For manufacturers, throughput in production is crucial. It can be the difference between quotas being met or customers leaving for your competitors. It’s too easy to be content with the status quo and accept flaws or limitations in the process.
Don’t let the status quo dictate your future. Continuous improvement is necessary to compete.
Even benchmarks set to measure quality can be a trap. While they are great at getting you pointed in the right direction, they can also give you a false sense that you’re meeting your goals and everything is fine. Quality on the production floor is about continuous improvement. Unless you set challenging benchmarks and measure progress, you’re likely to keep embracing the status quo.
Managing throughput and productivity while maintaining the highest quality has always been a challenge. If you’re struggling to drive quality directly to the production floor or are looking for ways to improve your efficiency, there is a solution.
People, Product, Process
Three areas determine the success of nearly every business: people, product, and process.
- People impact the quality.
- The product reflects the quality.
- The process creates the quality.
People need the right environment and the right tools to perform at optimal efficiency. Without the appropriate specs, equipment, or process, it will be difficult for them to produce the quality that you need on the production floor. Also, of course, the product has to be right. The output of your production needs to be consistent and on time for customers to be happy. Finally, the process is the key to consistency and scale. It’s where you will find quality issues and can dig into the root cause to take corrective actions.
If you have a failure in any of these three areas, you’re going to struggle.
Fortunately, the right software solution helps you minimize or eliminate the costliest mistakes and create reproducible processes to get it right every time. As part of the service-based manufacturing industry—which includes most metal-treating/powder-coating, plating, and metal-finishing businesses—you must have workflows that are process-oriented.
What You Need in Software to Drive Quality to the Production Floor
Assuming that you have the right people and product, you need the right Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and Quality Management System (QMS) to drive quality on the production floor. Software such as Bluestreak’s™ integrated QMS will tie quality control and quality assurance directly to individual work centers and processing steps on the production floor. This eliminates data silos and helps you track quality through the entire end-to-end process.
Specifications Management and Fully-Documented Audit Trails
Managing quality on the production floor involves software that streamlines specification management by putting all your spec resources into one interface that’s accessible to everyone. It allows a company to support internal and customer specification, as well as the management of various industry specifications:
It creates a full-documented audit trail and cross-references specifications to everything that they impact. So, when a change is made in one area, the software will tell you how it will affect other areas.
Scheduling and Sequencing
A scheduling function should make load planning easier and more dynamic for planners and supervisors. All orders and schedules need to be available in one central place. As schedules change, throughput can be analyzed and adjusted. Besides the ability to set up or sequence your production operations, planners should be able to combine like-jobs for processing and specific equipment for each load, prioritize jobs, and push every piece of needed information downstream. With software such as Bluestreak | Schedule™, load lists will be automatically generated and updated so the operator is immediately notified.
This also allows you to better plan jobs, see the impact of necessary changes, and manage equipment utilization.
Quality on the production floor means mitigating risk and using statistical process controls to surface conflicts during the process. This risk analysis can help manufacturers avoid conflicts before they hit the production floor.
Bluestreak | Advanced Quality™ helps remove the potential of human error and create a process for enforceable risk management. It helps control quality characteristic requirements per specification standards. Real-time shop floor tracking creates accountability and an audit trail for compliance and certification. This information will empower operators to manage quality on the production floor and managers to assure quality in operations.
The Pathway to Better Profitability
Competition for manufacturers continues to increase. With COVID-19 shutdowns, many companies are being forced to slash prices to bring in new business. The number-one thing driving profitability in manufacturing is increasing productivity to create high-quality goods while reducing costs.
Continuous improvement, from the front office to the production floor, is the pathway to profitability.
Our MES/QMS software is changing service-based manufacturing by significantly increasing your throughput. Contact Bluestreak™ for a demo today.
Bluestreak’s MES + QMS solution helps service-based manufacturers drive quality straight down to the production floor to minimize scrap and rework and therefore, protect their profit margins.
If you’re ready to leave manual, time-consuming service-based manufacturing tasks in the past, drastically reduce your scrap and rework percentage, gain visibility of your production floor processes, and build better relationships with your customers, contact us for a free consultation today!