Work flow is vitally important to any company’s success, but it’s even more critical in the manufacturing industry, where proper work flow not only improves time efficiency but reduces accidents – and in some industries, serious accidents can jeopardize employee safety. Pinning down, refining and improving your company’s work flow is the first priority for managers, but in too many cases they place the full burden of adaptation on staff or tools and machinery, when the real barrier to inefficiency is inappropriate industrial furniture.
A key industrial workbench can influence every aspect of your work flow. The right one improves flow – the work one hurts it. Let’s examine examples from the four main elements of work flow:
Processes: Proper workstations can make or break the construction of processes. For example, if you don’t have workbenches that are large enough to accommodate a full step you must divide it into sub-steps, increasing overall production time and staffing. If two workers need to be side by side in a particular location, the industrial workbench must fit both the site and workers.
Planning and Scheduling: Your goal is to keep maximum uptime with minimum expenditures. You might require workers to “hot desk” between shifts. Each choice needs to be supported with the proper furniture. If you have hot-desking IT requirements you need room for a workstation computer and its cabling – and ergonomic aids to maintain worker efficiency.
Flow Control: Can you start, stop and modify a moving work flow easily? Without an organized production process the answer is probably “no.” For instance, you may require a flow rack workstation that can act as a hub for the transportation of finish products and components. Without it, you must rely on a process external to the workstation (staff consultation, a database, etc.), increasing the number of steps to both stop and start work.
Transit Visibility: When one workstation evolves into a miscellaneous hub for problem solving this can look like a good solution in the short term, but eventually that space becomes inefficient and swamped with half-finished work. Custom workbenches designed as checkpoints for specific parts of a work flow improve both flow and visibility. Managers need only go to the responsible workstation, either physically or through the station’s computer.
As you can see, it isn’t enough to have the right tools and people. They need a working environment that supports the safest, most efficient operations. That’s what we provide at RDM. Contact us for a quote on industrial workbenches and other furniture that will improve your work flow.