Continuous improvement is the heart of efficient manufacturing. Without the right tools, it can be difficult to achieve continuous improvement goals, leading to increased waste and lower productivity.
We’ve put together seven tips for your manufacturing organization to help attain your continuous improvement goals:
1. Adopt a manufacturing method
The methodology by which you operate can have a huge impact on your manufacturing process and product production, whether you are utilizing Lean manufacturing principles, Six Sigma, or another method. When developing goals for continuous improvement, make sure you are considering the manufacturing method you use and how your systems and processes support that method.
2. Implement manufacturing technology
When it comes to reaching continuous improvement goals, manufacturing technology can be a useful tool. Technologies such as Andon systems or OEE systems can provide valuable data that can be used to improve operations. Additionally, technologies such as machine vision or robotics can help streamline processes and improve quality.
3. Utilize manufacturing software
Another way to improve manufacturing processes is using manufacturing software. Whether you utilize manufacturing execution systems (MES), manufacturing operations management, or visual management software, what matters most is that your team can communicate effectively through it and the software can provide data that will show you where to focus your energy to reach your goals.
4. Identify problem areas and take action
It is important to understand why manufacturing problems occur so that they can be prevented in the future. This helps manufacturing processes improve over time. Some ways to identify problem areas include collecting downtime and root cause data or utilizing machine vision systems so you have the information to implement meaningful process improvement.
5. Create a culture of teamwork
Teamwork is important to keep morale high and increase motivation to reach continuous improvement. Some ways to encourage teamwork in manufacturing include having cross-departmental teams work together on issues or implementing kaizen-centric events that help employees get into the spirit of continuous improvement.
6. Educate employees on continuous improvement
Along with creating a culture of teamwork, you need to educate your employees on the best ways to reach continuous improvement goals. The combination of a desire and knowledge to help your company reach its goals is key for your employees. Some ways to educate employees on continuous improvement include having short workshops, providing reading materials, or even utilizing gamification techniques to make learning more fun.
7. Celebrate successes
While some manufacturing firms talk of lights-out facilities that require no onsite human effort, many other firms recognize that employees perform tasks that are not as effectively completed through automation. When goals are met or improvements are made, it is important to celebrate these successes large or small and let your employees know they are appreciated. This helps keep the team morale high and provides encouragement to continue working towards continuous improvement goals.
Reaching continuous improvement goals in manufacturing is an ongoing process, and these seven steps can help your manufacturing operations improve over time. Utilizing manufacturing software and manufacturing technology, creating a culture of teamwork, educating employees on continuous improvement, and celebrating successes are just a few ways to reach continuous improvement goals in manufacturing.
For more information about reaching continuous improvement goals in manufacturing with Andon systems or OEE systems, please contact us today. We would be happy to help!