Article | February 25, 2022
Improving manufacturing efficiency and enhancing business revenue is the ultimate goal of every manufacturing business. Effective manufacturing process management may help businesses grow and discover innovative manufacturing processes. Facts and data fill the days of plant managers and engineers. However, it appears that many firms are still unable to devise a strategy for resolving long-standing challenges in their organizations.
“If you define the problem correctly, you almost have the solution.”
– Steve Jobs
In this article, we will see the five ultimate ways of manufacturing flow management. Additionally, we will also see three industry leaders' examples and understand their processes for production management. So, let’s get started first with tips to improve production efficiency.
Five Ways to Improve Production Efficiency
Recognize and Eliminate Waste
Waste is a cost that should be minimized in the manufacturing business. Additionally, waste is a broad term in this industry since it involves labor hours, energy use, and material consumption, to name a few. However, material waste is typically the most significant worry in the industrial business. When looking for strategies to decrease waste, you must rely on the results drawn during the evaluation of your manufacturing line.
When identifying waste, keep in mind that each operation on your production line generates some trash; finding the procedures that generate the most waste is the most effective strategy to minimize total waste. However, you may reduce trash by recycling or reusing garbage rather than discarding it. If you are unable to eliminate the majority of your garbage, you should consider selling it to a company that can properly dispose of it.
Evaluate the Production Process
In a manufacturing business, the production line is at the heart of how the business operates, and hence, production line efficiency improvement is critical. When reviewing the production line, one must also consider the often overlooked elements, for example, the loading dock bumper and other necessary loading dock equipment. While sourcing and maintaining loading dock bumpers, you can rely on top industry service and equipment suppliers.
This will guarantee that your production line is equipped with everything it needs to operate properly. Another critical statistic to examine is throughput. This metric is used to determine the average number of units produced within a specified period. You must have high-quality equipment to ensure that your production line runs smoothly. Analyzing throughput can help spot difficulties in the production line when throughput is not quite up to pace.
Another aspect of production line efficiency improvement is capacity utilization, which determines your factory's overall output capacity. This enables you to monitor the functioning of your production line at all times.
While discovering any flaws in your manufacturing line, you will unintentionally locate your production's major bottlenecks. Bottlenecks are breaks in your manufacturing line, supply chain, or any other business activity that obstruct the performance of another operation.
For instance, a certain machine may require repair at a plant, necessitating a half-day shutdown.
Any procedure that needs the operation of that particular machine is subsequently rendered inoperable. That machine becomes the bottleneck at that point. There are other types of blockages. Another instance is when an administrator who is required for approval falls ill.
Once you've identified your most frequent bottlenecks, you may work on reducing them and increasing productivity by decreasing bottleneck-related downtime.
Enhance Training Practices
The way your workers work ultimately impacts the productivity of your entire organization. Lack of training equates to inefficiency, and vice versa. To achieve optimal employee performance, each team member must be empowered throughout the production process. This isn't as simple as writing a pamphlet from which someone can be taught. Highly effective workers need to be taught on the job by someone who is watching them.
However, you must first establish uniform standards throughout your organization, starting from the top. This approach will help your employees understand that they will get organized or informal training to upgrade the skills and knowledge necessary to work successfully during the change's implementation. Training may take the form of a series of online microlearning modules or a blended learning method that includes face-to-face training sessions as well as on-the-job coaching and mentoring.
In addition, PWC is of the opinion that workers should ask the following questions to help them be more efficient in the long run:
Is what I’m doing now adding value, or am I just doing it because this is the way I’m supposed to do it?
If I were the customer, would I pay money for the activities that I was engaged in?
Allow your staff to generate suggestions for efficiency improvements on their own. After all, no one knows their operations better than they do.
Calculate and Organize Your Workspace
You can optimize production efficiency if your staff can perform their duties in a well-organized work environment. Hence, it is critical to prioritize measuring and organizing the workplace. It is critical to quantify each aspect of your business first, as this will provide you with a clear picture of what works and what does not. After that, you'll need to make sure that everything in the office is in order so that your employees can work efficiently.
