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Great ideas that you should consider for your production line

  • By Chris Thorpe
  • October 18, 2017
  • Food

Uptime and efficiency on your production line. It’s inextricably bonded to your profits. To put it another way: maximising throughput, whilst ensuring quality, is the best way to maximise your revenue. Here are some ideas for making sure your production environment is as productive as possible.

Organisation strategy

The first thing to do before taking action is to sit back and observe. The most important step of Lean Sigma philosophy is the “Define” stage. Where are the pain points in your current workflow? Look at your people, your processes and your production equipment to identify areas where improvements can be made.

Another thing to consider (that’s often overlooked) is the layout of your production or manufacturing environment. From materials to machine tools, everything should be organised logically and cohesively. Does your current layout maximise efficiency?

Metal detection technology

Nobody wants to find metal in their moussaka. That’s why as a safety precaution, many food manufacturers install metal detectors on their production lines. Metal detection can occur at various points throughout your production line, ensuring no metal contaminants fall into your produce. As well as monitoring food, installing metal detectors could protect your machinery. Even the smallest particle can lead to machinery malfunction.

X-ray technology

Of course when it comes to identifying foreign objects, metal detectors have one major limitation. They can only spot metallic objects. That’s why some food manufacturers are transitioning towards X-ray systems that can detect a vast range of contaminants, such as glass, rubber and plastic.

The transition to X-ray is underway, but it won’t happen overnight. The technology is pricey and it’s thought that sales of metal detectors currently eclipse sales of x-ray systems by a ratio of 10:1.

Sealing technology

The sealing operation is often a bottleneck area of the production line. Manufacturers face a range of challenges, particularly in the food and beverage manufacturing industry. Sealing technology needs to allow packaging to withstand oils, acids, salts etc, as well as adhering with hygiene standards. Finding the right solution can make or break your quest for productivity - and its importance cannot be overlooked. Time, as well as the integrity of the seal, is of the essence. It’s a complicated balancing act.

Mixed reality - Microsoft HoloLens

The latest production line innovations hitting the market are seriously futuristic. A major player has adopted Microsoft’s HoloLens mixed reality headsets. The headsets have been given to their on-site service engineers and enables them to connect via live video to global production line diagnostic experts, who guide service engineers through the resolution of equipment faults. The aim is to reduce machine downtime and boost productivity.

Cloud technology (Domino Ax Series)

Every element of your production line requires maintenance now and then to keep your operations consistently productive. But how do you know when? Here to take the hassle and guesswork out of maintenance is Domino Cloud.

It’s a remote monitoring platform for our revolutionary Ax-Series of continuous ink jet printers that ensures maintenance is completed with the least possible impact on your production line.

It works like this. Your printer sends information to the Domino Cloud, where performance is monitored by specialist Domino engineers. If there’s a problem, Domino can often fix it remotely, without any disruption to your production. Otherwise Domino Helpdesk will talk you through a fast and effective fix before the problem disrupts production, or they can schedule an engineer to visit you with the parts required to fix the problem ahead of a future incident.

Minimum downtime, maximum productivity.

Advanced printing and labelling technology

Outdated printing and labelling technology creates a number of production inefficiencies. Firstly it slows the overall speed of your throughput. Secondly it requires lots of scheduled downtime for maintenance. And thirdly it can cause printing and coding errors that can leave you needing to reprint entire batches of product.

The latest printing and coding technology has been designed with productivity and uptime in mind to help manufacturers stay competitive. Domino has a range of sophisticated printing and labelling technology that provides quality, flexibility and value for money.

Regardless of the application, substrate or manufacturing environment, Domino has the fast and flexible technology to enhance your production line efficiency. No more illegible codes or incorrect placement. Reduce or eliminate your product recalls.

Over to you...

The latest technologies are revolutionising output, quality and efficiency on the production line. Take an honest look at your existing output levels, use continuous improvement processes and methodologies such as Lean 6 Sigma, and consider how exciting new technologies could boost your bottom line.

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