Use your imagination
There are two ways to view a manufacturing plant. One is as a homogeneous entity, completely intertwined and interdependent. That plant is a continuous flow of materials, talent, and purpose, all pointed toward an end goal of manufacturing excellence.
We’re going to take a look at the other plant—the smaller areas of excellence that make up that one big unit. From energy to safety to moving materials through the facility, a plant is also the sum of all of its continuously moving parts. Each year, we take a look at some of the best practices in different areas throughout a plant that contribute to success.
Best practices require time and study. They’re about being good, and then not settling for just being good. The term "continuous improvement" gets tossed around a lot because it is a noble goal, but it first requires a sense that improvement is possible. That requires great data, but it also requires looking beyond the data to see what is possible. It requires great imagination on the part of the plant manager. It is not enough to simply know what the current state of your plant operation is; you also must know what it could be.
Here are a few quick tips in some important areas. These "2015 Best Practices" can save time and money as well as make you safer and more productive. They also can be the starting point to discuss other ways your operation can improve. Use your imagination, and engage the imagination of your employees, and see the possibilities.
-Bob Vavra, Content Manager, Plant Engineering