Recent SER® consultations have uncovered a “common challenge” in many manufacturing and fabrication businesses. This challenge involves the use of problematic and under performing operational equipment.

Due to high levels of break-downs and maintenance time, our customers’ machines are not able to run at an efficient rate (sometimes they never have since their installation) and a whole host of ‘inside knowledge’ such as: “we can’t run that machine for more than 6 hours straight or it overheats” and “on cold days we know that machine will run slower than standard” or “we expect that machine to breakdown so ensure we only plan it to run at 50% capacity”.

Does this sound familiar?

Machine breakdown and under performance can result in excess inventory and overproduction as we plan for worst case scenarios, holding higher levels of raw stock, in process and finished.

The result?

We end up tying up valuable floor space and money. Waiting is another area of waste associated with this approach as flow and throughput are stopped while the machine is experiencing issues. This then has the knock on effect of potential premium rate hours to make up for lost production.

As much as manufacturing and fabrication businesses value the ‘fire fighting’ nature of employees that deal with these challenges daily; surely their effort is better spent in understanding the root cause and trying to fix the issue for the long term.

The downstream savings to labour, inventory, lost time and rejects we have found outweighs the effort required in all our SER® consultations.

The Key Recommendation: By all means plan for the worst but don’t except it as your everyday!

We have found, our customers pursue the SER® as a vehicle to look at their business in a different way to make some small changes to reap big rewards. The Steel Efficiency Review® aims to provide recommendations to support our customer’s business and at the same time improve our product and service offer.

To register for the Steel Efficiency Review® click here.