Keeping industrial production active is the primary objective of every manufacturing company; a machine shutdown, if not planned, in fact leads to significant losses in economic terms, not to mention the negative effects on the corporate image which are reflected in the relationship of trust with customers.
Improving production processes, so that they are fluid, efficient and reliable represents an important added value in every sector.
However, things like failures, human errors, natural disasters, defective software and many other factors can undermine the stability of each process. For this reason, it is better to take preventive measures to reduce the chances of a production stop to a minimum. Here are five useful tips.
1. Review Existing Workflow
To know if there are any weak points, it is necessary to know in detail each area of the production process, which includes the following elements:
- People: Do the operatives have the necessary skills? Are they supervised by a manager with well-defined, precise and realistic goals?
- Processes: When was the last time a process was mapped? Were the weaknesses and strengths identified?
- Machinery and technology: Are the machinery and devices in good condition? Are technological implementations able to meet current needs? How many resources do any updates require? Is the preventive maintenance plan drawn up regularly?
2. Technological Updates
After reviewing and scheduling the entire workflow, you need to start identifying the areas where processes and technology need changes or updates.
For example, automation represents a solution in some sectors to increase efficiency and reduce the margin of error; new software can help manage inventory, workflow control and business planning better; better machines increase the quality and speed of production.
In the evaluation of costs, it is necessary to evaluate whether the initial expenses over time are absorbed by more efficient productivity.
3. Follow Maintenance Interventions
Procrastinating a maintenance intervention, especially if already scheduled, is highly discouraged: the expected machine downtime is not a problem, provided that it is organized according to the amount of work.
If, on the contrary, negligent maintenance causes a production stop, then the problem grows exponentially at standstill, without considering all the negative implications for the company image from the point of view of seriousness and reliability.
4. Train and Educate Employees
The importance of specific employee training for the development of skills appropriate to the job is often overlooked.
Initial training is not enough, but there is a need for continuous updates and awareness of a 360 ° education culture. In addition to knowing the operation of the machinery, workers must be able to intervene in emergency situations and know all the safety measures to be put in place to avoid possible accidents.
5. Use the Latest Technology: Surface Coatings
Surface coatings represent a determining factor in industrial productivity in various sectors.
For example, in the food and packaging sectors, non-stick and easy-to-clean coatings make it possible to speed up production processes while maintaining high quality work.
The components of the coated machines allow shorter and more extended maintenance cycles over time. In sectors such as chemical or oil & gas, surfaces can come into contact with highly corrosive materials, so an anticorrosive and resistant coating is the best choice.
In high speed production cycles and for light and slippery materials it is important that the surface meets precise traction criteria in order to keep the production process fluid.
In the molding of plastic and rubber, for example, the use of release sprays can be reduced or eliminated, thus speeding up processes and removing toxic elements from the work environment.
The continuous study and research at Ceratizit.com have allowed to develop over time high quality coatings designed specifically for specific uses, as well as other technologies in different areas, like metal cutting, wear protection, wood and stone working.