Making manufacturing a more efficient process is no simple thing. Often when you examine a factory, things have been done the same way for a long time, and it is hard to teach those on the floor a different way of doing tasks, let alone implementing it. But there are some things you can do to encourage different practices, especially when they involve technology – after all, everyone likes it when their job is made easier. Here are four top tips:
Using Lean methodology
There are people who specialize in Lean all over the world, but they have to go to the factories they are consulting and spend days examining all the minutiae of the factory floor, the processes, and how much time people spent on each. Yet this can be crucial in procurement; people need to ensure a reliable, value for money flow of the components of their products. Lean methodology originated from Toyota in the 1950s, who then went on to patent the methodology which has been used by companies far outside of the car industry. Now Agile software computing is the modern iteration of Lean and is also about optimizing every aspect of creating a program.
Machinery on the factory floor can make all the difference. For example, in a food processing plant, having proper, industrial-sized mixers instead of mixing by hand saves on hand strain and ensures that greater quantities can be done and that batches are consistent. Getting a conveyor belt, for example, from a company like fluentconveyors.com, will ensure that workers do not have to spend valuable time picking up and dropping off a product they have handled, and can instead spend the time on producing and adding to the bottom line.
Use electronic passes
Lastly, it can be stressful and time-consuming for factory workers to have to open and close doors – it may save time if they are able to scan themselves in and out of rooms using a pass that is available. This is where electronic passes come in – they allow an efficient and reliable way to keep track of where employees are and time spent in the factory. It is also more hygienic if employees can simply carry a pass on a lanyard around their necks.
Speak to employees
When you use technology to make manufacturing processes work better, there is always a risk that you will make some people have fears about redundancy in the process – even if there is no risk of this, and you are really just trying to get greater output from the same input, not just trying to produce the same with fewer workers. This is where communication comes in, which is crucial with change management. Employees must feel valued, and it must be explained to them the purpose of digitalizing – that it is to make their lives easier, and not to simply produce more.
Using technology is a way to do more with less – why not have a go at including one of these things in your factory this year?