Whether you’re the owner of a smaller machine shop, or the floor supervisor of a larger, enterprise-scale manufacturing business, there are always ways you can cut costs, increase project turnaround speed, and improve the profitability of the company.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 5 of the ways that manufacturing companies can increase the efficiency of their press brake operations. If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to operate with a more lean business strategy, and you’ll minimize waste and other expenses. Let’s get started.
- Start By Identifying Areas Of Improvement
To achieve a goal, it must first be defined. That means you have to do the legwork to analyze your current press brake operational efficiency – and identify areas of improvement. These areas of improvement will differ for each company.
One great way to do this is simply by recording press brake operations for a given day – and analyzing the result. Does the operator have to travel across the shop for a tool? How efficient is the process of removing finished parts? Is the operator bending the part inefficiently?
Once you’ve found the areas of high inefficiency, you can develop a program to help reduce these issues – and create a more lean, effective workplace.
- Create Standards And Best Practices For Programming And Bend Sequencing
Having standardized practices for offline programming – such as creating setup sheets and other visuals that travel with each production order – can help maximize efficiency when programming and sequencing bends.
If all of your employees follow best practices for bend efficiency, and are given the tools and instructions they need when bending parts, you will be able to minimize waste and maximize productivity.
- Keep Tools And Workplaces Neat And Well-Organized
A disorganized workplace is an inefficient workplace. If a worker even has to divert their attention for a minute or two in order to locate a missing tool, they are reducing the operational efficiency of your entire shop.
However, this should not be seen as a failing of the worker. Often, shop floors are set up organically – without much attention paid to efficiency and organization. You should do your best to help your operators keep their work area clean, and provide them with the storage and organizational tools that they need.
- Use Shadow Boards To Help With Organization And Efficiency
Shadow boards have been used in shops and at-home workbenches for centuries. Shadow boards are simply a display that shows the outline of each individual tool that is to be stored or hung up in the storage cabinet.
Setting up a shadow board makes it easy for a worker to find the tools they need – and to replace them in the proper location. This eliminates the time spent searching for the proper tool, enhancing operator efficiency by quite a bit.
- Get Your Whole Team On Board
It’s not easy to make sweeping operational changes in any company, especially when you have to put your companies press brakes for sale and your workers have to wait and retrain on a new one. If your employees are stuck in their ways, or prefer to do things the way that they always have, they may not enjoy being told to change.
However, you need the buy-in of all your personnel to make these changes. So make sure that your engineers and managers are on-board, and encourage feedback and participation from your equipment operators, so that they feel they have a voice.
You may also want to consider implementing new changes slowly and gradually. This allows your machinists and equipment operators to get used to the new policies, without damaging their workflow.
Follow These Tips – And Maximize The Efficiency Of Your Press Brake Operations Today!
Change is not easy in any workplace – but making these changes in your workshop is sure to have a number of benefits – from lower project turnaround time, to increased efficiency and lower levels of waste. So get started today, and see how positive change can help you run a better business.