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Tips To Keep Production Costs Low

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With the economy struggling there are several companies that are having a hard time with the things that are hard to control like overhead expenses. Production costs are one of the things that you need to really look at as they can be a high cost to your company. Production needs to be something that you consider as you are trying to cut costs and to find a way to really save money for the company. Production costs can spiral out of control if you do not manage them and get on top of them quickly. However there are programs and things that you can use in order to keep your production costs low. Here are some tips that you need to follow.

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All about reducing product defects

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The effectiveness of the manufacturing process is found in lowering the rate of product defects. When a manufacturer can reach low levels of product defects they are able to increase the profitability and productivity of their production process. However, it is important to understand that the manufacturer will have to take a proactive stand toward reducing product defects. This is not something that is inherent in the production process.

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Setting the price on build-to-order products

accountant37004762.jpgAs a manger of a manufacturing plant, you deal with a number of different issues. Many of the issues can slow production or lead to problems within the actual plant. When you have customers that want build-to-order products, it's a great way to see that your products are in demand but it can be quite challenging to keep up with and to set a reasonable price. Build-to-order products are always more expensive to produce. How can you set the price on build-to-order products?

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Ways to reduce product defects

pda30321865.jpgThe number one goal of any manufacturer is to reduce product defects, and improve profitability. There are a number of ways that you can do this. It is important to realize that reducing product defects, needs to come from within the business that is creating the product. Utilizing Six Sigma or some other process improvement strategies can help you eliminate product defects. There are many ancillary benefits to reducing product defects, it will help to increase productivity; costs will lower and it will help the business save money.

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The principles of Kaizen

folder30394905.jpgReducing waste and improving manufacturing processes is a big part of proper lean manufacturing. Kaizen is a great way to improve the overall efficiency of your company and to increase your productivity and your profits. How do you implement Kaizen and how does it work? This article will explain Kaizen and help you understand more about this process and how it will improve your company.

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Manufacturing your own products or using third-party?

bottles34878846.jpgCutting costs and providing customers with the best products possible is always a concern for manufacturing plants. If you are trying to reduce the amount of money you spend on manufacturing processes, you may need to consider third-party manufacturing.

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Producing what the customer wants

architect36832024.jpgWhen it comes to manufacturing, one of your goals is to meet the demands of the customer. Meeting customer demands depends on the efficiency of the equipment you have along with the amount of employees you have to produce these products. In order to meet customer demands, you need to take a look at your prime target and time their needs just right.

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Why you need lean manufacturing

woodstack26498474.jpgWaste reduction and the removal of unnecessary process can save companies millions of dollars a year. Lean manufacturing benefits not only the company but the consumers of the products. The customers get to enjoy increase value to their products while the employees appreciate their jobs do to the incentives and motivational tools used to make the working environment flow better. The purpose of lean manufacturing is to reduce cycle times and get the products to the customers faster than anticipated.

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What you need to know about TQM

chair30393486.JPGTotal Quality Management (TQM) provides organizations with the ability to improve its effectiveness, competitiveness, efficiency, and flexibility in order to best suit the needs of its customers. Many companies quickly catch onto the philosophy of TQM but they struggle with the implementation of it.

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Value stream mapping

laptop30347367.jpgOne of the tools used in Six Sigma is called value stream mapping. Value stream mapping allows you to see where your company is at now and where your company is headed. This allows you to plan for large customer demands and to prepare for times when customer demand is minimal. Value stream mapping is easy to implement and it provides companies with a great view of their manufacturing processes.

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Using Just In Time manufacturing

barrels41840423.jpgTo keep up with customer demands, companies are turning to shorter cycle times. With all the pressure to have shorter cycle times, manufacturers put additional pressure on their equipment and on their suppliers. Companies have found that holding inventory ties up their cash reserves and they actually lose more money than they make. Inventory forces companies to find a warehouse to house the inventory not to mention the cost of delivery to and from the warehouse. A smart way to gain control of your inventory is to implement just-in-time manufacturing.

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The Toyota Production System

coastalplant36588209.jpgAnyone that has worked with lean manufacturing and Six Sigma knows that the two processes share several different variables. It often poses the question, "should I implement one or two process improvement strategies?" While you can implement different tools from each system, it is best to pick one and then add on the additional tools as your company gets used to it.

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The Principles of BPI

chair30393486.JPGCreating a lean manufacturing environment is based on using several different philosophies. Business process improvement or BPI is one of many principles that is use to reduce waste and increase efficiency. BPI focuses on stepping back, diagnosing, analyzing, and making things more effective. It attempts to find ways measure, assess, adapt, sustain, and improve the business processes.

