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How to reduce product defects in your manufacturing

Successful manufacturers understand that effective manufacturing is done with the lowest rate of product defects. Having a high rate of product defects not only cost you money but also time since the product defects will need to be removed from the production process and dealt with. Product defects will either need to be recycled, fixed, or even thrown away. Because of the high cost of product defects manufacturing business owners are always looking for ways to reduce the rate of product defects. The good news is that there are a number of different ways that you can do this. Here is what you need to know about how to reduce product defects in your manufacturing-

- Choose the right process-There are a number of different processes that can help you reduce product defects on your production line. By implementing Six Sigma or another process improvement strategy you are taking a proactive approach toward reducing product defects in your production process.
- Involve your employees-One of the most important steps that you will need to take in order to reduce the amount of product defects that you have is to involve your employees. You want to make sure that you do this since it is your employees that have the first hand experience in the production process and can often give you the most valuable insight into how to reduce product defects. They may even provide ways to reduce product defects that you haven't even thought of.
- Find the problems on the production line-In order to reduce product defects you will need to take a very close look the production process. Keep in mind that even the slightest deviation could be causing product defects. However, you should be careful not to waste time on making changes that won't pay off in the long run. Small inconsequential changes can cost you big money without a big payoff. This is where bringing in an outside consultant can be helpful. A Six Sigma consultant or other lean management consultant can often point out ways that you can improve the production process and reduce product defects.
- Follow through on the changes-Once you have identified the changes that need to be made you will need to set up a plan that corrects them and then follow through on it. This plan will need to change the actual production process in ways that reduce product defects or it will be of little value to your manufacturing company. It can be helpful to bring together a group to brainstorm and come up with solutions. Keep in mind that you should consider all of the possibilities before you design a plan. It is also crucial to look at possible machinery issues since they can also be a big factor in the number of product defects. Once you have all the information you can then design the plan that will reduce your product defects.
- Continually monitor for product defects-It cannot be stressed enough that the reduction of product defects needs constant monitoring. It will not be enough to put a plan in place then walk away. You will also need to design a system that monitors the changes and makes sure that the rate of product defects does not rise beyond acceptable levels. You should also be watching the plan that you put in place since it may need changes or alterations after it gets going. Do not allow yourself to become satisfied with a certain level of product defects since you should always be working to reduce them. Finally, it is crucial to keep written records of all production changes and what the outcome was so you can clearly analyze the plan.

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