How to Increase Manufacturing Productivity

Improving productivity is essential to enhance profits and maintain your place in the market. Productivity on the manufacturing floor depends on many elements. These include efficiency in your employees, machinery and equipment as well as effective processes.

Driving improvement involves looking at the current practices and adjusting systems, employee training and the equipment used to manufacture components.

Before adopting any method for improvement, you’ll need to ensure you are measuring output levels and change. We have put together the following steps, based on our experience in the manufacturing industry:

Points to consider to increase productivity on the manufacturing floor:
  1. Current Workflow: Examine your existing workflow and processes to identify the element that may be causing disturbances to the flow. Consider the people, your technology and all processes involved in your production as well as the communication tools, and resources available across the company. Consider solutions, such as value mapping, to track projects for process improvement.
  2. Employee Training: The manufacturing industry is changing. There is always new technology and new ideas. Technological advances can change the skills required for certain tasks. Regular and thorough training and education of employees will ensure your team is keeping up-to-date with the changing environment.
  3. Business Processes: Collaborate and discuss workflow issues and bottlenecks with project managers to install improvement plans for the manufacturing process. This could include re-assigning resources to different areas of the production floor, assessing and managing budgets or obtaining relevant certifications. Evaluate the changes, measuring and analyzing the performance.
  4. Machinery & Equipment: The tools an employee uses in the manufacturing industry influence his/her productivity and the rate in which parts and components can be produced. To set-up new machinery and train the workers can be costly, however,  the advanced equipment will have a positive long term effect on the production process. Manufacturing companies often find that an upgrade to newer and improved machinery and equipment ensures their competitiveness in the market.
  5. Realistic Expectations: Production pressure, client expectations and unrealistic deadlines can contribute to improbable goals. Employees can become dissatisfied, resulting in the company not obtaining the production goals, if the manufacturing benchmarks are unachievable. This can affect the safety levels on the production floor as well as the quality of the parts and manufactured components. It is important to ensure the objectives are realistic and clear, to ensure staff are working to their full potential. On-time deliveries, high-quality output and safe working procedures should be considered when setting up these objectives.
  6. Organisation: Lack of organization on the manufacturing floor, can result in lost money as well as time. Enhance the productivity in the production space by ensuring there is a well-organized place for everything; Including, materials, machinery, equipment and documents. Consider rearranging your factory to ensure the placement of your equipment and tools are currently maximizing efficiency and helping to create a smooth workflow. Lean Manufacturing.
  7. Maintenance: New equipment can boost productivity; however it is important that ongoing maintenance happens to ensure it continues to work at a high level. Employees should be able to identify and rectify any issues quickly through troubleshooting.
  8. Collaboration: When the entire team is working together towards the same goal, the manufacturing floor is most productive. Therefore it is important to ensure that all staff members are comfortable as part of a team and are willing to participate in team discussions. The better the team are working together, the more a productive workplace culture will develop.

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