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Implementing process improvement roles

accountant37004113.jpgProcess improvement focuses on getting things right the first time you do them. Instead of waiting for variations and product mistakes, you will take steps to change the inputs so the outputs are correct. Typically process improvement will define the goals of the company to figure out what purposes your product serves. From here you will determine who your customers are and why you serve them. The last thing process improvement will uncover is how to align your business process to make production faster and speed up all the other systems within the company.

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How production flow impacts your process improvement strategy

redcontainers24646344.jpgManufacturing plants often work with process improvement strategies to reduce errors, accidents, and waste. Many companies engage in production flow or mass production. Production flow refers to mass amounts of products being produced by large machines on assembly lines. Car manufacturers are often thought of when you hear the word `production flow'. This is usually due to the Ford Model T car that was produced using mass production in the early 1900's.

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How does TQM help my business?

manatcontrols24240145.jpgWith all the different process improvement strategies out there, it is easy to get confused about which ones you should use to reduce wastes. One of the process improvement strategies out there is Total Quality Management or TQM. TQM helps to eliminate waste and improve the production process through various standards. Here are some examples as to how TQM can help to improve your business:

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How can lean manufacturing improve production?

clock19132124.jpgLean manufacturing was developed to help companies quickly recognize problems and inefficiencies in their production process. Most manufacturing plants measure production as the output that is created by input used, meaning employee labor = output per hour. The slightest inefficiency in the production process can reduce your output per hour, which hurts your profit margin. Lean manufacturing is a way of life for most companies as it incorporates ways to change your production process to reduce waste and improve production. To gain insight to lean manufacturing, you must understand 7 different types of waste that may be hindering your company's ability to increase productivity.

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Committing to process improvement

handshake32145701.jpgCompanies have been using process improvement strategies for several years. Lean manufacturing happens to be one of the most popular process improvement strategies. Many companies have jumped on board with process improvement with the hope that they will save money by cutting or eliminating wastes and improving customer satisfaction. While this is a good goal, you need to truly commit to process improvement in order for it to be successful. Process improvement is not something that you can quickly implement in the company and expect it to work, it is a long-term approach that requires constant work, involvement, and commitment from everyone at your company.

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Prefabrication

woodpiles30512995.jpgPrefabrication has been used for hundreds of years in one form or another. And today more and more manufacturers are using this technique, especially in the building industry, to save time and money. This article discusses more about prefabrication, what it is, who uses it, and the drawbacks as well as the benefits to using it.

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Mass production

barrels41840423.jpgManufacturing is when people or machines make products. There are many different types of manufacturing. One type of manufacturing is mass production. The increased usage of mass production has definitely changed the face of manufacturing. This article discusses more about mass production manufacturing.

What is mass production?

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Mass customization

assemblyline19192148.jpgManufacturers want to be able to produce as many products as they can while saving time and money and meeting the needs of their customers. This can be a very hard thing to do since the individual needs and wants of customers tends to vary widely. For some manufacturers they have found that mass customization gets them closer to their goal of producing a lot of products, saving time and money, and giving the customers what they want. This article discusses more about mass customization.

What is mass customization?

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Manufacturing processes

manlookingatfiles32146472.jpgManufacturing is a very broad term that is used all over the marketplace to describe all kinds of businesses, but some of the most important ways a manufacturing business is classified are the processes they use while producing something. There are many different approaches that can be taken to manufacturing and various solutions work in different industries and for specific types of products.

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Lean manufacturing

happyman19220291.jpgThere are several types of manufacturing processes that can help a manufacturer save money. One way is by using lean manufacturing. This article discusses lean manufacturing and how it can help manufacturers.

What is lean manufacturing?

Lean manufacturing is another form of manufacturing which purpose is to help eliminate waste. There are many things are a regular assembly line and manufacturing plant which can be considered wasteful. The purpose of lean manufacturing is to identify those wasteful things so that the manufacturer can eliminate them from their manufacturing process. Eliminating this waste can save the manufacturer a lot of money.

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Just In Time manufacturing

charttwo30340387.JPGJust In Time manufacturing is one of the types of manufacturing used by many companies today. This article discusses more about Just In Time manufacturing.

What is Just In Time manufacturing?

Just In Time manufacturing is a specific type of manufacturing and can actually be considered a type of strategy. The main objective of Just In Time manufacturing is to save the manufacturer money. A manufacturer who uses Just In Time manufacturing believes that having an inventory of raw materials is a waste. A manufacturer can spend a lot of money purchasing inventory for it to just sit and take up space. And not only does the manufacturer have money in the inventory of raw materials, they are also paying for the space to house the inventory.

