A production or industrial environment relies heavily on machinery for its smooth operations so it makes sense to focus on the machinery. A few upgrades or improvements can make a huge difference in streamlining the production process, efficiency, effectiveness, quality control and eventually profitability. Optimizing your machine operations doesn’t always have to be expensive. There are a few considerations worth looking at seriously to improve how your machines operate.
#1: Focus on Reliability
A piece of machinery is only as useful as its reliability. If the equipment is constantly breaking down, you lose significant production time and jeopardize your bottom line.
Choose reliable machinery in the first place by purchasing from reputable and proven manufacturers. Look for expertise and experience above all else when choosing your manufacturer and/or vendor.
#2: Use the Right Equipment for the Right Job
Forget about the newest technology and what the competition in using and focus on what you need to get the job done right. Assess your needs and the results you want to achieve and use this as the basis of determining the best machinery for the job. Think about production volume, reliability and productivity to make purchase decision. It is not often which machine you buy but what it actually brings to the table when all is said and done.
#3: Optimum Machine Function
Ensure that the machinery is always functioning at optimum. Regular maintenance and effective repairs go along way in maintaining smooth operations. Analyze the machine performance regularly and make the necessary changes if and when required. Anti vibration mounts, for example, help to reduce noise emissions and protect the machine from wear and tear. Adding, testing and changing lubricants often improve efficiency, promotes smooth operation and preserves your equipment. Find new and innovative ways to improve, maximize or optimize the equipment you are currently working with.
#4: Invest in Operator Training
The equipment is often as good as the person operating it. Ensure that your staff understands the basics of how the equipment works, how to maintain it and how to put it to the best use. Constant and continuous operator training helps to improve skills and maximizes efficiency. This is especially true when you invest in new machinery or technology. Also work with vendors who offer support services such as operator training when investing in new machinery.
#5: Consider Versatile Equipment to Enhance Productivity
A single machine that performs multiple functions can boost productivity and give you the competitive edge you need in your area of business. A single machine also requires fewer operators, less maintenance, takes up less floor space and overall saves significant costs. You can make savings of up to 30-percent or more simply by choosing multi-function and versatile machines over two or three machines.
#6: Scalable Machinery
Technology is constantly changing and evolving and there comes a time when you have no choice but to upgrade your machinery. One of the factors to consider when procuring new equipment is scalability. Think about what upgrades or aftermarket parts can be added to the machine in the foreseeable and far future to improve efficiency and productivity. Investing in scalable equipment can save you significant costs in the future. Rather than buy a new piece of equipment every few years, you simply upgrade the existing one for a lot cheaper.
#7: Cut Down Idle Time
Finally, managing idle time increases fuel efficiency and reduces machinery wear and tear. Common causes of high idle time include unclear instructions, machine downtimes and confusing work instructions. Get to the root of the issue by analyzing work interruptions and include your operators and staff in coming up with viable solutions.
Improving productivity in your machining operations is often a matter of pre-emptive measures and consistent and committed effort. Simply boosting how your machinery operates can impact your production process, profitability, running costs and a whole range of other areas. It may also be necessary to hire an external expert to offer insights into what you can do to improve your machining operations.