If you work any sort of manufacturing job, you know that having a solid manufacturing plant floor plan is absolutely essential.
Picture the factory you work in. It doesn’t matter if you’re making cars or plastics or even household products, there’s likely a lot of equipment used to get from the first step to the last step in the manufacturing process. Having a poor factory layout leads to employees getting bunched up together and could ultimately lead to a decrease in production.
Bottom line: factories need a manufacturing plant floor plan that works and works for everyone. If you’re wondering what exactly an efficient manufacturing plant floor looks like, there are some tips:
- Fewer workplace accidents
- Decreased labor costs
- Equipment running efficiently
- An increase in production, meaning products are produced and delivered on time
- Fewer maintenance costs
It’s easy to point out things that make for an effective factory layout or manufacturing plant floor plan, but you’re probably wondering about how to go about turning such a thing into reality. Ultimately, you’re looking to maximize efficiency and production and the following tips can help you make a floor plan to meet both goals:
- Collaborate: One of the best things a company can do when trying to come with a manufacturing plant floor plan is collaborate. There are more than 700,000 process improvement consulting firms worldwide that can offer help and advice for any and all aspects of business. If your company is looking for a factory layout consultant, there’s a high probability there’s one who deals with what your company does.
Part of the collaboration process also involves listening to concerns from employees. The rank-and-file everymen and everywomen are the ones on the production floor every day cranking out products and dealing with safety issues and equipment issues. Listening to employees can offer higher-ups some valuable insight that they might not get otherwise. It’s easy to judge manufacturing processes from afar, but the ones in the thick of it every day can offer some constructive feedback.
- Take stock of what’s there: As companies take a look at their factory layouts, one of the best things to do at the beginning is to take stock of what’s already there and possibly try to fix any issues with what’s available. When it comes to designing your floor plan, it’s important to leave no stone unturned.
- Use technology: One of the greatest culprits in production decline is old equipment and a lack of technology. If your company is experiencing such issues, it’s more than likely time to upgrade. Investing in new equipment can be costly upfront, but it’s more than worth it.
- Organization: When it comes to good factory layout, solid organization is paramount. The best companies have top-notch organization which keeps things smooth and efficient. If you’re going to move tools and equipment around as part of your new floor plan, do so in ways that increase efficiency and make things easier for everyone. One of the best things you can do is create a layout map of your new floor plan that shows just where everything is. This way, employees can find vital information and important tools at a moment’s notice.
- More education: A new manufacturing floor plan is great, but what will make it work even better with increased employee education. Investing in educational programs can help employees understand their job duties much better and how everything in the company plant is supposed to work and be laid out. Think of it as a type of cross-training where employees gain new knowledge and skills.
- More accountability: Accountability can have a negative connotation in some business circles because it may give the impression that a company is only about results. But really, accountability is about getting employees on the same page and working together to meet a common goal. When that happens, everyone wins. Holding employees accountable also helps a company improve its expectations and standards, increasing efficiency and decreasing lost production time or manufacturing losses. Bottom line: when people are held accountable, safety becomes more important and a company is more efficient at everything it does.
If a company is trying to come up with a new facility design or a new floor plan, there are endless possibilities when it comes to improving production and efficiency.