Five Fundamental Keys to Manufacturing Efficiency

Functional excellence is not enough to stay competitive in today’s manufacturing landscape. Maintaining a profitable, competitive and sustainable business today requires that organizations achieve efficiencies across each stage of the value stream. Creating and sustaining manufacturing efficiencies, however, can be challenged by a variety of factors, including a growing competitive marketplace, shifting customer demand, rapid introduction of new technologies, rising raw material costs, diminishing manufacturing expertise, as well as organizational, cultural, and process change management obstacles.

While these are not new challenges, manufacturers must address and overcome them to stay competitive. Legacy approaches to production management focused on linear; localized optimizations are no longer suitable. Instead, companies must establish a holistic strategy of flexible, adaptive, inter-linked production and operations systems. The strategy must focus on five fundamental keys to manufacturing efficiency—what we call the “5M’s of Efficiency:”

Man: Skilled, satisfied workers boost efficiency from the shop floor to the top floor. Fostering a high level of individual worker knowledge, enthusiasm, and motivation produces employees that contribute value to the processes and standards around them, boosting productivity and efficiency in each operational stage.

Material: Good materials make great products. Sound material choices, prevention of workpiece contamination, reduced use of consumables, incorporation of superior precision tooling, and clean and healthy environments both inside and outside of an organization contribute to the efficiency of manufacturing processes.

Machine: Efficient machines increase overall plant productivity. Reliable, durable, and flexible tools achieve maximum efficiency for each process. Work holding systems ensure greater precision and increased tool life. Application engineering solutions incorporate careful measurement and research with detailed knowledge of the full range of available technology to design efficient manufacturing applications.

Methods: Carefully designed, state-of-the-art smart manufacturing methods and processes boost plant efficiency. Utilizing the latest solutions and strategies in production management—from error proofing techniques to automated asset monitoring, Statistical Process Control (SPC) and Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA)—helps create a leaner, more efficient production environment.

Money: Meaningful metrics increase profitability. Comprehensive, real-time data collection and statistical analysis of processes, machines, and other assets are critical to maintaining maximum efficiency of operations and budgets. Consistent monitoring of each asset’s availability, performance, and quality facilitates the improvement of operational efficiency and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), a key indicator of how materials, manpower, machinery, and methods are affecting overall operations.

Successfully addressing each of the 5Ms prepares organizations for the appropriate application of smart technologies and solutions, and ultimately efficiency across every phase of production and operations. Adopting techniques that create incremental improvements across the value stream cuts costs, frees resources, decreases lead times, and increases overall productivity, quality and efficiency.

Call us at 513.719.1600 to learn more about how you can successfully address the 5Ms to boost efficiency across production and operations.