Tracking Manufacturing Downtime and Suggesting Measures to Reduce the Menace

Perhaps the only trait which separates humans with machines is the time one takes to recover from the strain, the time one takes to cool down and then quickly bounce back to being the best. This is where machines are probably different, as when any manufacturing process is halted rather abruptly, for instance, to cater to a motor failure, more often than not it accrues downtime.

As is generally the case, this downtime is necessitated due to equipment failure, manufacturing downtime can also happen when an unplanned event takes precedence and forces the manufacturing process to stop.

Manufacturing And Machine Downtime: The Reasons

Manufacturing downtime is basically any fault which has a snowballing effect on the entire manufacturing process, perhaps the most dreaded scenario in any workshop or plant.

Hence, now encapsulating all the theories into one principal basic definition: Downtime events are unplanned stops which warrant a reason because they are long enough to stall the entire manufacturing process. However, there are other scenarios too, when a planned stop is carried out owing to any pre-scheduled assignment or if and when the tools have to be changed and maintenance issues take precedence. Given below are some of the ways to reduce machine downtime in a manufacturing unit:

• Although the operators of different machines might well be aware of the exact reason for the lack of productivity, if there is a screen or a small projector assembled to the machine might well reflect the exact drop in production data.

• The IT sector should always be included to seek out solutions especially in the day and age of breached firewalls and ransomware which leads to compromised security structure.

• Apart from the aforementioned ways, up-gradation of the WiFi system, all the servers should be monitored and any lapsed or outdated network structure should be upgraded.

• Big data is no longer just a concept, companies should actually acknowledge its importance, get their heads together and adopt this in cohesion across all the different platforms. Having said this, it is imperative that IT and operations, the two critical departments should always work together and keep a close eye on the data which keeps fluctuating.

• Digital innovation is like the proverbial sunset, it is just so certain in the current context. Hence, companies should invest more in manpower so that an end-to-end feedback mechanism is established. The cumulative efforts of all the departments can never be undermined even here when technology is galloping along.

• For any downtime, the fault is generally not a very big issue at the inception and if it is detected right when it is initiated the problem can be nipped in the bud.

• Communication between the staff and the management is another proven tool to reduce the machine downtime. By establishing a channel with the staff, in many ways the management holds them accountable which in order makes the workforce feel a part of the team and hence they will be more vigilant to any wear and tear.

• By holding regular staff evaluations will also help the management to identify assets and liabilities which will help them entrust more responsibilities on people who are adept at handling crises.

• Conducting regular manufacturing equipment maintenance and replacing the faulty ones at regular intervals is another way of preventing any long term hazards. This will also help in identifying faulty equipments which slows down the entire manufacturing process.

• Training the existing workforce, especially the people who handle the plant and preparing a dossier which should then be strictly followed at all times.

Manufacturing and machine efficiency can be greatly improved by not only tracking but also identifying the reason for the snags. However before we look at curing any particular impediment, it is imperative we are in tune with the reason behind the stalled work. These basic identifications will help in determining the extent of stoppages, or the different bottlenecks.