Maintaining Factory Sustainability & Efficiency

BradYoung04Starred Page By BradYoung04, 12th Apr 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Supply Chains, Procurement & Logistics

It’s fair to say that I write a lot about business. This is usually about business in the sense of the more managerial, consultant, design or perhaps even legal spheres of business – as opposed to the businesses at the coal face, such as industry.

Let's Talk Industry; Why Not?

But why not? Industry is a business after all, and it’s probably fair to say that there are many different niche manufacturers across the U.S. who have factories to maintain that aren’t often discussed in the mainstream. This is despite, according to Nam.org , the U.S. adding $1.8 trillion dollars of value to the economy through manufacturing.

In fact, most business seminars, business qualifications or any other kind of training is geared almost entirely towards management. For whatever reason this is the case, it’s important that we don’t neglect industry when providing support for businesses. So how can a manufacturer maintain sustainability and efficiency in the modern age?

Technologically Sound - A Worthy Investment

Unlike businesses that are focused on a managerial, consultancy or design area – industry is slightly different. Whilst many businesses will use relatively basic technology to do their work, whatever that might be, industry is more likely to use advanced technology (in terms of complex machinery) to do their work.

This means that a sustainable and efficient factory needs to be technologically sound. This is not only to provide the best possible output in terms of quality of manufacture, but also speed and efficiency. Imagine if you were a graphic designer and you were working with an old computer that couldn’t handle the complex applications you need to do your work, it would ultimately affect the quality and speed of your output.

The machinery used in industry varies widely; these pieces of equipment are not as ubiquitous as the common computer – which is present in almost every office in the world. As a result recommendations for specific equipment won’t be useful here, so this section should be taken in a general sense and applied to the specifics of your industry, whatever that might be.

How To Ensure Your Factory Is Technologically Sound`

There are many ways in which a factory can be improved in a technical or mechanical sense. The first is quality of equipment. This is also the most important. All equipment should be of the highest grade in order to output the highest quality.

Ways to make sure your factory is technically sound include;
Quality – I touched on this earlier, but always make sure all machinery is of a good quality – look for industry accreditation and only use what’s proven to be the most reliable
Training – a lot of damage to machinery, which will then cause repair costs, occurs due to human error. Proper training, with regular ‘refresher’ updates will make such events less frequent
Inspection – inspecting equipment regularly will help reduce the amount of repair needed, it will also allow for employees to be inspected in terms of their practice. It’s a good idea to bring in outside assessors, as they will be very experienced and more likely to provide an objective opinion

Monitoring Systems

In addition to making sure your factory has all the best technology, you need to make sure that it is working properly at all times. You can’t just wait for a machine, or part of a machine, to fail – as this will reduce efficiency whilst repairs are being carried out or parts are ordered. Unlike in other businesses, you can’t simply go out to the nearest store and buy a replacement – it often takes time, all the while your output is reduced.

There are specialist condition monitoring systems designed for industry. These measure things like wear in a machine. They can also measure the vibrations of a machine, which can then be used to determine the lifetime of the machine itself – giving you forewarning of the need to replace it. There is also exhaust emissions monitoring equipment that can analyze the exhaust of any combustion, which can give an accurate idea of the chemical make-up of the exhaust and a better idea of the environmental impact it has – which can then be mitigated by implementing cooling or filtration systems.

A monitoring system is accessed through a software interface, and can be connected to many machines with a wide variety of measurements taking place. This gives you a very accurate picture of the health of every piece of equipment in real time, which then can indicate when a machine will fail and what parts will need replacing before failure occurs.

Safety

The issue of safety is something that many businesses don’t have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Typically office workers may be trained in what to do in the event of fire or the dangers of repetitive stress injury. However, in a factory setting there may be potentially dangerous practices occurring on a daily basis as part of an employee’s job – these can sometimes be potentially fatal, so safety is of utmost importance.

A good safety program, and independent inspector, will make sure you avoid accidents. This is coupled with proper training. The benefits of safety are pretty plain to see, but some benefits that may not be immediately obvious include;
Morale – accidents are incredibly draining on morale, particularly if they result in serious injuries. A healthy happy workforce is best, and good safety is a great way to achieve this
Reputation – if a factory is undertaking potentially dangerous duties with proper safety precautions, the reputation will improve as it illustrates competence
Efficiency – any kind of accident will cause a setback in terms of time, therefore maintaining good safety is a great way to maintain efficiency

Playing A Workable Role In Industry

Industry still plays a vitally important role in our economy. There are so many different aspects that allow factories to play a workable role in their respective industries, and it allows them to compete both domestically and abroad.

Although industry might not be so often discussed in this day and age, there are many people who work in industry every day – so it’s only fair they get their share of attention when it comes discussing business.

Thanks for reading. Please let me know what you think by commenting below. If you liked this article then take a look at the rest of my work on WikiNut. I would particularly recommend the related one “The Future Of Industrial Projects” for more industry related thoughts and discussion.

I write on a number of subjects, and on a number of platforms. So, please follow me on Twitter for all the latest news and updates - @BradYoung04

Resources

Information Resources
http://www.nam.org/Statistics-And-Data/Facts-About-Manufacturing/Landing.aspx
http://www.kittiwake.com/

Image Resources
Image 1 - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ea/Maskiner_p%C3%A5_Brede_V%C3%A6rk_6.jpg
Image 2 - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/96/Alfred_Palmer,_Phosphate_smelting_furnace_worker,_Muscle_Shoals,_Alabama,_1942.jpg
Image 3 - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/80/Tire_pressure_gauge.jpg?uselang=en-gb
Image 4 - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e8/Yellow_hard_hat.jpg?uselang=en-gb

Tags

Checking Equipment, Condition Monitoring Systems, Creating A Safe Working Environment, Products Investment, Sustaining A Factory, What Makes A Safe Factory

Meet the author

author avatar BradYoung04
I am a MBA grad who can transform your business. Follow me for straight talking insights into running successful businesses in a fast paced world. I am always working or surfing in the Californian sun

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