Your company built a manufacturing plant to efficiently produce and deliver your products to your customers. You want to be successful and quickly grow your business. You know that ensuring your machines operate at peak performance with little-to-no downtime is a key to your success. This makes the need to modernize your plant’s operations a critical factor.
The benefits of modernizing your plant’s manufacturing operations are significant. Solving your biggest challenges using modern manufacturing can help you:
- Improve your company’s processes and packaging efficiencies
- Increase your production capacities and flexibility
- Introduce new products to the marketplace
- Enhance the quality of your company’s products
- Optimize the overall performance of your manufacturing plant
- Track the value of the various products you process
- Comply with industry applicable directives or regulations
Modern Manufacturing Trends
Just like you, your competitors are looking for an edge to stand out in the marketplace, improve operations and enhance their bottom line. Many have chosen to update manufacturing operations to help achieve their goals. To avoid losing ground, your window of opportunity may be short-lived. A recent PMMI report (released Sept. 2017) found that 96 percent of companies plan to advance automation to modernize operations in the next 3-5 years. It is predicted that 50% of companies will increase spending on capital equipment within the next 12 to 24 months. Their study also shows that operational growth likely results in manufacturing challenges that are often solved with new equipment, changes to packaging, new lines, and expansion of existing lines. These issues are impacting businesses globally as populations grow and demand for products increases in many industries.
Manufacturing machinery improvements are a huge part of the modernization process. Another 2017 PMMI study indicates that cleanability, improved operator safety, and flexible, faster changeovers are at the top of the list for desired equipment updates. Of course, implementing machinery improvements and upgrades requires considerable planning and pre-engineering analysis in order to develop a comprehensive plan for the project.
You know from experience that modern manufacturing can ensure your business is a best-in-class production company that scales and grows with your customers’ demands and needs. But how can you assess what changes are needed to effectively achieve your company’s goals? One place to start is by taking an inventory of any existing problems that are causing your plant’s inefficiencies or product quality issues.
Common Manufacturing Problems
There are many challenges a manufacturing plant can experience during times of growth. While every company is unique and different, there are some common manufacturing plant issues, such as:
- Finding additional facility space to incorporate the needed new equipment
- Working around obstructions or integrating with existing equipment that is key to your success
- Less advanced systems with limited flexibility that inhibit scaling to meet your increased production demands
- Legacy hardware systems that are obsolete with limited available parts when you need quick replacements
If your plant has one or more of the issues above, it may be time for you to evaluate your current situation. You need to determine ways to optimize your assets to ensure your manufacturing plant remains competitive. You can do this through a pre-engineering analysis that performs an in-depth evaluation of your existing industrial operations and assets.
Manufacturing Plant Assessments
The results of a pre-engineering study can help you experience better productivity and profits. In fact, by determining your biggest challenges, you can justify your modernization investments while addressing a wide range of pressing issues.
You can achieve a pre-engineering analysis by adopting a:
- Do-It-Yourself Model: This approach is typically time-consuming and exhausting as it stretches the workload of existing teams. It also provides an opportunity to inadvertently overlook things because the in-house staff may be too close to the situation.
- Engineering House: This third-party approach can provide recommendations for next steps. Their recommendations only take you part of the way, costing a pretty penny and only inching you closer to your long-term objectives.
- Partnership Modernization Analysis: Find a company, like Gough Econ, that provides a complimentary pre-engineering analysis at the beginning of every project resulting in quality bulk material handling solutions. This unique approach allows for partnering with a product solutions manufacturer to assess your needs while defining your modern manufacturing goals. It also ensures you select the best equipment and conceptual arrangement possible.
The best pre-engineering service to help you modernize your plant’s operations can make suggested changes based on your industry and needs. For example, a food manufacturer should expect to receive pre-engineering recommendations that:
- Determine ways to link processes with conceptual arrangements that expand your business in existing plant real estate that was previously not considered for use
- Offer suggested facility layouts that yield maximum return and best use of your space
- Identify equipment options to link existing machinery together
- Provide SQF (Safe Quality Foods) options for keeping materials clean, while avoiding cross-contamination of those materials
- Incorporate the latest regulations and guidelines that apply to your industry
- Replace totes and fork trucks with live storage
- Create flexibility for immediate scaling based on customer product demands
- Enhance the safety of plant personnel
Timing Your Modernization Efforts
Transforming your processes can help solve your biggest challenges and reposition your company operations to successfully compete well into the future. Taking the appropriate steps to modernize your plant’s operations can be a time-consuming endeavor that can take time away from current operations. In turn, you may lose production time, which can impact your bottom line.
Some companies decide to implement their modernization strategy during planned downtimes. The goal is to seek out state-of-the-art solutions that are designed to minimize downtime during installation and startup.
Making the Decision to Invest
Investing in your company’s future can result in significant returns on those investments and ultimately increase the value of your company. In turn, your investors and shareholders can experience healthy gains.
Taking the steps needed to modernize your plant’s operations can dramatically shape the future of your company, enhancing your ability to remain competitive and profitable.
Your path to success will be greatly enhanced by partnering with an industry leader known for providing solutions, not just machines. A company that has a proven track record for successfully helping companies like yours reach their production goals on time. Gough Econ is the only bulk material handling solutions provider that offers the complete package from pre-engineering to superior customer service long after implementation has occurred. Choose your plant modernization partner wisely, and you will be certain to reap the rewards.