May 29, 2018

Eliminating Headaches on the Shop Floor

by Joe Erb

Busy season brings with it a number of challenges. An influx of new orders, maintaining quality on the manufacturing line, and the need to get all shipments out in a timely fashion. It can be taxing on even the most experienced fenestration manufacturers, and it requires a keen eye for detail and an unwavering commitment to quality to keep the pace while maintaining customer satisfaction.

In 2018, as our industry continues to grapple with a shortage in skilled labor, it can be all the more challenging. I’ve written before about how an investment in automated equipment can help alleviate some of these labor-related pain points, and how it can even help fenestration operations boost their commitment to safety, all while enhancing quality in one of the most valuable areas of production—insulating glass units.

But what about elsewhere? What about areas of production that are necessary, but don’t quite add as much value to our finished products?

I highlighted in another recent post why screens production can be a good area to target in an effort to drive new efficiencies and free up some labor to use in higher-value areas of your plant floor. And today I wanted to dive a little bit deeper into the reasons why strategic outsourcing of screens can help window manufacturers be safer, more efficient and maintain their quality commitment to customers.

Eliminating repetitive tasks. Assembling screens isn’t the easiest job in a window manufacturing plant, and it can cost you significantly more time and labor than you might think.

With a variety of sizes and tolerances that might be accounted for, screens production requires reliable, skilled workers, and the work itself can be physically taxing for the employees you’re dedicating to it. Eliminating this repetitive, hands-on task with the help of a strategic outsourcing partner can provide some ergonomic and safety benefits. Not to mention, you can allocate those workers toward greater productivity in higher-value areas of your manufacturing operation.

Freeing up floor space. When business is going well, making the most of your plant floor space matters, and screens production tends to take up a significant amount of valuable real estate.

Outsourcing allows manufacturers to take back that square footage and devote it to the products that make you more money. Whether you could use some extra inventory space, need room to expand IG production, or could use more room for assembly, eliminating screens production from your operation can make a major impact.

Boosting quality. When it comes down to it, most window and door manufacturers don’t specialize in screens manufacturing—they specialize in quality windows that add aesthetic value and good thermal performance to a home.

And that means maintaining screens quality can be a challenge. Strategic outsourcing of screens means entrusting this “necessary evil” to an operation that does, in fact, specialize in delivering high-quality screens to complement your window system.

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Posted: May 29, 2018 by Joe Erb Filed under: Plant, screens, transformation