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13 Mar 2015

4 Ways to Eliminate Unscheduled Downtime on the Factory Floor

4 Ways to Eliminate Unscheduled Downtime on the Factory Floor

It is imperative that manufacturers keep their factory running efficiently at all times, an issue that we at Fascia Graphics (who manufacture membrane keyboards, graphic overlays and screen printed labels) know about all too well.

When disruptions in production occur you need to react to them as quickly as possible in order to minimize the amount of production time lost.  Here are four things you can do to help eliminate unscheduled downtime:

Track Downtime

The first step you should take to reduce unscheduled downtime is to carefully track what sort of downtime is happening. By tracking all and any downtime, you can investigate why each instance occurred and learn from it.

For instance, if you discover that 80% off all downtime is cause by human error, you know what areas you need to focus on in order to reduce downtime (additional training, extra personnel etc…)

Training

Human error is one of the top causes for disruption in the production line. Because of this, it’s vital that all employees are fully trained in their specific areas are roles. By training your employees thoroughly in how to correctly use tools and equipment, there will be fewer instances of user related downtime caused by avoidable situations such as the wrong materials being used, or too much force being applied to a machining process.

Regular (Preventative) Maintenance

Regular use takes a large toll on equipment; therefore, equipment and machinery should be regularly maintained to keep them running efficiently. By practicing regular, preventative maintenance, such as cleaning machines, replacing filters, replacing perishable components and keeping them correctly lubricated where appropriate, you can extend the working life of your machines and prevent unscheduled downtime. This enables you to run efficiently for longer and overall reducing stalls in production.    

Conduct Regular Audits

By regularly auditing your manufacturing processes and equipment, you can identify what parts of the process could be improved to reduce downtime and increase productivity. Involving your experienced employees and asking them for their opinions on how things may be improved to reduce downtime will prove to be an invaluable source, as who knows the factory floor and the processes better than those who work them day in and day out? 

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