When it comes to consumer preferences and new trends, few industries are changing faster than the consumer packaged goods (CPG) market. To keep up with these new demands, many companies are working to improve the performance of their production line equipment and packaging machinery. But due machines and human error can lead to unexpected roadblocks in the quest to produce higher-quality goods at a faster rate.
Between malfunctioning equipment that requires expensive repairs, employee injuries, and market fluctuations, your business must be prepared to evolve in the face of industry changes and meet production line complications head-on. By setting a few simple procedures in place and learning to optimize your production line safely, you can be better prepared for any challenges that come your way.
Expecting the Unexpected
Ask any packaging machinery expert; a new landscape is emerging in the CPG industry that has never been encountered before. Unprecedented consumer demand for faster, more convenient product purchasing options like direct shipping and pick-up is forcing manufacturers to get creative, shifting their production lines in the process.
Even when made with the best intentions, production changes are bound to bring about errors and problems. The best way to be prepared for unexpected issues is to expect the unexpected. Thinking through potential problems and having viable solutions in place in case of an emergency is not just proactive—it’s necessary.
Prepare for the Worst
If you’re trying to increase your production output, preparing to combat worst-case scenarios is a vital part of every growth plan. What happens if your primary packaging machine breaks down in the middle of the day? Or if a crucial member of your production team gets injured on the job? What if your supplier stops making parts for a piece of older equipment? Thinking through these possibilities, and putting practical plans in place to address them when and if they come up, will help you face even the biggest stumbling blocks with confidence.
Install an Emergency Action Plan
Installing a thorough emergency action plan (EAP) for emergencies is a great way to begin fortifying your production line against any problem. Your EAP should outline and organize a plan of action to be followed by all employees in case of a workplace emergency. A good EAP includes instructions for every position, from office assistants and machine operators to managers, and ensures that every member of your team knows his or her role in handling unexpected accidents and injuries. Ultimately, an EAP simplifies what could otherwise be a complicated process of organizing a chaotic situation.
Combatting 4 Common Production Line Stumbling Blocks
Based on our decades of packaging machinery experience, we’ve identified a few common, but significant problems that even the best production line may encounter. By knowing how to combat them, you’ll be set up for success no matter what Murphy’s Law sends your way.
1. Limited Resources
New staffing strategies and department reorganization can seem like smart ways to try and increase output and raise your bottom line. Without proper time to iron out the technicalities, though, these changes can result in a limited understanding of the time and resources needed to meet lofty goals. If you’re struggling with proper resource allocation in light of production changes, take a step back and rebuild your internal knowledge.
2. Lengthy Changeover Time
The speed of manufacturing line changeovers can make or break your product output. Costly in more ways than one, lengthy changeover time is something no business can afford. If changeover is a current pain point in your production line, take some time to understand the actual operating costs of your facility, get insight from production experts, and analyze the strengths and weaknesses in your production process. Running through these diagnostics allows your team to approach the idea of optimizing your production line with a more informed perspective.
3. Off-Balance Work Stations
If some lines in your production workflow are being under or overutilized, bottlenecks and breakdowns will occur more often. No one knows manufacturing equipment better than those who operate it, so it’s time to get some insight from your employee. Use your employees’ knowledge to help re-balance the assembly lines and guarantee no area of your production line is being overworked or overlooked.
4. Injuries and Personnel Shortages
These might seem like two separate issues, but we’ve definitely noticed a link between workplace injuries and a lack of appropriate personnel. Due to the current practice of hiring transient workers, it can be challenging to find and keep staff with experience running sophisticated industrial machinery. The complexity of machinery also contributes to injuries. Proper training, competitive compensation, and making sure every employee takes breaks are all good ways to reduce injuries and employee turnover.
Conquer Production Line Problems With INSITE
Is your production line equipped to succeed with the best automated packaging machinery? At INSITE, our top-of-the-line case erectors and case sealers are designed to run smoothly and efficiently. With limited changeover points and 24/7 customer service, we’ll provide you with the tools and support your manufacturing process needs to perform at peak capacity. If you want to ensure you have the best machinery for the job, contact INSITE today to learn more about how we can help you safely optimize your production line.