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Fabrication

manufacturing_systems.jpgFabrication is the creation of something, or making something. In manufacturing, fabrication can refer to several different types of manufacturing. Four types of fabrication in manufacturing are the fabrication of metals, stone, lenses, and chips. This article discusses these types of fabrication in manufacturing.

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Agile manufacturing

confidence30842627.jpgMany manufacturers have developed methods to help them best meet the needs of their customers as well as meeting their own needs. One of the philosophies that manufacturers have developed is agile manufacturing. This article discusses agile manufacturing.

What is agile manufacturing?

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Trends in custom manufacturing

clock19132124.jpgManufacturing is a process that is ever changing and continually changing to adapt to the needs of the business and the consumer. Technology is keeping up with manufacturing and there are new methods and equipment being developed to meet the needs of a more and more sophisticated manufacturing industry. Here is some more information about custom manufacturing trends and the way things are going to look in the future of manufacturing.

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Tips for custom manufacturing

assemblyline19192148.jpgCustom manufacturing has made thousands of businesses more efficient and more effective at meeting the needs of their clients while providing a good profit base for the company at the same time. Custom manufacturing is a process that involves the blending of many different ideas and combines the expertise and observations of experts to come up with strategies and methods that improve a business in many ways.

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Understanding production leveling

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Manufacturing companies use the Toyota Production System (TPS) or other process improvement strategies to eliminate waste. In TPS, there is a waste that is identified as mura.

Mura encompasses all the wastes at the company that are caused from a variety of things like production delays to employee error. With changing markets and customer demands, TPS is often combined with other process improvement strategies to implement production leveling.

Every company has some fluctuations on their production lines. The goal of production leveling is to try and keep these fluctuations to a minimum or a zero. To understand how this works, look at what Toyota does. Toyota has a strategy to never assemble the same model of car in the same batch. Each car is made individually and then another model is sent behind it. Since the batches they use are smaller, the risk of fluctuations is smaller.

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Toyota Production System

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Process improvement strategies focus on eliminating waste within the company and improving the way employees work. One of the most popular process improvement strategies is the Toyota Production System (TPS).

TPS seeks to produce a healthy and safe working environment while managing the production of materials and equipment. Employees often are asked to change the way in which they perform their job because it is unsafe and leads to higher workplace accidents. The entire approach is centered around safety and eliminating waste from the organization.

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The 5 "S" method

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The 5 "S" method is a process improvement methodology that uses 5 Japanese words to help a company standardize cleaning and organizing. The goal of the 5 S method is to create a smooth-flowing workstation by reducing waste, reducing process unevenness, and improving production. It is designed to improve safety in the company while meeting the quality expectations of your customers.

The 5 S method is defined as follows:

  • Seiri - Sort

  • Seiton - Set in order

  • Seiso - Shine

  • Seiketsu - Standardize

  • Shitsuke - Sustain

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Different methods of production

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When manufacturing things there are three basic types of production: One-off production is used generally when only one specialist item is required and it would be built by a craftsman or if a prototype is needed to help test a product. An example of this type of manufacturing could be an individually made piece of jewelry where there would only be one in the world. This type of production is very labor intensive and therefore very expensive. If its a prototype though it can ensure the product is right before thousands are made.

Batch Production is cheaper than one-off production and would be used if about 1000-5000 items are needed to be made. The batch that is being made would use ordinary machines which were set up to complete a particular task and then when the required number were made the machines would be set up to perform a different task. One example of this might be a small batch bakery. The bakery might work out that it could sell 500 loaves of bread a week and 1000 donuts of a certain kind. It may also have worked out that it could sell 2,000 cookies to their wholesale customers. At the beginning of the week it would set the machinery to make the bread (this might take a whole day to set the machines up to do this task).

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Continuous Production Manufacturing

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Continuous Production Manufacturing is a manufacturing strategy that produces a part via a just-in-time production approach, and calls for an ongoing examination and improvement efforts which ultimately requires integration of all elements of the production system. The goal of this production method is an optimally balanced production line with little waste, the lowest possible cost and most importantly on-time and defect-free production. Manufacturers often view this process as a work in progress method.

This manufacturing strategy is typically applied in discrete manufacturing as an attempt to handle production volumes comprising discrete units of product in a flow which is more naturally found in process manufacturing. The basic fact is that in most cases, discrete units of a solid product cannot be handled in the same way as continuous quantities of liquid, gas or powder would be.

