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5 Things Top Manufacturing Companies Do to Save Time

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By Claude Archambault - October 02, 2017

Manufacturing practices have come a very long way from the days of artisanal crafting. They have since evolved to include high-tech machinery and highly specific areas of expertise in a bid to increase output while maintaining a high level of quality. Because manufacturing practices have been around for so long, researchers have been able to take a closer look at what makes some companies more successful than others. Using their findings, we’ll now delve into our topic of the day: 5 things top manufacturing companies do to save time.

Here are 5 things top manufacturing companies do to save time: 

1. They identify clear goals and regularly measure performances to ensure they are on target.  

By setting SMART goals, you can track your own performance and use your progress as motivation. It also helps management determine where employees need more support. Setting a SMART goal relies on the A and R parts being calibrated to the employee selecting their goal. While A stands for Ambition in some iterations of SMART, it is crucial not to be overly ambitious for your goals to be Realistic, hence the use of Achievable in this version.

Reminder: SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

By setting SMART goals, you can track your own performance and use your progress as motivation. It also helps management determine where employees need more support. Setting a SMART goal relies on the A and R parts being calibrated to the employee selecting their goal. While A stands for Ambition in some iterations of SMART, it is crucial not to be overly ambitious for your goals to be Realistic, hence the use of Achievable in this version.

2. They automate data collection and report creation instead of having people manually collecting and entering data. 

Time is a valuable resource in the workplace. Whether you are designing a future product or assembling the classics, time is better spent focusing on the tasks at hand. Having to divert from what could lead to a breakthrough moment because you have to upload data or count things could very quickly derail a train of thought.

The trend at the top manufacturing companies is to have mobile apps collect data for you automatically, present it neatly in real-time, and create reports. This means you can keep working on things that will impact the business and not be distracted by menial work.

Think about it: a program that calculates what is on a shipment rather than someone physically going through it all with a checklist on a clipboard. It’s less time consuming so you devote more time to those taks that really need your attention.

3. In order to react quickly, they have notifications in place so they are immediately alerted when standards are not met. 

In a factory, there tons of moving parts. Sometimes, mistakes are made or errors happen and a number of steps must be taken to rectify the problem that has arisen. Until automation and data collection using IT devices becomes the norm, human intervention is the only way to deal with the problem. This means a person has to see the problem, know who to contact to fix it, get in touch with that person (or even several people), have them react, etc. By that point, time has gone by and who knows how much of our production is unusable?

This is why the top manufacturing companies favour an alarm notification system. This system works in tandem with a Smart Factory’s automated stations' data collection. The parameters are set and if a dip in production or a threshold is passed, an alert can be sent with information about what and where the problem is, and possibly, how to fix it.

4. They share key performance data with their teams to engage everyone in the continuous improvement process. 

How do the top manufacturing companies remain in their tier? By constantly looking for opportunities for improvement. An opportunity is a gift, a wide opening to a new world of possibilities.

A common practice among these companies is the transparency with which they share key data with their team members. Showing this information to the entire team offers several advantages. By placing a screen in a strategic location, where a digital display display that updates information in real-time can be viewed by everyone, management is communicating with employees in a new, innovative way.

For example, if a certain area is not meeting metrics, but is performing to the best of its ability. Perhaps a teammate in another department (including management) may have insight to share that will take advantage of this opportunity for improvement.

Sharing best practices between sectors can lead to a more optimized experience for all. When the company does well and the data reflects this, team morale is surely boosted.

5. They identify bottlenecks and make sure to correct the main causes of slowdowns and downtime. 

Unless it is a glaring problem, spotting bottlenecks is not an easy feat. However, if you can identify a bottleneck, you’re then equipped with information that will help you come up with a solution and ensure your production stays efficient, even speeding things up in the process. Top manufacturing companies have found some of the best practices for identifying bottlenecks.

Take, for example, downtimes for machines in a line. Using our automated data collection, you can see all of the downtimes and it is obvious that one of the machines is waiting more than the others. By spotting this prolonged wait time, you have identified the machine ahead of this one as a bottleneck and can therefore can work on finding a solution for the wait.

These top manufacturers have found their way of innovating and improving on their model and it is now time for us to learn from them by employing the best practices.

Looking for the best way to become a smart factory? Download our Smart Factory  Analytics e-book to discover the best way to start a digital transformation in  the manufacturing industry.  Get e-book

The Worximity Smart Food Factory solution is a low-cost hardware system that can be up and running in a few hours combined with an easy and intuitive yet powerful analytics dashboard that provides fast ROI to start and a roadmap to full-on IIoT success.

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