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Keeping your equipment from becoming obsolete

Just like any other business, manufacturing has to keep up to date on all sorts of things.Two of the most important things manufacturer's need to keep up to date on are its equipment and process improvement methods.Keeping your equipment from becoming obsolete and keeping your process improvement up to date takes time, effort, and money.Here are some tips to keep both from becoming obsolete and keeping up with the competition.

Keeping equipment from becoming obsolete

Tip #1:Go to classes or seminars for up to date training
Going to at least one seminar or training class per year will help you get the most up to date information on the newest equipment.Not that you have to buy all the latest and greatest equipment that's just come out, you just need to have a good idea of what's out there.

Tip #2:Keep manufacturing parts on hand
When the parts you need for your manufacturing equipment gets difficult to find and buy then it means that your machines and equipment are out of date.More importantly however is that when you can't find parts for your equipment, it's not going to run properly, or at all.Being able to replace parts of the equipment and find them easily is a good sign that your equipment is up to date.

Tip #3:Upgrade

Just like any other piece of equipment, upgrading is necessary to stay up with the competition.Usually if you upgrade on parts of your equipment it can be cheaper than actually buying a new piece of equipment, so keep your parts updated and the whole system will continue to run more efficiently.

Tip #4:Keep your equipment maintained
One of the keys to keeping your equipment up to date is to maintain it well.Make sure you get the regular equipment "check up."Just like we need to go in for yearly physicals, manufacturing equipment needs much the same attention.Schedule regular maintenance checks so that the equipment continues to run at its best and won't go out of date.

Tip #5:Consider leasing your equipment instead of buying

Sounds silly right?You own your own manufacturing company so why not own all the equipment?Leasing your equipment gives you an opportunity to switch it out for something better every so often.You can upgrade much more easily if you're leasing the equipment and this helps keep you up to date and competitive.

Keeping your processing improvement up to date

Process improvement is another way to keep your manufacturing company up to date.It can also help save money, and create better flow.There are several process improvement methods you can use to do this:

  • Lean manufacturing- a system where you eliminate all wastes so that you can produce a high quality product.

  • Six Sigma- a system that hinges on the principle of reducing the variance of quality of the product.

  • Total quality management

  • Just in Time or JIT- another process designed to reduce waste by creating products as they are needed by the customer.

  • Benchmarking

Each are different and will add something unique to your company.These are just a few suggestions of how you can keep your equipment from becoming obsolete and how to keep your company running more efficiently.Every manufacturing company has different needs and therefore will have different ways of keeping things up to date.Look for what your company can benefit from in the long run and see what you will fit best with your equipment needs.

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