Choosing the best production line system requires consideration of several key factors, including employee orientation, production pacing, and workstation spacing. In fact, you should decide between automation and hand production, depending on the product being generated; however, many companies choose to implement both at strategic points during manufacturing processes. Considering machine maintenance is also key for a successful production line system.
Each production line system has a different efficiency rate, based on the product being created. As a result, placing workers along the line requires you to observe each person's skill efficiency. Some businesses prefer to place workers in ascending order, from the slowest to the fastest employee. This process allows the efficiency to increase as the product moves from the first to the last workstation.
Another employee orientation option in a successful production line system is positioning the slowest workers at the beginning and end of the assembly process. The faster employees in the line's middle section will make up for the slowing in efficiency. In some cases, however, a bottleneck can occur in the production line system — usually when a fragile assembly must be aligned or adjusted. In response, you should add more workers to this adjustment area to ensure a faster production rate.
Many businesses use conveyor belts to move products along at a fixed rate for workers to stay at a consistent pace for production. This pacing can be detrimental to the business over time; many workers will become dissatisfied with their positions, which can actually reduce production rates. One of the best tips for a production line system is allowing employees to create their own timing and rhythm. As a result, workers will work more efficiently and steadily over time.
Each production workstation should be spaced safely from an adjacent area, but close enough so that workers do not need to walk too far across the facility. For example, workstation "A" should be next to "B," rather than randomly placing them throughout a floor plan. Each assembly step should flow quickly to increase production rates.
You should use a mixture of automated machines and handmade assembly areas to generate the best production line system. Sturdy parts can be quickly built with machines, but employees can assemble and adjust the fragile portions to prevent costly waste from broken inventory parts, such as glass. This mixture will ensure a quality product.
Machine maintenance must be taken seriously for a successful manufacturing line. You should implement a preventative maintenance schedule and train nearby employees to adhere to the timetable. Unexpected breakdowns reduce production rates and cut into overall profits.