July 20, 2018

Managing Time Effectively on the Plant Floor

by Guest Blogger

There are only so many hours in the day—and just eight in the typical manufacturing shift.
It’s busy season, and the fenestration industry is having a healthy year. Shop floors are busy dealing with increased orders, manufacturing higher volumes, and getting orders out the door on time. Maximizing your time and what you can accomplish in every individual work day is critical to keeping the pace.

Are you managing time as effectively as possible? Here are some check-ins you can use to make to the most of every hour, and every day:

Staying organized. I wrote a few weeks back about the importance of excellent plant floor organization to make the most of your available space. And it’s just as critical a factor in your ability to manage time effectively.

Organized materials help employees find everything quickly for efficient and time-effective assembly and processing. Complete organization for products moving throughout the floor is even more critical. Scrambling to find a unit that is supposed to be on the next truck to leave your shipping dock wastes so much time, some find it more efficient to simply remake the missing unit. A well-organized plant doesn’t have this problem.

Line layout. The most efficient fenestration manufacturing line follows as straight a line as possible from start to finish, enabling the easy transfer of materials from one point to the next. It might not seem like much, but if, for instance, you’re following a strange path in carting glass to the insulating station, you’re wasting time. It adds up, and can drag down your rate of production significantly.

Taking a critical eye to your own operations is invaluable for finding production line improvements that might be possible. If you’ve experienced turnover, added new equipment, or introduced a new product, your methods may have become inadvertently complicated without anyone even realizing.  

The unfortunate reality is that many manufacturers simply don’t vary from established practices very often. Your evaluation process might not mean changing what you’re currently doing, but rather discovering that your standard processes aren’t being upheld.

Remember your continuous improvement journey. Manufacturers who’ve made a commitment to continuous improvement know that it’s a never-ending journey. It’s a march toward perfect—with the full knowledge that perfect can’t truly ever be achieved.
More effectively managing time on the plant floor is part of that same journey, and it’s the same way. With changing technology, workforce fluctuations and new product innovation consistently occurring, perfection isn’t possible. Focus on different areas of opportunity as you see them, and don’t worry about everything at once.

Questions or comments? Contact me directly at John.Ryba@Quanex.com

For more information about Quanex visit www.quanex.com
Posted: July 20, 2018 by Guest Blogger Filed under: efficient, fenestration, Plant