Three Companies That Redefined The Innovative Manufacturing Processes
Henry Ford delivered to the world far more than simple automobiles. His company was the first to integrate a full production line process, paving the way for contemporary mass manufacturing. He devised a moving conveyer belt assembly line, which represented a radical departure from traditional industrial procedures. While his production procedures were restricted by current standards—they only allowed for limited customization—he laid the groundwork for modern manufacturing and a new way of thinking about processes.
The Toyota Production System illustrates a deeply embedded cultural and managerial concept. This concept emphasizes the continuous improvement of work processes and systems. This approach focuses on identifying and resolving issues and ensures that every business action adds value to consumers. Dr. W. Edwards Deming and writers James Womack, Daniel Roos, and Daniel Jones brought it to the American public’s attention in the 1980s and 1990s (in "The Machine that Changed the World"). It was, and still is, a radically different management style for the great majority of organizations. Most people are familiar with Toyota Production System tenets like "just in time."
Under former CEO Jack Welch, GE promoted the use of Six Sigma in business operations and provided a blueprint for adoption in the corporate setting that practically everyone sought to copy (at least for a while). Welch made Six Sigma training a pre-requisite for every employee who aspires to higher levels of leadership inside the business, and he enforced its implementation at all levels. The "GE Workout" is an extremely concentrated session (typically over many consecutive days) that evaluates business difficulties and suggests solutions. GE created it as a spin on the Six Sigma toolbox.
To accelerate the overall growth of your manufacturing business, you must have innovative manufacturing processes that help improve manufacturing efficiency. You may consider the above mentioned ways to improve production efficiency and get the most out of your production set up. Giving employees new tools is probably the quickest method for managers to change a production process. Moving ahead, finding factory-direct manufacturers that can deal with each company's unique circumstances is also encouraged. Identify and avoid problems so you can then look at current data and waste to develop new and better ways of doing things.
What is manufacturing efficiency?
Manufacturing efficiency aims to make products at the lowest feasible overall cost. It's all about maximizing the use of limited resources while minimizing the waste of time, materials, and energy.
What is a manufacturing process flow system?
The manufacturing process flow system shows the granular activity-level stages that must be completed to manufacture finished items from the moment raw materials are delivered to the manufacturing facility until they are transformed into finished goods.
What are the four manufacturing components?
Below are the four components of manufacturing:
Production equipment as well as tools, fixtures, and other relevant hardware.
A material handling system.
A computer system to coordinate and/or control the preceding components.
Human personnel to run and manage the system.
Article | December 13, 2021
Lean manufacturing principles enable manufacturing businesses to achieve spectacular results and overhaul their conventional operations. A wide range of industries have adopted lean manufacturing because of its enormous advantages, and they have seen excellent results as a result.
The 2010 Compensation Data Manufacturing survey indicated that 69.7% of manufacturing organizations employ lean manufacturing principles. By consuming this data, we can understand how far organizations have progressed toward incorporating lean principles into their operations.
“Many companies are not willing to change or think they are done once they make a change. But the truth is technology, consumer demands; the way we work, human needs, and much more are constantly changing.”
–Michael Walton, Director, Manufacturing Industry Executive at Microsoft
Let's look at some examples of lean manufacturing from some well-known companies. These leading-edge examples of lean manufacturing will shed light on how lean principles positively affect.
Leading Companies Using Lean Manufacturing Effectively
Successful manufacturing businesses like Toyota, Nike, and Caterpillar are currently employing lean manufacturing ideas in their production processes. In addition, Intel, Parker Hannifin, and John Deere embrace these techniques. From them, we've described three different organizations in various sectors that are successfully adopting lean manufacturing.
John Deere has also implemented a lean manufacturing strategy. As a result, many of their quality control procedures are automated, which means that more components can be checked for flaws in less time. This means that more supply can be released each day, and the product can be supplied at a lower price to the consumer.
Additionally, these controls monitor the manufacturing process for each component of their products, ensuring that they never manufacture more than is required and waste essential materials in the process.
