Developing or expanding a production line comes at a cost. Change is challenging as it takes time, effort, and capital. However, if done correctly, upgrading increases efficiency, throughput, and cash flow.
It’s typical for companies to upgrade their production line with the latest technology. Before making any significant changes or purchases, an organization needs to take the time to review its business process to find ways to improve and organize its efforts.
Consider these helpful tips before updating or developing a new production line.
1: Review Your Production Line
Take the time to evaluate your production line, especially your facility’s throughput. This is the average number of units your line can produce in a given period or workday and is one of the most important metrics a company should be measuring. Throughput is the ultimate measure of your production line’s performance. By calculating the individual throughput of each machine in your facility, you can discover which piece of equipment needs to be replaced or augmented to improve efficiency. The best way to accomplish this is by performing a line analysis.
2: Identify Bottlenecks
Understanding your production throughput will enable operators to find bottlenecks. Often, managers are aware of issues that hold up the production line for longer than 5 minutes. A reliable method to prevent these issues is to have a preventive maintenance program. This creates the time and space to fix and adjust equipment rather than acting reactively. Ultimately, the goal is to keep production running at all times throughout the work day. While long downtimes are challenging, identifying and preventing pauses under 5 minutes can also dramatically improve throughput.
3: Research Equipment Options
The price of production line machinery and equipment adds up quickly and may leave one feeling overwhelmed, but don’t be intimidated. It is important to remember that a well-designed production line leads to a quicker return on your investment. For this reason, it is important to do research and buy quality, reliable equipment. Customers often have to weigh the benefits of acquiring new or retrofitted equipment. While purchasing used equipment might be less experience initially, adapting it to a production line can add extra expenses.
4: Consider Accumulation
No matter how efficiently a line may run, machines will go down, rates will differ, and scheduled maintenance is unavoidable. Protect and increase your throughput by strategically placing accumulation systems in your production line. Accumulators, or conveyors, break up the protection line, allowing the process to continue if one machine is down. Say, for example, the label needs to be reloaded. An accumulator enables products to keep circulating while the labeler is attended to, allowing production to continue.
5: Plan for the Future
It is critical to make plans for future expansion. When the time comes to expand, increase speeds and add machinery, it can be hassle-free with some simple foresight. When possible, invest in maneuverable, modular equipment that can be adjusted when necessary.
If you need to increase your portion efficiency, our line analysis experts can help you pinpoint issues and plan for the future of your production. Contact us today.