The production line is a highly fast-paced environment that involves repetitive and sometimes intricate motions. These assembly lines are where humans and machines come together to create various products and equipment, including automobiles, medical devices, and electronics, to name a few.
Manufacturers are always looking for ways to safely increase productivity and efficiency along the production line, to cater to growing demands and increase revenues. However, it’s important to note that some common production line problems or challenges can be avoided.
A whole host of problems can create obstacles for individuals working in the manufacturing industry. If you fall into this category and are looking for ways to identify and solve these problems, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to walk you through some of the most common production line problems and steps you can take to avoid them.
Consumer Trends Change Over Time
It’s no surprise that with the changing environment comes a change in consumer trends and consumer shopping patterns. Many customers enjoy the ease of shopping and purchasing what they need online and have it shipped straight to their front door. This trend is made even easier with mobile phones allowing customers to browse while on their phones.
Not only has the method of purchasing evolved but so too have the types of products in demand. These also fluctuate in popularity with the changing times. For example, there is currently greater awareness and advertising around healthy eating and avoiding processed foods and sugars. This has greatly impacted the food and beverage industry, who have to adapt their manufacturing practices to serve the consumer’s needs better.
As manufacturers, it’s important to listen to customers and stay ahead of the trends, so that time and resources are not wasted manufacturing products which are no longer in demand.
The workers within manufacturing facilities are the heart and soul of the company. Finding and retaining skilled, well-trained workers can be a challenge for many manufacturers. It’s important to make an effort to retain staff and provide sufficient training for each of them so that they feel confident, safe and committed to their work.
There is no denying that technological advancements have flooded almost every industry, and the manufacturing industry is no exception. Manufacturers try to keep up with technological advancements to keep themselves up to date and give them that edge over their competitors.
Customers now require the same level of service from producers as they do from retailers. One of the best ways to address this need is by directing more energy towards communication technology. Utilize technology to help improve communication between employees, as well as customer service, because remaining connected is a basic necessity.
This is especially true as we see the consequences of globalization, which opens up more business opportunities and demands a greater level of communication. At this stage, manufacturers can no longer rely simply on telephones to stay connected but should try to incorporate instant messaging and video conferencing to enhance communication.
Keep an Eye on the Competition
The manufacturing industry is built on the foundation of the production of quality products and items. With changing times, we can see a fluctuation and shift in the types of products in demand. Along with these changes, it’s important to note that new competitors continue to enter the market and appeal to younger buyers by offering specialty items. These new brands can detract from the older manufacturers and their profits. It’s important to respond to new brands and come up with ways to cut costs and increase revenue to remain competitive.
Manufacturers are always interested in helping increase the efficiency of their production lines by seeing which areas can be improved upon. However, with greater efficiency and a speedier production line, it can be more difficult to maintain worker safety.
It’s important to always put worker safety at the forefront of all facility policies to not feel at risk when completing their work. This can be accomplished by ensuring that all workers are properly trained, qualified, and provided with the necessary equipment to keep themselves safe from harm.
Keep Safety at the Forefront
Manufacturers are always interested in ways to help increase the efficiency of their production lines by seeing which areas can be improved upon. However, with greater efficiency and a speedier production line, it can be more difficult to maintain worker safety.
It’s important to always put worker safety at the forefront of all facility policies so that workers don’t feel at risk when completing their work. This can be accomplished by ensuring that all workers are properly trained, qualified, and provided with the necessary equipment to keep themselves safe from harm.
Bring Balance to the Production Line
A production line consists of multiple workstations along its length, and some of these workstations will tend to be more heavily used while others will remain relatively vacant. With this unbalanced workload, production lines can experience bottlenecks and efficiency issues.
To solve this problem, the specific areas of concern must first be identified, and extra resources should be given to heavier workloads and busier workstations so that work does not pile up and to avoid bottlenecks.
Late Product Launches on New or Existing Production Lines
It can be difficult to launch a new assembly line alongside the new product, especially within a fixed timeframe. This can be tackled using special software to help you plan the product and assembly line simultaneously.
Alternatively, when a new product is being launched on an existing assembly line, the assembly line may need to be modified. This issue can also be tackled using specialized software to help complete both processes simultaneously, to save precious time.
To learn more about the common production line problems, and how ergonomics can bring great benefits to your facility, call Delta Regis Tools at 1(888) 500-6862 or contact us here.