Equipment Optimization to Drive Profitability
The following post was submitted by 2016 Continuous Improvment Conference sponsor, Heidelberg.
Striving for the most efficient workflow to drive productivity and profitability is one of the underlying goals of many of today’s printing companies. Often, the focus is on being more productive with less by increasing production speeds and reducing makereadies while also reducing touch points throughout the workflow.
There are many tools and techniques that can be used to drive these goals, from procedural/operational changes to new equipment/software acquisitions. The decision on what works best will depend on each individual production facility, the customer base, the verticals addressed and the business philosophy of the company. However, common principles can be applied to every company and optimized to the facility.
Business growth can be equally as important as equipment optimization, depending on the particular company. Too many times the focus is on efficiency in the press room, while neglecting to increase sales, concentrate on the product mix, and optimize business practices prior to production. Focusing only on equipment will certainly improve efficiency, but without a corresponding change in business practices, full benefits will not be achieved. Prior to any optimization process it is essential to understand your current state, as this provides the benchmark for any improvements that are gained. It is also important to prioritize the areas of focus.
Ask yourself the following question: “Can you analyze your current performance?”
In many cases, there is no hard data to back up opinions of how your current equipment is performing and where the opportunities exist to gain additional time. There is often the option to evaluate the equipment itself through existing management systems or third-party data-collection solutions.
There are four main areas that should be considered when optimizing equipment. Neglecting any of them can have a significant effect on the achievable impact: