5 ways you could improve your production efficiency right now

5 minute read

The importance of production efficiency cannot be overstated.
It means you are making the most out of your resources – time, materials, labour, machine and producing the maximum number of products – something that will benefit any company, big or small.

As a manufacturer, improving production efficiency should be a top priority. Here are 5 ways to help you get started:

✅ You have the power to improve your manufacturing efficiency by 5-30%

✅ One of the most important factors in any business is productivity

✅ If you are able to optimise your production for maximum efficiency, you will be ahead of the game in terms of growth and revenue

The following 5 tips will help you increase your factory productivity by 5-30% using your existing resources:

  1. Minimise machine downtime
  2. Predict and manage bottlenecks
  3. Optimise your planning
  4. Identify losses
  5. Schedule downtime for maintenance

1. Minimise machine downtime

Every minute, every second that a machine is down can have severe consequences for your company’s bottom line. From missing deadlines, to wasting valuable human resources, ensuring that unplanned downtime is kept to a minimum has got to be a priority for your manufacturing operation.

There are 3 ways of increasing machine uptime:

 

  1. Downtime alerts that tell you as soon as a machine is down, so you can fix the problem as soon as it happens

  2. Schedule downtime for maintenance. Scheduling regular maintenance decreases the overall amount of machine downtime.

  3. Analysing machine performance reports allows you to spot trends and make changes to increase machine uptime

2. Predict and eliminate bottlenecks

Bottlenecks clog up productivity and is one of the major reasons of job delays, increase in production costs and manufacturing unpredictability, yet it is something that is often overlooked.

There are 3 ways of predicting and eliminating bottlenecks:

 

  1. Best is to avoid them. Having visibility of you manufacturing operation means that you will spot potential bottlenecks in your schedule, machine’s historic performance, department stressors and make changes to avoid them becoming an issue.

  2. Minimise downtime by having downtime alerts, doing preventative maintenance and having replacement parts on hand so machines can be fixed immediately.

  3. Scheduling. Having an overview of your scheduling means you can easily rearrange it so that your production flows better whilst still meeting your business demands.

3. Optimise your schedule

Ideally, your manufacturing plant should operate at full capacity and your schedule should make your manufacturing process flow with maximum efficiency, balancing your production needs with your resources in the most cost-effective manner.

In almost every production setting, scheduling is best done flexibly and in real-time. Having a real-time overview of your schedule, makes moving things around easy to:

1. Fill any gaps – Rearrange production so that gaps are minimised

2. Add late jobs

3. Rearrange production in case of unexpected downtime

 

4. Identify losses

There are few things in manufacturing more frustrating than when you know there is an issue with one of your machines but cannot seem to find it. Or when you can see that one machine is working better than the others but you don’t know why.

Having accurate reports and analytics software pinpoints the source of losses allowing you to fix the problem immediately. 

 

5. Schedule downtime for maintenance

Regular planned maintenance not only safeguards the quality of products produced and helps minimise unplanned downtime, but also helps:

 

  1. Keep equipment healthy
  2. Extends equipment lifetime
  3. Reduces overall machine downtime
  4. Schedule downtime at convenient times

Implementing these 5 things will transform your factory’s efficiency:

  • Low machine utilisation -> High machine utilisation
  • High level of machine downtime -> Low machine downtime
  • Low or inconsistent production rates -> Consistent production rates
  • High levels of scrap -> Low scrap levels
  • Missing deliveries -> Deliver on time, every time
  • Unnecessary quality issues -> Zero defects

We know how crucial your job is and what is at stake if you don’t get it right.

We also know that the only way to be truly efficient is by having the right information. Without accurate information, in a format that you can use, you are just guessing and wasting time, money and resources.

Try Intouch for 60 days. Completely free and you will see how Intouch will make implementing the above changes easy.

Don't just take our word for it

Ewelina from Talisman Plastics was able to switch their medical machines to a 24/7 unmanned operation, improving their BT Cells (NHS) machines from 70% to 90% OEE and overall OEE from 62% to 67% 

 

Simon Anderson from LVS Small Plastic Parts was able to drop from 18 shifts to 15 shifts per week after just 3 weeks

 

Helena from Andel Plastics said ‘we didn’t know how much we were missing, until we had it!’. She also really values the confidence it has given her at meeting production deadlines

 

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