Workplace Stress in Manufacturing: What’s Accumulation Got To Do With It?

Oct 1, 2019 | Manufacturing

On this blog, and in our interactions with prospects and customers, we typically focus on how our equipment helps manufacturers increase their throughput. This shouldn’t come as a surprise — as makers of accumulation tables, throughput is our bread and butter.

But, recently, we learned that lower-than-desired throughput isn’t the only challenge our accumulation systems can help solve. In fact, given the current labor shortage in the manufacturing industries, it might not even be the most important one.

Check out this quote from a customer in the food industry who recently installed a couple of our Bi-Flo accumulation tables:

The operators seem to love the tables. They take away a ton of stress from the operation and give us much more room to breathe. We cannot believe we actually used our original accumulation tables at this point. 

Nice, right? Like every other company in the world, we love hearing that people love our products. 

But the most important thing here is why they love our products: because they reduce stress.

Now, you may be thinking, “That’s all well and good, but it has nothing to do with my bottom line.” 

And that’s where you’re wrong. 

Stress is one of those slippery concepts. It’s difficult to accurately calculate its impact on your business, but it’s probably affecting your bottom line more than you think. Workers who are stressed are less satisfied, less motivated, and more likely to make mistakes. You may have observed these patterns in your facility. 

The consequences of stress aren’t limited to employee morale:

  • 40% of absenteeism can be attributed to stress (source)
  • 16% of workers have quit a job due to high stress levels (source)
  • 14% of workers say they work where machinery or equipment has been damaged because of workplace rage (source)
  • Insurance claims for stress-related industrial accidents cost nearly twice as much as claims for non-stress-related industrial accidents (source)

What these statistics boil down to is that stress can be costly. Can you imagine an employee getting so angry that they damage your equipment?

So, what’s accumulation got to do with it?

We’re not here to make any grand claims. Of course, adding accumulation tables to your lines isn’t going to make workplace stress disappear overnight. But, there is research suggesting that when employees have adequate equipment to do their jobs effectively, their stress levels go down.

And although we don’t know exactly how our accumulation systems decrease stress in our customer’s plant, we can take a guess — by keeping lines running to ensure they reach their production targets and by minimizing the impact of downtime to give operators “more room to breathe” when performing service on individual machines.

At least, that’s what we hope.

If you’d like to learn more about our Bi-Flo tables, read our recent press release. To chat about how we can help you increase your throughput and maybe also reduce the stress level in your plant, contact us.