10 Advantages of Shop Floor Control
In this article, we explore the world of shop floor planning, from the advantages, the different aspects you need to consider, and how you can implement it into your manufacturing business.
Shop floor planning and control is the process of using methods and tools to track, schedule, and report the status of work-in-progress (WIP) manufacturing from your floor-level, giving you a clear channel of communication between your operators and managers on the production line.
Shop floor activity control is an essential tool for the effective implementation of your:
— Controlling priorities in production; and
— Minimizing WIP and finished goods inventories.
But what is the workflow of shop floor planning?
The Three Phases of Shop Floor Control
Shop floor planning concerns the management of your operations, inventory, equipment, and workers.
And your shop floor planning and control will go through these three phases:
— Order release;
— Order scheduling; and
— Order progress.
Phase 1 – Order Release
Using shop floor applications, the master production schedule will inform which manufacturing order needs to be generated.
Then from there, the order release document will inform the shop floor management boards of the resources and manufacturing processes needed to complete the order.
Phase 2 – Order Scheduling
Once the order release has been generated, shop floor applications will schedule the production of the order, while providing you with a detailed workflow of the manufacturing route the order will pass through.
The order scheduling phase will explain:
— The work stations the order passes through; and
— The materials and quantity needed for the order.
This allows managers and employees to understand what needs to be done, who needs to do it, and how it needs to be done.
Phase 3 – Order Progress
The shop floor scheduling boards monitor the progress of the manufacturing order and various other operations within your manufacturing business.
Giving you breakdowns of:
— The entire overview of in-waiting, WIP, and finished manufacturing orders;
— Individual orders along the production line; and
— The employees who are working, about to work, or have worked on an order.
So, that’s the workflow, what’re the advantages of shop floor control?
Using shop floor management boards aren’t only going to give you access to automated manufacturing, but also get more control and visibility over your production lines and operators.
So, here are the advantages of shop floor control:
1. Real-Time Information
Shop floor planning and control software give you real-time updates immediately, allowing managers and operators to understand the progress of manufacturing orders passing through the factory.
This up-to-minute information from your shop floor planning software enables you to identify problems on your production line and make changes to your production schedule on the fly.
2. Reduced Costs
Shop floor management lean practices will help you locate areas along your production line that needs improvement, such as areas that’s prone to bottlenecks in manufacturing.
Improving the efficiency of your manufacturing will allow you to:
— Reduce your manufacturing overheads; and
— Increase your profit margin by avoiding delays from unexpected problems emerging.
3. Resource Planning
One of the other advantages of shop floor control is how easy it is to allocate resources to other tasks as the software can handle the production process efficiently.
Not only will shop floor planning software help you automate your resource allocation and workflow but because it helps you perform these tasks quicker, you remove the need to have a team member stuck in inefficient spreadsheets developing the master production schedule.
4. Problems and Variations Become Transparent
Shop floor management boards give managers and operators an overview of any relevant information, open topics, and manufacturing orders in production, so everyone can be on the same page, and work toward a shared goal.
This means everyone can start their workday with a complete understanding of what is happening along the production line.
5. Direct Support of Management
Everyone within the business can communicate with each other quickly and efficiently, which will allow them to solve issues faster, and keep production going without delays.
Having your shop floor data in one place, and easily accessible, means you don’t have to waste time trying to explain issues or waste time giving feedback to other departments when trying to address an issue.
6. Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
It probably goes without saying, but a skilled and experienced team with be crucial for a successful production run.
Using shop floor applications will allow you to communicate back to your team on performance levels, and help provide more training for those underperforming, boosting productivity.
7. Quality Control
Shop floor control software gives your managers the ability to trace:
— Batch failures;
— Material waste; and
— Separate repairable batch failures from the main inventory.
While your operators will be easily able to measure and report material waste, while identifying batch failures as recoverable or not.
8. Price Products Fairly
As already mentioned under KPI’s, improved analytics and reporting means you can gather data on:
— Operators (working hours, break times, downtime);
— Production lead time estimations; and
— The workload a workstation can take and it’s capacity.
This information will help you better understand how many products you can produce at any given time and the value of those products.
9. Project-Based Purchasing
Perfect for businesses that practice bespoke manufacturing.
