What Mills Can Do to Expand Their Operation
It wouldn´t be correct to answer the question of “what can I do to expand my operation?” right away with a proposal involving capital investment, which certainly is the easiest answer, but not always the best one for your business. When I get asked that question, my response is to thoroughly analyze the status of operations and staff using the following questions to trigger feedback.
- Do we know the performance of our plant? Does it meet specifications or what it is expected from its design? Have we conducted a detailed assessment of its efficiency and output?
- Are we measuring the downtime? Are we trying to reduce it to the minimum acceptable? What measures have been taken to address and minimize downtime?
- Do we have a Maintenance plan? Are our operators adequately trained to handle the equipment and maintain it properly?
These three areas of questioning should lead to a detailed analysis, and new questions will arise from there naturally. You will immediately identify different areas where improvements could be made to the actual plant.
Some examples are:
- Confirm equipment is working at full operating capacity, this involves knowing specifications of each equipment, and maintenance status.
- Identify any bottlenecks in your process that may hinder performance.
- Identify, sort, and reduce downtime by implementing repair strategies.
- Establish a comprehensive Training Program for all operators to enhance their skills and knowledge.
Once you have identified and addressed areas of improvement, you should set accomplishable goals and track them. Over time, you will start to observe the positive results of these efforts.
Hopefully after going through this process, you have identified and improved your plants’ operational efficiency. So, we are now in a good position to discuss if more capacity is needed.
We will be happy to assist you in identifying the best options for you, whether involves identifying operational efficiencies, adding additional processing lines, or replacing existing ones with bigger capacity. Please don’t’ hesitate to reach out to your Insta-Pro representative for help and guidance.