Ever since its inception, manufacturers have striven to develop and incorporate new methods and technology, which offer the ability to streamline assembly line production procedures. Innovative lean manufacturing principles have proven effective in reducing inventory wastes and operational costs for discrete manufacturers, but these principles may also be applied in process manufacturing operations, where materials flow in a continuous value stream.
However, confronting the inventory challenges associated with process manufacturing requires identifying waste problem areas in production and labor, and strengthening operational efficiency through better monitoring procedures.
Production and Labor Wastes
Any time the value stream is operating at less than optimal capacity, wastes occur. The three major causes of waste in a process manufacturing operation, over-processing, defects, and wait time can be significantly reduced with the implementation of process manufacturing solutions:
• Over-Processing: Transitioning manufacturing procedures from a make-to-stock, to a make-to-order operation eliminates the soft costs incurred by over-processing, decreasing the labor costs incurred in handling, and storage facility expenses.
• Defective Results: A production of materials that fails to conform to specific downstream internal standards and requirements is considered defective. This usually occurs due to less than optimal conditions in the physical parameters and condition of the equipment.
• Wait Time: Product changeovers create times of inactivity, which waste resources.
Specifically developed software programs and inventory management solutions can eliminate these wastes by implementing easy to use screens that display formulas, yield, and QC data, effectively managing the supply chain and equipment monitoring, and increasing production status and cost visibility.
Improving operational reliability and efficiency, as well as product quality in a process manufacturing operation, while maintaining optimal inventory levels may seem impossible, but by embracing the principles of lean manufacturing, and developing customized solutions, companies can achieve production goals and reduce wastes for maximum profit margins. To learn more about SBS Group’s Process Manufacturing Solutions, contact SBS Group here or call 888.725.2555.