In order for factories to remain competitive and cost effective, they must ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of certain processes. Here are four factory processes that every factory should properly monitor and manage.
Factories can be dangerous places with moving machine parts, hazardous substances, strenuous work tasks, and forklifts carrying heavy loads. This is further compounded by other things like limited visibility, congested work areas, and intense production schedules. Therefore, workers need to be properly trained and provided with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). In addition, there must be an actual safety program in place that establishes safety guidelines, such as Job Hazard Analyses (JHA), which detail how every work process should be properly performed. Understandably, processes change, so JHAs should be regularly reviewed to ensure that the information is accurate.
After safety, quality control is the second most important process that must remain efficient through continuous improvement, employee engagement, and management support. It is an unfortunate fact that some factory supervisors set unrealistic production expectations, which cause certain employees to skip safety or quality control checks. Instead, the factory should have a quality supervisor who works with experienced employees to regularly benchmark production quality.
A preventative maintenance program is a crucial part of facilities management. The goal of any preventive maintenance program is to establish consistent work practices that will improve the safety and performance of equipment and machines. An effective preventative maintenance program will reduce downtime and the total number of repairs needed. As a result, maintenance personnel will be able to better conserve factory assets and increase the life expectancy of equipment and machines. This will reduce overtime costs while also increasing the productivity of maintenance personnel. Keep in mind that a routine replacement, such as a new water pump from PFC Equipment, Inc., may prevent a major breakdown in the future.
Production scheduling is an ongoing, challenging task that involves incoming materials, employee work schedules, customer orders, and outbound shipping logistics. Production scheduling requires a flexible attitude because minor changes, such as a few employees calling in sick or a customer request to change an order, can throw the daily production schedule off track. Therefore, production scheduling is best accomplished through a sophisticated software program that will allow managers to easily calculate and implement changes.
In short, every factor should focus on improving safety, quality and preventative maintenance systems. Don’t forget that an excellent way to maintain quality is through using quality control sheets that require employees to regularly measure or test random samples every hour or so to ensure quality.