Machine Hours and Man Hours
Equipment efficiency is measured in operating hours, energy consumption, output, processing losses, and so on. Man, too, likes to measure his work time in hours. Managing employee hours and maximizing equipment performance is a topic we regularly discuss with our customers and prospects.
Processing equipment, such as extruders, presses, hammer mills, mixers and coolers, are designed to operate 24/7. The only downtime should be to perform routine maintenance or during exceptional circumstances, like power outages. The challenge operations face is how to balance the length of a shift while operating equipment 24/7. These solutions vary based on labor laws and availability.
While an 8 hour working day is the norm in many parts of the world, some companies run production shifts of 10 or 12 hours. I still get surprised when companies say they intend to run their equipment only one shift of 8 hours per day, two shifts, or ‘20 hours per day’, not running optimally running their equipment 24/7 therefore not allowing themselves to maximize profitability.
Another thing to consider when measuring the efficiency of your equipment, is that extruders have wear parts, such as screws, steam locks and nose cones. These wear over time, but proper cleaning of raw material, an implemented maintenance schedule, and using genuine parts will prolong the life of parts and help optimize end-product quality. This will minimize downtime and drive further efficiencies in your plant.
Properly managing your operator and equipment hours results in higher efficiency. If you have any questions on ways we can help your plant increase productivity and efficiency, send us a message.