As a manufacturer there are many areas of the facility that you need to concern yourself with and one of those is how to best utilize the manufacturing shop floor. As a manufacturing consultant I’ve found that the biggest problem facing shop owners is the use (or improper use) of the space in a manufacturing facility. When companies have a lot of space and are in growth mode, they tend to use their space without a clear objective or without an eye toward either the bottom line or what they will do when the shop is at full capacity. I see that some planning has been done, but there are no long-term shop-wide plans in place for shop equipment placement.
What does that mean? Machines get placed, in many cases, without regard to how work will flow in and around this machine as well as those around it. Yes, it’s probably in the right department, but more often than not, little thought is given as to how this location will impact workflow in the shop.
Other effects could be:
• Lost manufacturing time
• The juggling of parts from one machine to another
• Safety concerns
• Frustration at being unable to easily access parts to produce items
Over time, this happens again and again until:
1. You run out of room or
2. Someone wakes up, puts his foot down and implements a plan
Unfortunately, in both cases, the cost to relocate machines (and there’s usually more than one that needs to be displaced) is greater now than had there been a shop wide plan to place future growth as it happened.
This becomes child’s play if you happen to be moving your plant and correct all the ills in one stroke (starting the clutter process all over again). If you are trying to reconfigure a plant while it’s operating, you’ll find yourself faced with headaches, lost productivity and like the need to pay overtime to handle the increased workload to make up for the down time.
Primary $Profit Power$ Point (you can use today!)
Download factory layout software such as the Intergraph® CADWorx ® DraftPro™ (it’s free) and lay out your shop the way you envision it. Keep in mind that moving machines or departments even by as little as six inches can make major positive impact on workflow and put an end to all other nagging problems on the manufacturing floor.
Don’t forget to check out Exhaust Notes, explore the TopGun website and uncover ways in which we can help you improve your plant’s efficiency and get you on the road to higher profits and greater success!