Although shop floor manufacturing software does support both make to order (MTO) and make to stock (MTS), the software will help you with material procurement for:
— Custom projects;
— MTO; or
— Assemble to order (ATO) jobs.
However, it doesn’t have to be one or the other, shop floor planning software can help you switch between workflows for individual projects.
10. Paperless Manufacturing
Adopting shop floor planning on your production lines allows you to achieve a paperless manufacturing workflow, by giving you the tools to:
— Schedule production;
— Track progress; and
— Manage your entire business from a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
So, that’s the 10 advantages of shop floor control. But, what are the other aspects you need to be aware of with shop floor planning?
Can Production Environment Influence Shop Floor Control?
How you tackle your shop floor control will all depend on the type of industry you operate in, as we have briefly touched on with the different manufacturing workflows.
Depending on the workflow you follow, or the manufacturing processes you adopt, your shop floor control will change to incorporate:
— Due dates;
— Promised delivery dates; and
— The sequencing of manufacturing orders through the manufacturing route.
For example, a make-to-stock workflow handles a high volume of finished goods. To achieve this high-volume, the manufacturer will make products in a flow shop or continuous manufacturing flow, which will require the shop floor planning software to perform flow control.
Production Activity Control
Production activity control in shop floor planning is the process of coordinating your:
— Manufacturing resources;
— Productions orders;
— Schedules; and
— Material consumption.
Production activity control is going to be responsible for executing your plans with proper guidance on how to complete production.
Shop floor management boards will allow you to analyze which workloads you should prioritize to a workstation and the ideal capacity that a workstation can take before it becomes under or overworked.
Material Requirement Planning System
Material requirement planning (MRP) systems are inventory management tools for improving productivity for manufacturing businesses.
Essentially, the purpose of MRP systems is to tell you the number of materials and finished goods you need to meet demand and at what point you’ll need those quantities.
Your MRP will be able to figure out these quantities by using your:
Which will detail the materials, components, and sub-assemblies needed to make a product.
Once you’ve set up your resources and operations, the MRP system will formulate a plan for a manufacturing order, so you know the:
— Labor needed; and
— Machines and tools needed.
How to Improve Shop Floor Planning and Control?
Although shop floor planning and control can be performed via spreadsheets or a Kanban board, it’s going to take up time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere in your business.
By using Smart Manufacturing Software, you can make shop floor management lean with:
Automated manufacturing processes will save you time and money by improving the accuracy of your shop floor control.
Using automated tools will allow you to collect in-depth data from on the shop floor, providing you with an overview of the production processes.
Streamline how you develop your schedules with automated production scheduling and have materials and resources assigned to manufacturing orders automatically.
Have a centralized overview of your entire manufacturing process to view:
— Inventory management;
— Production planning; and
— Floor-level progress of operators.
So, here is how you can improve your shop floor planning and control, but what’s the best tool for the job?
Shop Floor Planning with Katana Smart Manufacturing Software
Katana Smart Manufacturing Software is an all-in-one solution made by manufacturers, for modern manufacturers, who’re looking to get more control over their:
— Raw material and finished goods inventory;
— Production planning; and
— Shop floor control.
Smart Manufacturing Software is built to support shop floor planning by giving you the tools for:
Planning the Work
Manufacturing orders are automatically split into tasks, and those tasks are automatically assigned to operators and resources.
However, managers can easily transfer and reassign tasks if you need to change the workflow.
Managers can assign tasks to operators and track the progress of those tasks. While operators can:
— Receive tasks;
— Start tasks;
— Pause tasks; and
— Complete tasks.
Get a better understanding of your operator's working hours, break times, downtimes, and the set-up and clean-up time with improved tracking.
Analytics and Reporting
Finally, Katana’s shop floor planning software allows you to gather data on your business’s performance, so you can better understand:
— Price estimation based on actual time;
— Product lead-time estimation;
— Shop floor employee efficiency; and
— Labor costs.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about shop floor planning and control in production planning.
If you want to improve your shop floor planning today, you can do it today by taking advantage of our 14-day free trial, and see how the software benefits your business.
We hope that you found this article useful, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’d be more than happy to answer them.
And until next time, happy manufacturing.