One of the easiest ways to boost your bottom line is to improve your yield, and one of the more straightforward ways to achieve this is to reduce wastage through the visibility and real-time monitoring of quality metrics provided by an integrated Manufacturing Execution System.
In the previous article in the Fit for the Future series, we discussed improving OEE through putting a stop to short stops. This article will further explore how the same technology can produce tangible improvements in quality management and waste mitigation.
You may find your current level of wastage acceptable, but questions remain: Is your operation as productive and profitable as possible? Is your wastage a matter of fact, or could it be reduced? Do quality issues have impacts on other areas of your operation?
No operation is perfectly efficient, productive, or profitable. However, continual improvement and striving to get more from your existing operation is necessary to keep pace with an industry undergoing many deep and wide-ranging transformations. When adopting an OEE system, improving yield by resolving quality issues is often a quick win. These successes are just the beginning of the rewards digital transformation offers to forward-thinking operations.
There are two focus areas for improving yield – defects and overproduction.
As you may expect, defects prevent your product from being sold. Visibility, providing insight into the cause of defects is as essential for increasing profitability and productivity as it is for improving efficiency. Through this end-to-end visibility, you gain the ability to monitor quality from raw materials right through to finished products. This enables quality issues to be identified and resolved in real-time, with the capacity for data analysis to uncover and resolve deeper quality issues holding your operation back.
Overproduction occurs when you make too much to cover your expected wastage and is a symptom of low confidence in your manufacturing operation. But producing too much and holding a product that’s not required immediately can apply pressure to your operation. The insight provided by OEE systems from Astec through early warning of quality deviations help to alleviate this problem, allowing for much tighter control on production volumes. Essentially, improved quality management means improved confidence to produce with much less waste, reducing the temptation to overproduce to ensure order fulfilment.
Lastly, many businesses continue to strive to fulfil their environmental responsibilities. Reducing waste is often one of the first things that come to mind when mitigating the impact of operations on the environment. Even incremental improvements can keep vast amounts of waste from hitting landfills.
Wasted product represents lost value for your business, and it also costs money to dispose of properly. By gaining the appropriate level of vision, control, and confidence, you’ll begin on a path to continuous improvement, which is crucial to staying competitive and extracting greater performance from your operation.