A Can Maker’s Guide to Cutting Cost and Increasing Profits
by Niña Munoz, Marketing Executive
Published: July 11, 2019
Producing quality end products is a can manufacturer’s number one goal. When good quality products are made, business relationships with clients flourish and the business keeps going. Then there’s process optimization, this is where you maximize capability without sacrificing quality.
Most can makers have their own game plan in achieving these two goals: produce more and earn more. In a bid to help can makers save more from unnecessary costs due to process inefficiency; we have listed five simple guidelines to cut down costs and save more:
1. Identify the weakest link in your production
Evaluate your process before you optimize. A solution is always identified when specific problems are defined. Identify the bottlenecks in between your production phases because your process is only as strong as your weakest point.
2. Reducing cost failures
Reducing failures means not having a room for defective products in the production. Defective products do not only contribute to spoilage, delayed delivery, and unplanned down time, it is also the major cause of damaged brand reputation. To avert these, it is recommended to know how these defects are formed and where they are formed. There are two types of cost failures due to defective products:
a. External failures – these are failures that reach the customers, e.g., product defects like badly welded cans, double body cans, cans with missing lacquer, etc. Products like these are produced when a process equipment fails, or the process is not controlled. These failures are highly expensive because it can cause you a lot of customer complaints, lost reputation, poor business or even lawsuits! Preventing the occurrence of these defects is the only answer to this problem. Badly welded cans are often caused by margins contaminated by lacquer, water splashes or dirt. To solve this problem, proper detection of contaminated margins is needed. Cans with missing lacquer also result in several problems like corrosion and food contamination. The good news is that there are now sensors available in the market to easily detect these problems immediately!
b. Internal failures – these failures are those defective products that are detected and/or corrected before customer delivery. These failures usually cost less than external failures. Nonetheless, they still contribute to expenses that are unnecessary. Costs from these failures consist of collecting and correcting a batch of products, changing the production plan in the last minute which could lead to down time, delivery delays and more labor hours. Again, preventing these defects to form will save your company a lot of money!
3. Invest in quality and effective tools
Sometimes, the way to save money is to spend it. By investing in quality tools, you are spending your money wisely. Buying cheap tools, which sometimes are with poor quality, has never been a good idea. Poor quality products break sooner and do not deliver 100%. You also do not get a guarantee of the measurement accuracy and reliability. As a result, you will end up spending more to (again) buy a replacement in the future.
People choose to buy cheaper things when they care less about the goal. When a person wants to buy a car or a house, which is of importance to him, he will often think of the quality regardless of the price. So, when buying quality assurance tools for double sheet detection, UV Logging, or enamel rating, always ask yourself: will this tool elevate my production efficiency?
4. Workforce optimization
In the manufacturing industry, one way to increase employee productivity is by installing user-friendly tools and equipment. These tools will help increase the productivity of people working in a factory by not requiring too much attention. For quality checking, quality assurance tools also need to be easy to maintain so that employees can save time and focus more on other important matters. In addition, using tools that do not require human intervention leads to less mistakes done by operators.
5. Maintain a simpler process
The simpler the process the better: simple and easy assembly of tools, simple instructions to follow and simple process error detection. Setting up control systems like sheet skew detectors and margin inspectors will help simplify and monitor the production. These control systems should also be simple to set up so that no time is wasted, and efficiency is maximized. Control systems with lesser number of parts like cables and controllers also help can makers save space in the production. By using tools that are not complicated to install, maintain, and calibrate, you are making it easier for your manufacturing process to produce more and earn more profits.
Earning more profit does not always equate to more products manufactured. It is about making more satisfied customers and wiser use of time in the production. By following the simple guidelines mentioned above, your productivity improvement and line efficiency are almost guaranteed with better products ready to reach your customers.
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