Research & Best Practices

How to Make 2020 Your Most Successful Production Year Yet


With the start of not only a new year, but also a new decade, right now is a perfect time to take steps toward making 2020 your most successful production year yet. With a focus on improving productivity, quality and the overall bottom line, the below practices can help your operations reach the next level in your journey of success.

1. Assess the current state of your operations

If your goal is to improve, it’s best to first know where you stand. Baseline data points for the current state of your operations will allow you to assess areas where you can improve the most, gain definitive insights into your progress, and get an accurate measure of ROI for the steps you take.

Some examples of metrics to assess include:

  • Uptime
  • Unplanned downtime
  • Maintenance time
  • Capacity efficiency
  • Quality efficiency
  • And anything else that’s important to you.

2. Review standard operating procedures with staff and update as needed

Having educated, well-trained employees is a key component of successful production processes. Even if your staff has been previously trained, re-training can help bring good practices back to the forefront and re-establish the importance of proper operation for safety, efficiency and quality purposes. In addition, be sure that your existing SOPs and training material are up to date with current operation best practices and safety measures. If they aren’t, be sure to make the necessary updates so your training and education materials are as useful as possible.

3. Focus on OEE

OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) is one of the most useful measures of operational performance. OEE comprises three factors:

  • Machine uptime (calculated as actual operational time as a percentage of total available operational time)
  • Performance efficiency (defined as actual output as a percentage of rated output — i.e., for parts per minute)
  • Quality (defined as accepted parts as a percentage of all produced parts)

Multiply these three factors to arrive at a composite percentage that provides accurate insight into the overall efficiency and effectiveness of your equipment and operations.

4. Recommit to maintenance

Equipment maintenance plays a vital role in every component of overall equipment effectiveness. Better maintenance means more uptime, improved machine performance, and a higher rate of part quality. In fact, one of the most effective steps you can take toward improving your OEE metrics is to focus on implementing a total productive maintenance (TPM) strategy.

Here are some maintenance points on which to focus your efforts:

  • Rededicate efforts to preventive maintenance, confirming that all planned maintenance occurs on schedule.
  • Ensure that maintenance staff is highly trained and educated to ensure they can complete tasks as efficiently as possible.
  • Invest in other forms of maintenance, such as predictive maintenance, which uses data to identify potential maintenance issues before they cause unplanned downtime.

5. Investigate and invest in data

Data is a key driver of predictive maintenance. This maintenance practice is facilitated by a constant stream of real-time data from machine performance. However, in order to get this data, predictive maintenance does require an investment of updated equipment or aftermarket components. Fortunately, the investment in this updated technology repays itself quickly through vast improvements in maintenance efficiency and equipment operations.

6. Build around motivated talentand provide the training to get there

Motivated equipment operators and maintenance personnel will almost always be your most successful and effective staff members. Be sure to support them by providing the training and education necessary to keep employees engaged and effective.

7. Consider outsourcing maintenance

Maintenance outsourcing is one of the most direct ways to supply your facility with highly trained maintenance professionals who are experts in the equipment and processes in use, as well as in the most up-to-date best practices to keep equipment operating at maximum effectiveness. An outsourced maintenance solution can help fill personnel vacancies or revitalize lacking maintenance processes, providing you with the confidence that your equipment is receiving the most advanced maintenance available — which in turn, allows you to focus on your core competencies.

Advanced Technology Services offers outsourced maintenance and technical talent solutions that can help you make this year your most productive one yet. For more information about our services, visit our website or contact an ATS maintenance specialist today.

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