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What is Batch Production Manufacturing?

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The primary characteristic of Batch Production manufacturing is that all components are completed at a workstation before they move on to the next one. Batch production is mostly popular in bakeries and in the manufacture of sports shoes, pharmaceutical ingredients, inks, paints and adhesives. In the manufacture of inks and paints, a technique that is called a color-run is used. A color-run is where the production process manufactures the lightest color first, such as light yellow followed by the next increasingly darker color such as orange, then red and so on until reaching black and then starts over again.

This helps to minimize the cleanup and reconfiguring of the machinery between each batch. White (by which is meant opaque paint, not transparent ink) is the only color that cannot be used in a color-run due to the fact that only a small amount of white pigment can adversely affect the medium colors.

It is important to note that there are inefficiencies that are associated with Batch Production Manufacturing. The production equipment must be stopped, re-configured, and its output tested before the next batch can go on to be produced. The time between batches is known as "down time" and can be costly for a manufacturing company.

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How Batch Production Manufacturing works

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As businesses grow and their production volumes increase, the production process is often changed to a "batch method". Batch production methods require that a group of items move through the production process together, one stage at a time.

For example when a bakery bakes loaves of bread, a large ball of dough will be split into several loaves which will then be spread out together on a large baking tray. The loaves on the tray will then together be cooked, wrapped and dispatched to shelves, before the bakery starts on a separate batch of another bakery item. It is important to note that each loaf is identical within a batch but that loaves (or other items) can vary from batch to batch.

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How Batch Production Manufacturing is used

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Batch production is used to produce any product in groups that are referred to as batches. A great example of batch production can be found in a bakery. The products that are sold in the bakery are made in batches of however many will fit in the baker's oven at a time. When that batch is completed, the baker will then start the process again with a new batch. Batch production techniques are also used in the manufacture of specialty chemicals such as active pharmaceutical ingredients, inks, paints and adhesives and many other items.

When choosing a method of production, there are several factors should be taken into account. Some of these are:

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Batch Production Manufacturing

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Manufacturers use many different ways to produce their product. Before deciding on a method there are many different factors they must consider. Some of these are:

  • The needs of their customers

  • The production equipment that will be required

  • The staff and subsequent training that will be needed

  • The specifications of the product they will be manufacturing

  • The timeline and any other requirements for their specific product(s)

  • The overall cost of manufacturing their product(s)

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A look at Batch Production Manufacturing

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There are many different manufacturing methods that can be looked at. The most common production methods are batch production, continuous production, job production and mass production. All four of these manufacturing methods are used throughout the world. There are manufacturing methods for any type of business and product that is being made out there. It is important to keep in mind that some manufacturing methods are better choices for certain business than others. But generally manufacturing methods have their place in the business world.

Batch production is a manufacturing method that is mostly used to produce products in batches. This is very different from continuous production or one-off production. Batch production manufacturing is used when all the components of a product are completed at a workstation before they move to the next one.

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Job production

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There are various things meant from the term job production. Most of us probably mean something like producing jobs for people so that they can have careers. We mean creating new jobs where there were none before. This is certainly one meaning of the term job production, but there is another one that everyone should know about. Job production is also a term used to describe a particular type of industry wherein a company produces a single product for a company. This means that the company specially designs and produces something for a single purpose. It is not designed as something like a product in mass production that will be spread all over the market place. Some examples of job production are things like a commissioned work of art, an advertising campaign, or legal work for a particular client. The idea is that you create a single job, one after another. This is often done by small businesses or individuals but it can also be done by a large firm. Many large advertising agencies, for example, take on large commissioned jobs for large companies. If you think about it a large amount of work in the economy is created through job production.

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ISA-88

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ISA-88 or S88 is a standard and set of terms designed to help organize a process known as batch control. It also provides a general standard and model for production. Think of ISA-88 as a rule book and set of guidelines for batch production. As you can imagine, batch production is quite complicated, and without a universal standard it can fall into general complications. This is because the ISA-88 exists to give some order to what would otherwise be a chaotic process. Some of the problems that afflicted manufacturing before the invention of the ISA-88 were things like problems with communication, lack of a model for batches, and another general problem such as integrating the batch. There are all sorts of problems associated with batch production that ISA-88 has worked to solve. Although few people realize it, many of the products they use on a daily basis are the sorts of things that are created using the ISA-88 model. Without it their products would almost certainly be of a lower quality and more expensive to produce.

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