A poorly organized factory layout and workspace could be costing your business a lot of money. Do you know how much time your employees waste moving back and forth searching for tools, how often aging equipment breaks down, and if workers are satisfied with the current workflow?
If you are interested in adopting or changing new processes and increasing productivity in your business, make sure it is part of a long-term goal rather than a “quick fix.”
There are key advantages to be gained through having an effective manufacturing plant layout design and production plan. Some include:
- Reduced labour costs;
- Improved rate of on-time deliveries;
- More efficient equipment usage;
- Fewer workplace incidents;
- Decreased maintenance costs; and
- Reduced manufacturing time.
Creating a well-organized factory layout helps increase productivity and improves your overall company efficiency. To help businesses who have been struggling with improving production and the workflow of their plant floor, Filling Specialists, PACK’R, have made an infographic outlining action points a company can implement to remove obstacles and add more enhanced processes.
Eight Tips to Optimize Factory Layout Design for Increased Manufacturing Productivity
1. Take a Look at Your Current Workflow
The first step in solving any problem is to admit there is a problem. This includes strategizing the workflow of a factory plant. You won’t know what needs to be changed until you gauge how everything is working at the current state. Take the time to perform a careful examination of your facility’s operations to identify areas for improvement.
2. Collaborate and Listen
While in the process of developing a new or improved layout of your facility, make sure to acknowledge your employees’ thoughts, opinions, concerns, and findings. Those who are working on the floor every day should have an opportunity to give input and have their voices heard. Your employees may have insights and ideas on how to develop a more efficient flow and increase manufacturing productivity.
3. Make Preventative Maintenance a Priority
There are several reasons why a factory should invest in preventative maintenance, including cost savings, improved safety, greater reliability, and increased equipment efficiency. Preventive maintenance may cause small hindrance for production, but that is nothing compared to the detrimental impacts on a facility’s workflow when equipment breaks down. To incur as little downtime as possible, it is essential to invest in regulatory and planned maintenance.
4. Keep Everything in its Place
A manufacturing plant layout design should be organized to keep operations efficient and running smoothly. Workers should know where tools and equipment are so there is no wasted time trying to find items. Make sure your facility is organized so that vital supplies are kept as close as possible to where they are most needed. If possible, keep items labelled or have a master sheet of all equipment and their dedicated spots available for easy access.
5. Invest in Continuing Employee Education
Introducing and improving a new factory layout will not be successful unless your employees are 100% on board. It is crucial to invest in educational programs to ensure everyone on the floor is doing their part and carrying out best practices. Consider cross training your employees as it adds depth and variety to their portfolio, allowing your company to better leverage skills possessed by the workforce.
There are financing options to offset employee training costs. Explore Canadian government funding programs for small business training.
6. Encourage Accountability
Accountability is about recognizing that other team members are dependent on the results of your work, and that your actions matter. Employees need to take ownership at work and think about what will make the business successful. If this doesn’t happen, it damages the team and workflow. When employees are encouraged to speak up when they see inefficient or poor behavior and actions, it creates an environment in which efficiency and safety are top of mind for everyone.
7. Utilize Technology
Advanced equipment and computer-controlled machinery may be costly assets to a company, as well as time consuming to learn how to use, but they bring significantly greater efficiencies to many facilities. Take the time to evaluate if your company has the resources available to implement new technology; it can be worth the expense.
8. Keep Your Expectations Within Reality
The road to optimizing a factory layout design requires taking time to develop a production process that works and will deliver efficient and successful results. Setting unrealistic goals may lead to frustration, failure, and a waste of both time and money. Make sure to set realistic goals in the beginning stages and look for additional improvements throughout each phase of the optimization process.
Scale Your Operations with Manufacturing Resources
Canadian manufacturers have financing options and support when it comes to expanding their operations, and production and factory layout projects. Mentor Works has developed the Expanding Manufacturing Production slide deck as a resource to help project managers understand the many aspects to think about while developing a plan for capital investment projects, including tips for training existing employees and purchasing equipment.