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When it comes to manufacturing, there’s always one area of the production line that seems to slow everything down. It’s typically referred to as a bottleneck, which by definition occurs when input (typically materials) comes in faster than the next step can use it to create output. Bottlenecks can happen at all stages of your facility, from production to distribution to fulfillment. If you can identify the bottlenecks and apply solutions to fix them, you can increase your glass manufacturing plant’s overall speed, productivity and ultimately your bottom line.
In an assembly plant, a bottleneck is fairly straight forward to identify by looking for the typical signs: backlogged work or lots of waiting (for people or for materials). What’s not as easy is identifying the root cause of the bottleneck. Sakichi Toyoda, one of the fathers of the Japanese industrial revolution, developed the technique of the 5 Whys in the 1930s as a way to find the root cause of a production line issue. The 5 Why’s is a remarkably simple approach. Essentially, you ask “why” 5 times until you arrive at your root cause of a problem.
A simple example on a glass shop floor might be that orders are constantly in jeopardy of being late. Using the 5 Why’s, we would ask:
Issue: Orders are shipped late, causing potential customer issues
Products received to be shipped are damaged causing a delay waiting for more product to be produced
Why are products damaged?
Workers have to transport glass across the shop floor and breakage occurs
Why does breakage occur?
We don’t have proper glass handling equipment
Why don’t we have proper glass handling equipment?
Because we don’t know what we need and therefore no decision is made.
And there’s the solution. The root cause is a lack of decision making on purchasing equipment. The easy fix is to delegate the task to someone else, like Wakefield Equipment who offers a variety of glass handling solutions for bottlenecks throughout your production line and is well versed in what glass handling equipment can make the most impact at each stage of the manufacturing line.
Wakefield Equipment has helped thousands of customers clear their bottlenecks by installing new equipment like:
- Vertical & Horizontal Stretch Wrap Machines: Ensure your products arrive safely to your customers and save time and money with stretch wrap machines vs traditional hand wrapping.
- CartCaddy: This will become your employee’s best friend as they can easily transport materials to wherever they are needed safely.
- Lineal Positioners & Saw Stops: Any operation that you need a tape measure for can be automated and save you considerable amounts of time and materials
- Glass & Material Handling Equipment: From carts and dollies to storage equipment, Wakefield has the equipment your shop needs to ensure your entire line runs smoothly. Read our article on optimizing material handling process for more ideas!
Contact Wakefield Equipment for assistance identifying bottlenecks in your glass manufacturing plant and what products can help!