Don't go to the shop floor. There will just be something there to distract you from your real job.
From the moment you walk onto the shop floor, you’re forced to react to the problems happening there. But the truth is, you don’t have to spend your day reacting. Everyone knows that downtime kills productivity. A lesser known fact is that there are some manufacturers who consistently have less downtime than others. Those manufacturers all have several practices in common.
Most of us have one software tool or another we use to get information from our factory floor. Your people, equipment and process have a wealth of input to give you. Those reports and dashboards help you feel like you have everything needed to be efficient and productive. Often these systems are taken for granted and you may not ever think of what your day would be like without them. Consider the care and feeding of these systems (no matter how reliable they have been). Give thought to how your systems could be enhanced to help you further reduce downtime and waste in your plant. Start with getting a good look at your system function and reliability.
Manufacturers who have strong training programs in place for front-line workers have less downtime and waste because their maintenance staff, operators, and reliability teams know what to do when problems occur. Their well-trained teams can also perform regular diagnostics to predict and prevent trouble. Examine extended downtime and waste events to understand how MTTR could be shortened, and MTBF could be extended through the proper training of your front-line team and build a training program around the gaps.
Nothing kills profits and distracts you from your day job faster than having to search eBay for spare parts to keep obsolete machines going—and that’s to say nothing of the costs involved with maintaining training/tools for those dinosaurs. And only modern technology can provide manufacturers with the information they need about asset performance and maintenance to help them make decisions about where to invest capital.
Make certain you aren’t competing for budget share within your company. The capital you are asking for is always limited, but often you will find that the scopes of work overlap significantly. A warehouse management project can be combined with an OEE project, or a PLC upgrade can be added to a capital equipment replacement. Many times both business functions are trying to solve the same problem in different ways but are asking for the same money to do it. Sometimes management won’t know where to spend the capital, and end up holding up both while they decide which one is more critical.(or necessary at all)
Optimizing a plant’s equipment and processes to provide front-line workers with better visibility to their performance and to actionable intelligence puts critical decision making as close to the process as possible. Providing work instructions, on demand training, and capturing the tribal knowledge of your best front-line workers empowers them to make better ongoing decisions and supports continuous improvement. This means downtime and waste have less opportunity to steal their profits.
Examine your goals, evaluate your existing systems to consider how they might be modified to achieve your goals, and then make a plan to close the gaps. When you need help making the most of everyone’s time and gaining consensus, just call us. We have structured workshops designed to keep it simple, productive and with minimal disruption.
So go to the shop floor, but work to reduce the amount of time you spend reacting to problems. Use diagnostics, training, maintenance plans, and modernization to optimize the way you manufacture. Then maybe you will get to eat your own lunch.
TZ Indy exists to help manufacturers reduce downtime and waste. Our diagnostic, training, maintenance, modernization, and optimization products help you simplify the steps needed to reduce the amount of time you spend reacting to shop floor problems, saving you money every day.
You can reduce downtime and waste THIS quarter. You CAN do better. We can help. Call me today.Schedule an Expert