Everyone is looking to maximize efficiency in metal fabrication workflows. During the COVID-19 pandemic problems with supply chain issues were laid bare across multiple industries. Suppliers struggled to keep up with the demands of their customers, but it was also an opportunity for innovation in how to maximize efficiency. IMH Products also worked to increase its efficiency, especially as a supplier of American-made parts and components.

Increasing efficiency is a way to reduce costs in manufacturing, which is something that all customers appreciate. It is also a way of increasing the quality of products. There are three key factors in increasing manufacturing efficiency: equipment, employees, and processes. Let’s take a closer look at these critical areas.

Increasing Efficiency with Equipment

Automation and maintenance are two of the best ways to maximize efficiency in metal fabrication workflows. Automation increases turn times on products while also increasing quality. An example is in robotic welding. IMH Products employs both traditional and robotic welding processes. With robotic welding, quality is increased on each part because an accurate, solid weld is delivered every time based on the robot’s programming.

Maintenance is pretty self-explanatory. Well maintained tools and machinery last longer and cut down on production times. By performing routine maintenance on machines it lessens the amount of downtime on equipment due to repairs. Preventive maintenance can create greater metalworking productivity. Companies should use preventative maintenance to reduce the likelihood of equipment failure and extend the lifespan of their equipment.

Upgrading Processes

In addition to working with properly maintained equipment, increases in efficiency can be found in working on manufacturing processes. This includes:

Floor Management Systems – Computer programs called Manufacturing Execution Systems help manage and control manufacturing processes from the shop floor. This provides real-time visibility into operations.

Organization – Keeping the entire operation from the production floor to the storage and office spaces organized is critical. This includes the arrangement of machines to speed up manufacturing. It is also important to label tools, parts, materials, and other items.

Supplier Management – Working with multiple vendors means developing a cohesive system to provide for them. Vendor management software can strengthen partnerships with long-term vendors and provide real-time visibility into vendor performances.

Investing in Employees

Your employees on the floor are the most valuable asset for maximizing efficiency in metal fabrication workflows. Even with automation skilled workers are essential. That is why employers who want efficient production are wise to invest in their employees.

Working with new employees to develop skills on the job is a great way to increase retention rates. When combined with quarterly and annual reviews this allows them (and you) to see where they are progressing and where they could improve.

Collaboration between departments is also important. At IMH Products, for example, the laser cutting department must work with other departments because they cut the basic forms that are later finished, welded, formed, or machined. Collaboration across our multiple plants is also critical. If you set a realistic goal, clearly communicate that goal to staff, and foster a work environment that helps your employees feel empowered, you can achieve that goal.

To learn more on how our team can collaborate to provide components for your business contact us at sales@imh.com.