Your manufacturing floor ‘lives or dies’ based on your input-output process, with the need to achieve output as fast as possible. Here’s one practical way to streamline your manufacturing process.
Your manufacturing floor runs like clockwork, but you’re always thinking there’s room for improvement. With little tweaks here and there, you know there are ways to cut costs and increase output even further. But where do you start to look to streamline your manufacturing process?
Therein lies the key, identifying which parts of your manufacturing operation need streamlining. Easier said than done, right? This requires you to analyse and assess your manufacturing process from start to finish, which is rather time-consuming and can be costly.
Either you’ve got to hire in a specialist, at your expense, to analyse and assess your process and make recommendations or the buck stops with you or a member of your staff. This requires the sacrifice of time, a commodity your business can ill afford to lose.
Identifying where to streamline your manufacturing process
Fact: If you simply your manufacturing operation, it’s a cert that you will see an increase in profits. However, the trick is knowing what to target in order to streamline your processes, without compromising on product quality.
A blog article published by our friends at Cerasis a couple of years ago highlighted three key areas that could help you streamline your manufacturing process. Cerasis identified these as:
- Reducing waste.
- Improving quality.
- Better communication via technology.
Two years on, these areas of the manufacturing cycle continue to be pain points for manufacturing firms worldwide. In assessing these pain points experienced by a high number of manufacturing companies, one common problem kept on occurring.
Despite having the latest high speed machines and the highest level of automation needed to produce their products, some parts of the process still relied on a paper-based process, to the extent that orders received by sales staff were logged on an order sheet and walked to the manufacturing floor for processing.
Ironic… that the majority of manufacturing companies have thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment to produce a finished product, but lack a computerized system to perform the administration that goes with the process.
Why is this happening? The general consensus is that bringing ‘office’ computers to the manufacturing floor is just not a viable option given the damage threats that would likely destroy computers.
It’s a valid point. Introducing ‘office’ computers to the manufacturing floor does pose certain challenges, but if you want to streamline the manufacturing cycle, it’s a necessity.
Computer protection on the manufacturing floor
Paper-based administration processes are a blocker to streamlining your manufacturing processes.
Tackling the three pain points highlighted by Cerasis, introducing computers to the manufacturing floor will reduce waste. How? Waste occurs in two forms, materials and labor and it is labor wastage computers can help to cut.
Too many manufacturing firms rely on paper-based administration as part of the production cycle. Staff at some of these firms still have to keep a written inventory of materials used to build a product - talk about outdated.
Introducing computers to the manufacturing floor will not only simplify your manufacturing process, it gives your staff the right tools for the job. Information can be logged on one system that’s accessible by the entire company, everyone is on the same page.
Having computers on the manufacturing floor will improve the quality of product that’s delivered to the end user. How? Building the right product relies on the right materials being in stock.
A common scenario with paper-based processes is the reliability of information concerning stock levels. Wrong components used to build a product could go unnoticed, meaning a customer receives a substandard product that’s swiftly returned to you.
Not only does this add to your expenses in terms of labor and materials, customer confidence suffers and your reputation takes a hit.
No such problem with computers. Introduce them to the manufacturing floor and staff see on the screen what the administration department or the buyer department sees. This ensures that the right materials are in the right place at the right time to deliver quality products every time.
Computers will undoubtedly improve communication across your company too. It’s pointless every department working with a computer system while the manufacturing floor goes without, it leaves them out of the loop.
If nothing else, installing computers on the manufacturing floor becomes a necessity for communication purposes, especially when your entire business operation is information centric.
Computers allow everything to be tracked, logged and recorded accurately in relation to each individual order, ensuring that it’s processed properly by each department.
How do you make computers manufacturing floor ready?
One practical way to streamline your manufacturing is to invest in a computer enclosure. Enclosures allow you to ‘armor up’ computers ready for your manufacturing floor, helping to ease those three pain points associated with your manufacturing process.
The supreme value of enclosures, compared to the alternatives, is the flexibility they afford you. You can use any of your current equipment, regardless of model or manufacturer and there are no lengthy installation procedures resulting in disruption to your manufacturing floor.
Additionally, when equipment comes to the end of its usable life you can swap it out quickly, hassle free, minimizing downtime, keeping production progressive and protecting your reputation. Installation of enclosures offers dual-benefits:
- Protection of computer equipment against anything your manufacturing floor can throw at them.
- Protection of your production line, your business reputation and your customer base.
Can you put a price on streamlining your manufacturing operation? Weigh it up. The price of an enclosure or the expense of continuing without computers on the manufacturing floor. Which one is a heavier price for you to pay?
If you want to know what manufacturing floor pain points industrial computer enclosures can prevent, grab the newly published guide – click the image below.