July 05, 2018
Organizing Your Plant for Maximized Efficiency
by Guest Blogger
Organization is important on the plant floor. It’s one of the keys to your overall productivity, your efficiency, and even your product quality and consistency.
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And it’s not always easy. With raw materials continuously arriving and finished products continuously needing to be shipped, taking the time to think critically about the organization and optimization of your plant flow isn’t always top of mind.
But maximizing your floor space is critical, especially as busy season heats up. And while we know that high-speed automated lines have helped fenestration manufacturers make insulating glass units more efficiently with less room, there are other, simpler techniques that can be applied in any plant.
Here are a few to consider:
Proper labeling and stocking. One common phrase you might hear on the shop floor as it relates to continuous improvement, lean, 5S, or other manufacturing methodologies is this: “A place for everything and everything in its place.”
That starts right when your raw materials arrive in the receiving area. Whether it’s vinyl extrusion, glass, desiccant, spacers, or any other component, everything should be clearly marked and organized by material type. Then, when you need them, all components will be easy to access and move into your production line. Having scattered, unorganized storage of your components and raw materials takes up more room, and requires more work to find and move around—and that costs you money.
Outsourcing low-value components. In a market where finding quality labor remains a challenge for many fenestration manufacturers, it’s important to allocate quality employees to the highest value tasks on your plant floor.
One area that typically doesn’t add value to your finished product? Window screens. They’re necessary, but traditionally not an area where window and door manufacturers are able to differentiate or innovative.
Not only does screens processing eat up labor, but it can take up valuable floor space that manufacturers can use for something that contributes greater value to the end users. Outsource screens with a trusted supplier to help ensure high quality and consistency for your screens. It’s worth investigating the options.
Shipping organization. Like your raw materials space, your finished products at the end of the production process should be effectively organized and optimized. Barcoding and software systems have enabled many forward-thinking manufacturers to track their products throughout the plant floor, and to organize each product down to how, where and when each is delivered to the end customer. This not only creates greater efficiency, but minimizes the movement of your windows and doors once they’re on the delivery truck, effectively reducing the risk of scratching or other damage.
Questions or comments? Contact me directly at John.Ryba@quanex.com
July 05, 2018 by Guest Blogger
Filed under: efficient