offer a wide range of products. For example, an erector can quickly and perfectly erect boxes as fast as you need them. Their case erectors are notable for easy set-ups, smooth and fast changeovers, and low maintenance requirements. A case sealer will seal every box quickly, cleanly and with only as much material as necessary. There are a variety of options available to you if you’re in need of a packaging automation solution.
Reduce Your Rejection Rate
Rejections are costly in a variety of ways. When products are regularly rejected, this reduces your final production rate because part of what came off the line can’t be shipped to customers. You’ve wasted time, money and labor making something that is either repaired or recycled. There are a number of ways to reduce rejection rates. Verify that your rejection criteria are reasonable. Fix the machines that are producing out-of-spec parts or buy more accurate machines. In some cases, you may need to train people how to do things correctly so they don’t make mistakes that result in rejected final products.
Invest in Employee Training
Employee training is not a waste of time. In fact, it has an incredibly high return on investment. When employees don’t receive proper training in how to do their job, they’re slowing down others by asking questions. Their productivity rate is lower, because they don’t know the fastest way to do things. However, you have to go with automation to get incredible degrees of precision and very high production rates. After all, even the best workers get tired after a while, and they’re at risk of repetitive stress injuries if doing the same thing over and over again.
Conversely, improved worker safety training could reduce their injury rate, improving overall productivity. When someone is hurt, you lose a productive worker until they recover. Accidents and injuries could involve damaged equipment or damaged products. And the productivity of those around them is likely to drop.