8 WAYS TO ELIMINATE DOWNTIME EVERY
MANUFACTURING OPERATIONS LEADER NEEDS TO KNOW

The financial impact of downtime can be staggering. Whether it’s one line, or a whole plan, losing production capacity can have devastating impact on production capacity, sales and customer retention, revenue and profit margins.
Plus, as technology advances and systems become better integrated in the march towards Industry 4.0 and the internet of things, unexpected systems issues can cause devastating and unanticipated impacts.

So what’s a modern manufacturer to do?

Enter Lean. By resolving root cause issues through a systematic process to identify and target uptime in critical operations, manufacturing operations leaders can track key KPI metrics for overall operational effectiveness and engage employees from the frontline up to proactively monitor and meet (or exceed) targets.

In this post, CME covers 8 ways to eliminate downtime that every manufacturing operations leader needs to know. To sign up today for a Lean assessment, Click Here.

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NAVIGATING LEAN REQUIRES A ROADMAP

Looking to take these 9 simple steps to your own workplace? Leveraging Lean requires a roadmap. Companies that engage in Lean certification are more likely to succeed and thrive in challenging times than their counterparts.

 

CME’s core Lean programs offer a path to certification with multiple entry points, no matter where your organization is starting or wants to go on their Lean or engagement journeys. Designed for manufacturers by manufacturers, CME’s certified courses help manufacturers across the country to improve their operations, their competitiveness and their bottom line.

 

Benefits include:

  • Increased Employee Engagement
  • Improved Production Capacity
  • Increased Team Productivity
  • Reduced Lead Time
  • Reduced Cycle Times
  • More Efficient Business Processes
  • And much, much more.

 

GET STARTED

TAKING THE FIRST STEP

From the first industrial boom in Canada, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) has been helping manufacturers grow. Nearly 150 years strong, we work with 2,500 leading manufacturers from coast to coast. Our business is manufacturing, just like yours, and we have our finger on the pulse of the sector. CME training programs are designed by manufacturers, for manufacturers.

 

CME works wherever you are – with regional chapters in every province, championed by local manufacturers just like you. Whether you’re looking for in-person, face-to-face facilitation or online, remote delivery – CME has you covered.

 

CME’s Lean Blackbelt certified facilitators have extensive manufacturing experience. We understand your constraints because we’ve lived them – and led transformational changes to embrace excellence ourselves. From productivity to leadership and more, CME is your training provider of choice. With more than 2,000 participants engaged in Lean training last year alone, CME supports hundreds of companies in their productivity and engagement journeys, from across the country. What’s more, graduates give CME training programs consistently outstanding reviews.

 

LEARN MORE

WHY CME?

From the first industrial boom in Canada, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) has been helping manufacturers grow. Nearly 150 years strong, we work with 2,500 leading manufacturers from coast to coast. Our business is manufacturing, just like yours, and we have our finger on the pulse of the sector. CME training programs are designed by manufacturers, for manufacturers.

 

CME works wherever you are – with regional chapters in every province, championed by local manufacturers just like you. Whether you’re looking for in-person, face-to-face facilitation or online, remote delivery – CME has you covered.

 

CME’s Lean Blackbelt certified facilitators have extensive manufacturing experience. We understand your constraints because we’ve lived them – and led transformational changes to embrace excellence ourselves. From productivity to leadership and more, CME is your training provider of choice. With more than 2,000 participants engaged in Lean training last year alone, CME supports hundreds of companies in their productivity and engagement journeys, from across the country. What’s more, graduates give CME training programs consistently outstanding reviews.

 

LEARN MORE

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MAP THE PRODUCT FLOW THROUGH THE FACTORY TO IDENTIFY AND TARGET UPTIME OF CRITICAL OPERATIONS

Processes go down for many reasons (lack of maintenance, a breakdown in the maintenance process just to name a few). Examine your capability constraints to get to the heart of the breakdown and fix the problem at the source. It’s important to look at the whole operation to see which processes are critical, which you cannot afford to have down (hint: in many manufacturing operations, it’s the paint shop). As a manufacturer, you can’t afford to fix every problem, so prioritize through constraint identification and start there.

