As we make our way into 2022, it’s clear that the challenges of the past two years are not going away. Supply chain delays are still causing headaches and the labor force is still too small to meet manufacturers’ needs. These and a variety of other factors are putting price pressure on raw materials. Meanwhile, consumer demand remains high.
For all these reasons, in 2022 many manufacturers will be focusing on doing more with what they already have. Fortunately, there’s a lot they can do. In our experience, making a few key changes to an existing production line can drastically increase throughput and, in turn, profits.
Here are three ways to optimize your production line in 2022.
Optimize your space
If you were to design your production space from scratch, would it look like it does now? Unless your facility is new, the answer is probably “no.”
Many production lines are changed over time as new products are produced and new technologies are available. This often results in inefficiencies like products being transported long distances between stages or having multiple machines where one would suffice.
For example, on lines running rectangular products like frozen meals or granola bars, it’s common to have one machine move products from mass flow to single-file and another machine orient them in the desired direction. But our 3D Infinity Accumulator can orient, accumulate, and single-file, all in one machine. This reduces your equipment footprint and provides the added benefit of accumulation.
You may also be able to save space by building up. Our Spiral Infinity Accumulator conveys products up and down in a spiral, rather than on a flat plane. This reduces the footprint, making room for additional equipment.
Automate, automate, automate
This has been a refrain in manufacturing for a while now, but the current workforce situation makes automation an imperative. The good news is that automation tools and technologies have expanded considerably even compared to just a few years ago. Today, automation solutions are available across the production process, and they’re accessible for companies of all sizes.
There are many types of solutions that fall under the automation umbrella. On packaging lines, one of the most widely adopted solutions is robotics. According to PMMI, all leading CPGs and 60% of small to mid-sized companies use robots somewhere on their line, most commonly for secondary packaging and palletizing.
If you’re still early in your automation journey, 2022 is the time to redouble your efforts to gain or maintain a competitive advantage.
Adopt a preventative approach to maintenance
Preventative maintenance has been a buzzword in the industry for years. But, despite the growing popularity of the idea, in practice many manufacturers still take a reactive approach to maintenance.
But the recent supply chain disruptions are starting to change how companies view maintenance. If a line goes down and it takes two months to get a replacement part, that’s two months of lost revenue.
Preventative maintenance decreases your downtime due to machine problems, providing a host of other benefits as well, including less waste, lower energy consumption, and less money spent on emergency repairs. In a time of increasing costs and tight profit margins, every one of these benefits translates into a higher bottom line.
The Garvey team specializes in helping manufacturers optimize their production lines by providing industry-leading accumulation, conveying, and automation solutions. Contact us to talk about your upcoming products.
We also offer annual maintenance agreements to help our customers save money on maintenance costs while keeping their lines running. Learn more here.