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Smooth process choices for manufacturing

Improving quality manufacturing processes can result in decreased waste, better quality products, and an overall improvement in customer satisfaction.

The following are tips for making smooth process choices for manufacturing. Before you start, however, you will want to develop a committee that is in charge of overseeing the steps and making sure they come to fruition. It's best to involve the whole company if possible, but in the beginning a committee can help to ensure the steps are completed and taken from beginning to end.

  • The first thing you will want to do for making smooth process choices is to define the actual process. This is important as it provides a foundation for improving your processes. During this first step, you should name the process and its purpose, as well as its starting and ending points, inputs and outputs, and your overall requirements. It would also be a good idea to identify the customers and suppliers who will be affected by this process.
  • The next step involves identifying areas of improvement that are needed. This process is usually done by selecting a random sampling of a particular product that is being manufactured. This product is then tested for a variety of things that will have an impact on the end user and consumer. This can include durability, materials, toxicity, and so forth. There are a number of ways to go about this in manufacturing. Some of the more common areas of improvement in manufacturing include disintegration of parts, loose fasteners, and so forth and should be a main focus.
  • Next, identify potential solutions for the problems. Once the problems have been identified, it is important to then find solutions for them. Brainstorm with the committee, or consult specialists or higher ups in the manufacturing plants that can help you to arrive at the best possible solution. Additionally, you will want to get feedback from those who work on or with the process on a daily basis.
  • After you have identified problem areas and then brainstormed for improvements, you will need to develop a more detailed solution for each problem area. In detailing how to solve the problem, include a budget, determine what personnel are necessary for making the improvements, conduct a projected cost analysis, and a time frame for completing the overall improvements. You will also need to determine how the rest of the manufacturing plant will be affected by this and whether it will slow production at any level.
  • Put your plan for smooth process manufacturing into action. After a detailed plan has been made, it is time to implement it to improve your processes. Now is the time to involve everyone, from the highest levels of management in the manufacturing company down to the workers who utilize the process.
  • Evaluate. Once you have put your plan into action and have achieved the results from it, you will need to evaluate your improvement process as a whole. Ask yourselves if the process had its desired effect. Was the process successful? Was the process smooth? Did it fix the problem? Did it eliminate waste? Did you implement the improvements on time and within budget? All of these factors should be taken into consideration.
  • Continue to repeat steps two and six as often as necessary to achieve improvement within the manufacturing plant. The overall goal is to decrease the need for a committee, and instead have all members of the plant continually working to improve.
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