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ESTABLISH OVERALL EQUIPMENT EFFECTIVENESS (OEE) MEASURE ON CRITICAL OPERATIONS TO FOCUS ON IMPROVED DRIVE UPTIME

Use data to drive decisions. Ask these questions and collect data to determine the answers: Is the machine running at the speed that it should be? Sometimes we’re running below optimum speed capacity. Is the quality of the output good? What is the uptime? The overall equipment effectiveness is a combination of these three factors. Often OEE may be as low as 50 per cent and with a little bit of effort and data – along with a focus on the critical process you identified in step 31 – you can easily move up to 80 per cent.

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REVIEW AND STRENGTHEN THE FACILITY MAINTENANCE PROGRAM TO REDUCE UNPLANNED DOWNTIME

Ensure that you have a total productive maintenance (TPM) program in place to take a proactive and preventative approach to maintenance. Organizations that have successfully implemented TPM see improved efficiencies, productivity, cycle times with reduced downtime (fewer breakdowns), fewer defects and better safety. If you don’t have a TPM plan in place, it’s important to start somewhere. Begin with the equipment’s manufacturer recommended maintenance schedule on equipment and have a plan for maintenance. Does everyone who needs to know, know? This is particularly important for critical equipment.

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ENGAGE EMPLOYEES IN BASIC MAINTENANCE ROUTINES OF EQUIPMENT AND PROCESSES

Andon light or simple stoplight (red, yellow, green) signage can be used to visually communicate changes in the production process or equipment concerns. If the operator senses something’s just ‘off”, putting up a simple visual indicator for the supervisor, manager, or maintenance team to say come over and have a look can prevent many problems before they occur. Too often in manufacturing, when something breaks down and maintenance asks why didn’t you tell me, the answer is “well, you never asked.” This doesn’t mean the operator must be a maintenance professional, but by giving them the tools (flag, light, coloured signage, etc.) you also create an early warning system that can pay off significantly. Complement this with ownership over simple maintenance tasks and basic routines (you don’t have to take your car to the mechanic to top up the air in the tire) and you have a recipe for success.

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REVIEW EMPLOYEE SKILLS AND CAPABILITY AND ENHANCE WITH APPROPRIATE JOB INSTRUCTION TRAINING

Too often, we assume that people with experience must also have the skills and knowledge to do the job correctly, the truth is that sometimes they don’t. At Toyota – no one on shop floor can do the simplest of tasks until they’ve been assessed, trained and assessed again. Then, once on floor, they receive further assessment and coaching. Consider a program like Training Within Industry’s Job Instruction module to ensure that the people doing work have knowledge and skills to do the job and have the help that they need when they need it.

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IMPLEMENT A VISUAL CONTROL SYSTEM THAT PROVIDES REAL TIME VISIBILITY OF UPTIME AND AN ACCOUNTABILITY PROCESS FOR IMPROVEMENT

First, ensure that our KPIs are measuring the right data and that those metrics tie to the right processes. Next, introduce statistical process control and combine with simple visuals: is the process running the way it should be? At the Nippon Denso, every person in a plant with more than a million square feet can easily see if a single machine is stopped through visual queues. What about in your factory?

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INVEST IN APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY TO HELP IMPROVE UPTIME ON CRITICAL PROCESSES AND EQUIPMENT

Know when to upgrade and don’t be afraid to invest. Every major equipment purchase has to fit within an overall acquisition strategy. Each capital equipment investment requires a strategic plan that addresses both short- and long-term needs, which can also be identified by Return on Investment (ROI). Adopting the practice of completing a cost-benefit analysis is important in determining pros and cons when it comes to justifying your purchase and the amount you can budget by defining this ROI. Doing your homework to ensure you purchase the right equipment will greatly improve your work processes, overall productivity and the bottom line. Vice versa, buying the wrong equipment without doing your homework greatly detracts from these values. Buying by following an acquisition strategy saves time and resources, while also avoids acquiring costly “quick-fix” purchases (which can be found later to be ROI deficient). CME and its members have extensive equipment acquisition experience. Read our Smart Manufacturing Equipment Purchase Guide here.

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CONDUCT RAPID IMPROVEMENT EVENTS TO REDUCE CHANGEOVER AND SET-UP TIMES ON BOTTLENECK PROCESSES

Hold a Kaizen blitz and focus on setup time reduction. In many manufacturing operations, too much time is wasted in setup and changeover. Be sure to look to other manufacturing operations in your area to identify best practices in other organizations to inspire your own efforts, which you can see it in action with CME Lean consortia and doors open, best practice tours.