Increasing efficiency and reducing waste are essential elements in making a business more profitable. Every aspect of the operation typically provides some opportunity for optimization. As a manufacturer, your precision machined parts process likely offers multiple opportunities for continuous improvement.
Three areas that offer opportunity for ongoing improvement with the manufacture of precision machined parts include simplifying processes, improving organization, and reducing errors. Let’s take a closer look at each of these areas:
Streamline Manufacturing Processes
Reducing waste and increasing efficiency begins with stream lining your manufacturing processes. The potential for wasted time and resources increases exponentially when processes are not scrutinized on a regular basis. While it is easy to fall into the trap of letting your work flow proceed if there are no immediate problems, the rewards for taking a critical view and implementing continuous improvements are usually immediate and measurable in terms of reduced material loss and higher productivity.
Taking steps to improve organization goes hand in hand with simplifying processes. Making changes in the positioning of equipment can enhance the organization of the work flow. When your team knows what to expect in your process, time is saved and turn-around increases. A consistent, organized workflow will enable your team to perform at their best, and foster an atmosphere of continuous improvement, as goals are reached and moved higher. Organized, intuitively designed work cells help employees to feel more confident, and enable them to work safely and efficiently.
Identify Ways to Decrease Errors
Reduction of errors is a prime area for continuous improvement in your precision machined parts process. No matter how automated or thought-out your process is, errors are an inevitable part of manufacturing. There are, however, ways to reduce the chance for error, which begin by studying the process. Observation and analysis often reveal weak areas that can be addressed. Spotting trends that lead to repeat errors will provide you with an excellent opportunity to improve your process. For example, the number of times a part is handled typically leads to a greater chance that an error will occur.
As you look at areas for improvement opportunities, be sure to talk to your team on a regular basis. They will provide valuable insight that you will not get anywhere else.
In most cases, companies that are willing to invest the time and effort in continuous improvement will dramatically increase efficiency and reduce waste.