Intel, known for its computer processors, has used lean manufacturing techniques to provide a higher quality product for an industry that requires zero defects. In the past, it took more than three months to get a microprocessor to the manufacturer, but this principle has helped shorten that time to less than ten days.
Intel rapidly learned that creating more but worse quality was not the way to raise revenues and increase consumer satisfaction with its products, which were extremely precise and technical. Instead, both parties gain from quality control and waste reduction initiatives. This is even true in the tech industry, where goods are constantly changed and upgraded.
Toyota, the world's largest automaker, was the first to implement lean manufacturing in its manufacturing operations. But, even more importantly, they've learned how to limit products that don't match customer expectations by eliminating waste. To achieve these goals, Toyota employs two essential procedures.
The first is a method known as Jidoka, which loosely translates as "automation with the assistance of humans." This implies that, although some of the work is automated, humans always ensure that the result is of the highest quality.
When something goes wrong, the machines have built-in programs that allow them to shut themselves down. Known as the Just In Time (JIT) model, this is the second stage. Once the last part of a process has been finished, the next phase can begin. No unnecessary work will be done if there is a problem with the assembly line. This lean manufacturing technique has inspired thousands of other businesses.
Lean manufacturing principles and their execution require discipline and patience to get the results out of them. When we see the successful lean manufacturing examples, it is not a fraction of a second success. They have devoted their time, energy, and efforts to modifying every single operational process in order to become a part of lean manufacturing. Lean manufacturing is not a method; it is a way of life that transforms your business practices and takes your firm to a new level of operations. Gain insights from renowned organizations' lean manufacturing success stories to help you become a part of the lean companies of 2022.
What is the effect of lean manufacturing?
Lean is a performance-based, continuous-improvement strategy that removes waste and unnecessary processes from organizational operations. As a result, your company becomes more focused on the results.
Is it possible for lean manufacturing to fail?
It is conceivable in some circumstances, such as failing to focus on a single system implementation or implementing too many system changes at once and failing to have a sound follow-up system to check that everything is working effectively.
Why do certain businesses struggle with lean manufacturing?
Most businesses fail to see that lean is a management philosophy, not a set of tools. As a result, most corporate leaders either don't understand or lack the patience and control to implement lean manufacturing.
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"text": "Lean is a performance-based, continuous-improvement strategy that removes waste and unnecessary processes from organizational operations. As a result, your company becomes more focused on the results."
"name": "Is it possible for lean manufacturing to fail?",
"text": "It is conceivable in some circumstances, such as failing to focus on a single system implementation or implementing too many system changes at once and failing to have a sound follow-up system to check that everything is working effectively."
"name": "Why do certain businesses struggle with lean manufacturing?",
"text": "Most businesses fail to see that lean is a management philosophy, not a set of tools. As a result, most corporate leaders either don't understand or lack the patience and control to implement lean manufacturing."
Article | July 27, 2021
Filmmaking is manufacturing. To date, no one has made the direct correlation between the two. As many entertainment professionals know, the budget gap between indie productions and big studio blockbusters continues to grow. The day of mid-budget, independent (indie) movies is disappearing as fast as the middle class in the American economy. According to newbiefilmschool, the average budget is barely at $2 million for these pictures and producers have been forced to adapt by discovering creative ways to decrease costs, while maintaining a high production values for a sophisticated audience with high expectations.
Though there are many ways to cut costs, any business professional will agree to go with the options that bring down the budget the most. Just as dog is man’s best friend, here are three reasons why manufacturers have become the same for a filmmaker by saving money and time for every type of production.
Film equipment manufacturers
No long may a film lack quality in picture, sound, and bad acting. Once acceptable, these older movies were produced with the technology and film equipment constraints and from limited funding. Film equipment manufacturers from cameras, sound equipment, and computers cost less to achieve high production values. Film equipment companies face increasing competition, which has driven down the purchase price. Better equipment with significant technology improvements has reframed the indie film industry with high-level sound and image capture quality.
