Production

Production process, capacity and production methods

Production is the making action

The processes and or methods, using ideas, information and knowledge that are used to add value to raw materials, half-finished goods and/or sub-assemblies.

Production in the manufacturing sense, (as opposed to the play/theater sense), is clearly defined as the act of making things. In particular this refers to the act of making commercially salable items, the process adds value to the component parts.

Items that are manufactured that will be sold or otherwise traded commercially, with the intention, no less, of making a profit. All of these are said to go through the production process.

Of course to make a profit, it helps if there is sufficient demand to start with! So prior research and machine data has a lot to do with manufacturing, a classic case of doing your homework first.

Manufacturing decisions initially focus on which items/goods are best to produce and how to produce them, what the costs involved of producing them are.

Then deducing the best mix of suppliers and services resources used to produce these items most efficiently.

This product information can then be combined with market information (data like demand and profit margins) to ascertain the quantity of products to be produced.

Also to engineer the best pricing strategy according to the demand previously researched. Then planning the entire manufacturing operation utilizing production scheduling software and inventory control.

Is an M.I.S. worth it for my type of production?

This does rather lead nicely into this question you may have!

"I do short small order manufacturing runs for just-in-time product deliveries, is it worth getting a machine information system?"

Initially NO my friend, but with a couple more questions answered about your particular small order manufacturing set-up, I would be in a better position to answer that question much more accurately.

Q. How short is your short producing run, also compared to what?

Q. Would any or all of the information you would get from machine information systems aid you in the overall planning and running your manufacturing setup?

Machine information systems were actually created with the sole purpose to gain information/data to aid productive efficiency within a just-in-time manufacturing environment.

A short run may be short for you, but a long run in respect to other people, firms, styles of manufacture. Different methods of manufacturing the very same item can change/improve producing efficiency with very diverse results.

Even short runs could still be well worth the effort of a system though. For instance, a lot of short runs throughout a weeks manufacturing can still add up to a good deal of planning and tracking.

Higher producing capacity needs a lot more manufacturing management of course, this is where productive information and factors of production come into play far more effectively.

Carrying on then, I cant see how you could say no to this one really (hee hee) but I'll ask anyway.

In very brief, if your manufacturing runs are that short or small then don't waste your money. But do read on!

Even so lets look further into this question to answer it more fully.
I'm going to be fairly brief on this page, (what's that i hear... Good!) Because I think pretty much any type of producing line would marry up with a machine information system quite well.

If you have a line or machines setup for continuous production it is obviously an on-going thing. Even if the process as a whole is lengthy to complete. That's not to say you wouldn't benefit from a system of some description.

Good and bad units, per hour/day rate, line efficiency, whether a machine is running or not. All of these would still be useful information, especially if your office is the other side of town!

The final yea or neigh in a low units per hour/day line (or machines) would more than likely be decided by the cost of the system itself. Weighing cost against benefit would put things into perspective in individual cases.

However, on the other end of the scale. If you have say between ten and one hundred machines running at 2000+ units per hour. Then my answer would be, hell yeah!

In this case, your manager or operator, would benefit from such a system. What are the benefits information systems can give?

The more machines there are and the faster they produce would push the balance of benefits against cost, up in favor of the benefits side.

Yes I know, most machines have counters on them, but can they tell you in an instant, operator 4 works best on machine 2? Or maybe operator 3 would be better off in maintenance! Useful info for industrial production managers don't you think?

The aid in keeping track of machine through put, on which machine and the machine operator in particular, would almost be worth the cost on its own. At the very least it would give some very interesting facts to improve operations.

OK, yes I did say I would be brief. At the very basic level at least the following is true, If you have lots of machines running at a fast productive rate, yes it's worth while.

Even if you have a fairly low number of machines and a fast producing rate it's still worth it, but taking cost into consideration.

If however you have a low manufacturing rate and small amount of machines. I would advise you against a system, or at the very least investigate fully first and see if you can trial a system without committing to buy.

If you have a lot of machines running at a slow manufacturing rate to gain capacity and you believe you could really benefit from the information given. You probably will.

My advise in this situation would be to choose a system carefully. Also make sure first and foremost you're getting all your required data.

In all cases here, if you decide you want a system. Make sure of the following points.

1. It will give you all the information/data that you require from it.

2. The system does not have features built into it that you won't use.

3. There is good provision for future changes in your production layout to be incorporated easily and without large (if any) costs.

4. The system itself is not inflexible to showing the information or data that you want now or in the future.

5. The system should be easy to use and mostly automated, you don't want to be spending hours getting the information into and out of it.

The prominent word above is you, before you part with your money, make sure of at least these points. After all wouldn't you want your Machine Information System to be exactly what it promises on the box.

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