Improve Operator Efficiency - Manufacturing

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Measuring and improving operator efficiency of machines and equipment on the shopfloor can have a dramatic effect on manufacturing productivity and output.

PlantRun systems can be used to measure, track and analyse individual operator performance and compare the performance of machine operators against time/machine/product etc.. This allows you to identify under performing staff for re-training and to spread the best practices of your most efficient staff thereby improving operator efficiency.

Improved Time Management

Operators starting late, taking extra time during breaks, finishing early and taking longer to restart a machine than they should is a typical scenario in many manufacturing companies.

Even if this is only arriving at the machine 5 minutes late, starting up 5 minutes later, taking an extra 10 minutes over lunchtime and then finishing 10 minutes early it amounts to 30 minutes in an 8 hour shift equivalent to 6.25%. Without continuous monitoring in place this is often much longer. And this is per machine, if you have 20 machines you are losing 10 man hours per shift!

Maybe you don't think your staff do this, but until you measure breaks accurately you don't really know. For one PlantRun user a "ten minute" break period was reduced from 23 minutes down to 13 minutes upon installation of the system!

Increasing Operator Productivity

An example of increased operator productivity comes from a wire fabrication company producing a wide range of goods including roll containers, stillages, pallet converters, dollies, picking trollies and garment rails.

The company employ a core staff of around 100 staff but at peak production times this number can double with low skilled agency staff. The productivity of temporary staff is variable and with a relatively labour intensive production process maximising operator output is vital. All the fabrication machinery is monitored for machine utilization efficiency.

Operators log on to the system at shift start up and the system monitors run time, stop time and reasons for stoppage. By analysing downtime stoppages problems such as extended operator breaks are identified and addressed.

System reports make it easy to identify operators with poor productivity performance for training or replacement. A typical reported improvement in operator productivity boosted output per shift from 80 to 94 units, an increase of 17.5%.

Improved Motivation

Staff motivation can be improved in two ways.

Firstly, the data collected by the system can be used to keep staff informed of their performance against target production rates either using the keypad terminals or large shopfloor displays. Goal setting and competition between work groups or cells can significantly improve motivation and output.

Secondly, the awareness that production is being monitored and the understanding that computers can't lie often have a refreshing effect on staff behavioural patterns and bad practices that may have been formed over time. In some cases dramatic improvements in productivity have been recorded before systems have been fully installed, simply from improving operator efficiency.

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