The transition of cameras from film to digital was a notable shift for manufacturers. Many industry-insiders believe that digital is free, and film is expensive, but there is more the manufacturing construct. Digital cameras, when compared to film cameras in the same market price bracket, are much more expensive than analog counterparts. It is true that film costs money and is single-use. Digital memory cards are relatively expensive and can be reused. Film also needs to be developed and there is a cost associated with that production cost. There are other ways in which digital modalities save filmmakers.
Across all industries, efficiency always wins. Innovative manufacturers have developed machines to make numerous jobs easier for everyone. Machines have been assisting filmmakers since the invention of the camera. AI (artificial intelligence) is poised to change film even more and continues to augment human creativity. Storytellers work with computers during every process of creating a motion picture which has sped up the time it takes to complete each-step in film making.
Automating pre-production processes, such as creating a budget and writing a script, is analogous to an ERP (enterprise resource planning) software for a traditional manufacturing operation. The Movie Magic budgeting software by Entertainment Partners has made creating a budget more efficient and accurate. Screenwriter programs vary from the downloadable Final Draft, and the purely cloud based, Celtx, are the reasons automated scriptwriting is the norm. These programs also automatically format writing to industry standards, facilitating the creative process.
Automation in post-production is equally advanced through editing software for video, sound, effects, and colors all the way to distribution and promotional content. Editing footage from digital rather than film saves time and money. Industry favorites include Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple’s exclusive Final Cut Pro and are used on almost all well-known movies and TV shows.
The impacts of COVID-19 on entertainment manufacturers
Without question, the pandemic has affected every industry by creating an unanticipated production standstill. Entertainment manufacturers have sacrificed countless productions, lost billions of dollars, and major talent agencies have furloughed hundreds of employees. This negative impact is not just difficult for indie filmmakers, big studios are suffering just as much with production delays and cancellations still happening as this article goes to press.
Any way back to the set is better than no set at all. A new necessity for productions to safely reopen includes epidemiologists and other public health specialists; they provide detailed strategies dealing with large crews who work in cramped spaces, makeup artists who get face-to-face with actors who kiss, hug, and fight on set. These COVID-19 consultants rely on the manufacturing industry for PPE supplies and carry out regular PCR tests. Face coverings and hand sanitizing stations have also become the norm, just like most other manufacturing operations.
Article | December 8, 2021
The manufacturing production schedule is a critical aspect that enables the manufacturing business to complete each production activity precisely and on time. Allocating different raw materials, resources, or processes to distinct project phases is called a production schedule. Its goal is to make your manufacturing process as efficient and cost-effective as possible in terms of resources and labor — all while delivering products on schedule.
As technology takes over and enhances many of the processes we used to handle with manual labor, we are freed up to use our minds creatively, which leads to bigger and better leaps in innovation and productivity."
– Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca
So, how is the overall production schedule managed?
According to businesswire, the global APS (Advanced Production Planning and Scheduling) software market was valued at $1,491.22 million in 2020 and is anticipated to raise $2,941.27 million by 2028 expanding at an 8.86 percent CAGR from 2020 to 2028.
Some software and tools are available to assist manufacturing organizations in properly scheduling production planning, including MaxScheduler, TACTIC, MRPeasy, and Gantt charts. Though there are numerous software programs available on the market for production scheduling, the most crucial aspect is determining which elements to consider when planning production.
This blog will look at the five most important factors to consider while planning the production schedule.
Five Elements to Consider When Scheduling Production
As we saw in the introduction, production scheduling is used in the manufacturing process to assign plant and machinery resources, schedule human resources, plan production processes, and purchase materials.
So, what are the primary components or stages of this production scheduling process? Let's take a quick look at each of them.
Planning to Make the Best Use of the Company's Resources
The role of planning in production scheduling is to use the company's resources to maintain a regular production flow. As a result, downtime is decreased, and bottlenecks are minimized, allowing production to be optimized. For production scheduling, two forms of planning can be used:
Dynamic Planning: Dynamic planning is carried out under the idea that process stages will alter. So, materials must be ready, but production cannot begin until demand is decided.
