Improving throughput is almost always a goal in plants in every industry, since increased throughput leads to lower costs and increased profits — and who doesn’t like that?
Often, managers assume that a significant increase in throughput is only possible with a significant upgrade in machinery — or maybe in staff. Calculating the ROI gets tricky, and thoughts of improvement get put aside for later.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
We worked with a company that had an automatic packaging system producing fewer than 600 pieces per minute. Just by upgrading the controls, we brought them to 1400 ppm — more than doubling their productivity.
The change was in the software, and in the use of motion optimization techniques.
The takeaway here is that there’s no reason to assume that improvement will automatically equal enormous changes. The right changes can make a big difference.