Increasing Floor Space Utilization in Large Part Production
You may have heard the adage, “Time is money.” This means that the more production you can squeeze out in a specific period, the more money you will make. However, in addition to making the most of time, you should also use manufacturing and warehouse space efficiently to boost your bottom line.
You probably know that the warehouse and manufacturing space is at a premium nowadays. This is why the cost of under-utilizing your production floor or space adds up quickly. When your company realizes that its manufacturing operations are growing beyond your current usable space, you may choose to expand the existing facility.
However, keep in mind that in many cases, this is not necessary and with industrial space at a premium may not always be feasible.
Instead of expanding, better and more efficient space utilization can offer more usable space in the current dimensions of your production facility. Did you know that low manufacturing space utilization is often a result of a poor layout? This is usually caused by inefficient material flow and operations.
Most manufacturing companies place a high value on increasing production capacity. Better space utilization is especially valuable to achieve this goal.
Calculating Space Utilization in Large Part Production
There is no doubt that space usage or utilization has always been one of the key priorities for major stakeholders in a company. However, recent international events, including the pandemic, have forced many bricks and mortar manufacturing facilities and large part manufacturers to analyze the utility metrics even more thoroughly.
Note that measuring the space utilization of your manufacturing facility is an important part of managing your organization’s budget as well as resource allocation. You will likely have a specific motive for measuring or calculating space utilization.
To calculate space utilization, it is important to consider a combination of different metrics like occupancy rates, density, peak usage times, and dwell times.
Boosting Space Utilization
If you have been struggling with boosting production, you can do several things to increase throughput without compromising on quality, such as removing obstacles and reorganizing how you work.
If you would like to maximize your production facility’s space utilization, use these valuable tips.
Organize the Workspace and Improve the Plant Layout
Efficiency and convenience are not the same. Workers leaving tools and inventory out in the open rather than storing them appropriately, for instance, reduces space optimization and may be a sign of a flawed or inefficient process.
On the other hand, reducing clutter and movement helps save time. Reduce distance and travel time wherever possible. Perhaps, you can use a software solution that could improve scheduling.
You should take the following steps:
- Create the optimal layout of materials and tools for the process or job.
- Reduce movement for optimal or highest task efficiency.
- Get rid of unneeded or unused manufacturing tools, equipment, and materials from the production floor.
- Layout your manufacturing floor to optimize efficiency.
You can also implement lean manufacturing strategies, including value stream mapping, audits, and time studies to assess the flow of materials through your production. It will help you identify failures or issues in your plant layout.
Equipped with this knowledge, manufacturing facilities cramped by capacity problems or safety requirements can make considerable and meaningful adjustments on the production floor to streamline logistics, throughput, and flow without immediately concluding that a costly expansion is needed.
Get the Right Tool for the Job
Large part manufacturing means parts need space to move around. For machining large parts the best machine format is a fixed table and moving gantry. This machine type has countless advantages over moving table type machines, notably the significant floor space reduction and unlimited weight capacity. Coupled with angled heads for 5 faced machining or a 2 axis head for full 5-axis, allows more parts to be completed in one setup, without having to move the large part between machines.
Large parts need a lot of space; purchasing a large gantry CNC will make the best use of your valuable floor space and increase your capabilities at the same time.
Automate and Streamline Existing Processes
Utilizing floor space effectively can be achieved with automation and process optimization. It can increase the effectiveness of material handling techniques like using conveyors to transfer objects between machines. When there is a labor shortage, an automated machine can also reduce the number of workers required for a task.
There are several automated solutions for manufacturers and large part production companies, and the right product depends on the nature and type of operation. You can use automated press brake bending cells, smart material handling vehicles, automated storage, and accessories for easy and quick material handling.
Contact Other Organizations
You can get help from other organizations in your area that have spare room in their facility and may agree to house some of your materials and tools in exchange for a nominal fee.
There is no need to do everything yourself. And you can partner with a reliable supplier or another business to free up room in your production facility and focus more on other, more profitable ventures.
For example, you can use contract manufacturing to create more space for in-house product development when you use your space efficiently and delegate some tasks to reliable partners.
Maximizing space utilization is important for all companies, not just those who are considering expanding. If you are running out of floor space in your large manufacturing company, you can use the above strategies and tips to use your available space better.