Static Planning: Static planning is done keeping in mind that all process steps will be completed on schedule and without adjustments.
Routing to Determine the Order of Actions
A “bill of materials” is used in discrete manufacturing to specify what things are needed and in what quantities.
Routing determines the path and sequence of required phases of the process. It may involve in-house operations, but it may also comprise sub-contracted components that must be returned to the production flow for final assembly.
Scheduling to Make Use of Predetermined Planning Levels
To manufacture products from components or raw materials, scheduling makes use of the previously set planning level. As a result, it is time-dependent and must meet the demand outlined at the planning level.
Each department, product, and procedure can have their own unique set of timetables. Sub-schedules for sub-assemblies or mixes and blends may be defined by department-specific master production schedules, utilized at the highest level to define product timeframes.
Dispatching to Decide on Immediate Actions
Dispatching assigns the following jobs to be done from a subset of the production queue. Dispatching is utilized to make quick decisions. This is in contrast to planning, which involves the planning of future actions. Dispatching is utilized in both pull and push production systems.
Execution to Ensure that all Processes are Carried out Correctly
Production scheduling must rely on proper execution to ensure that all processes are completed appropriately and in the sequence planned.
It requires everyone to know what they are expected to do and when they are expected to do it. Execution requires knowledgeable management decisions, well-trained employees, correct data in the manufacturing plan and schedule, and consistent sales statistics and forecast numbers. All must be present for the organization to carry out its production plan and fulfill orders.
How MRPeasy – A Production Scheduling Software Assist Manufacturing Companies in Scheduling Their Production?
MRPeasy is a cloud-based material requirements planning (MRP) application explicitly designed for small manufacturing units. Its primary functions are purchase order management, forecasting, and inventory management.
This software simplifies the process of scheduling production. It enables you to evaluate all of your anticipated manufacturing orders (MO). The bill of materials (BOM), purchasing, and stocking are all maintained in one location, allowing you to quickly book inventory and increase purchase orders (PO) for acquired parts.
MRPeasy enables you to:
Obtain all of the detailed information on all of your MOs
Consider MOs as a single block or as distinct operations.
Drag-and-drop operations and operations to reschedule
Calendar or Gantt chart views are available for monitoring scheduled orders.
Additionally, you can manage MOs smoothly. With the production planning component, you may create, amend, and update MOs. This app compiles an exhaustive list of all your MOs. You can track their progress based on the status of an order or a part's availability. Additionally, you can search for, filter, and export your MOs.
How to schedule production for your organization requires extensive research, planning, and analysis of overall product demand as well as a grasp of the time required to meet the demand. Production scheduling techniques such as job-based planning, batch method, flow method, and others help develop a productive manufacturing production schedule. Include the elements mentioned above in your manufacturing scheduling to get the best possible benefits, such as better production efficiency, lower production costs, and on-time product delivery for your manufacturing in 2022.
How production planning differ from production scheduler?
Production planning and scheduling are often mixed. But there is a difference. Planning decides what and how much work must be done, whereas scheduling specifies who and when the work will be done.
What is real-time manufacturing scheduling?
Real-Time Scheduling is a production planning, scheduling, and tracking tool that enables manufacturing organizations to improve customer satisfaction and achieve optimal operational performance cost-effectively.
How can scheduling be improved?
Communication with staff is a great way to improve scheduling. This is true for all businesses, software or otherwise. However, management should not burden employees with ambiguous or unclear communication, and vice versa.
"name": "How production planning differ from production scheduler?",
"text": "Production planning and scheduling are often mixed. But there is a difference. Planning decides what and how much work must be done, whereas scheduling specifies who and when the work will be done."
"name": "What is real-time manufacturing scheduling?",
"text": "Real-Time Scheduling is a production planning, scheduling, and tracking tool that enables manufacturing organizations to improve customer satisfaction and achieve optimal operational performance cost-effectively."
"name": "How can scheduling be improved?",
"text": "Communication with staff is a great way to improve scheduling. This is true for all businesses, software or otherwise. However, management should not burden employees with ambiguous or unclear communication, and vice versa."