Whether it’s planned or unplanned, downtime across the production line can have a significant impact on levels of efficiency. If as a business you can reduce the length of time that your equipment is out of action for, you can improve the speed and efficiency of your production line. This in turn will enable you to increase your profits and provide a higher level of service to your customers.
Downtime can occur for a range of reasons. Some of these can be planned for, such as changing over the film roll or carrying out preventative maintenance. However, there are other areas that can happen at any point and which you can’t plan for, including machine failures. Bottlenecks are also a significant issue for businesses. By analysing data and understanding the system that you have in operation, these can be planned for in a way that doesn’t impact significantly on the process.
The Issue of Downtime
The biggest cause of downtime on packaging lines is the length of time operators spend changing packaging film rolls. Line efficiency studies have shown that, on average, a business can lose around 30 minutes each day just carrying these changes out. This may not sound like a great deal of time, but when you consider how many packages are completed each minute, it can have a significant impact on your profits.
Bottlenecks that are created on the production line can also impact on efficiency. This results in the line having to be completely stopped or slowed down in order to resolve the issue. The length of time this takes can differ, but it will invariably mean that fewer products are coming off the production line.
A bottleneck can occur if one section of the line can handle more products per minute than the next one. This causes products to build up in between the sections and form a bottleneck. When you’re buying packaging machines, such as those available from packaging-machines.co.uk, it’s important to look at maximising throughput across the line. If you can identify where bottlenecks might occur, you can begin to reduce the problem and improve efficiency.
Minimising the degree of downtime will undoubtedly improve the efficiency levels on your production line. When you look to buy strapping machines, or other types of packaging equipment, you need to understand how this will fit into your current set-up. You can gather data on the processing speeds of the individual pieces of machinery, so that you can see where products are likely to accumulate and cause a bottleneck. The use of an overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) calculator can enable you to see the cost savings you could generate simply by making a small improvement in efficiency levels.
One of the best ways of reducing downtime is to be prepared. If you know what situations are likely to occur they can be handled better, resulting in the problem being resolved quicker and the production line restarted sooner.