Space Utilisation overview

By | December 8, 2017

Veeraja has helped its customers in the automotive components manufacturing save up to 25% on space and other costs with its centralized filtration systems and other types of industrial filters.

Space Utilisation overview

One of the main factors that influence plant productivity is effective space utilisation. Sub-optimal use of available space or poor design can increase power, labour and material movement costs, leading to serious concerns around efficiency, productivity, quality and—eventually—customer satisfaction.

Plant managers know that freeing up precious production space can lead to higher productivity through much-needed buffer storage areas, lower waste through elimination of unnecessary material movement, better accessibility of tools and material for workers, and enhanced safety owing to smoother movement of personnel and mobile equipment inside the plant.

Freeing up valuable space by eliminating redundancies, and reconfiguration of the production layout, can lower costs considerably through reduced power consumption and requirement for non-productive staff.

Buffer Spaces

In automotive component manufacturing, variation in productivities at different stages of production can cause non-availability or piling up of processed materials and components in workstations down the line. This can result in production losses owing to higher idle times or higher WIP at some processing centres. Moreover, in modern markets, demand is a variable. Therefore, the best of JIT implementations are mostly accompanied by designated buffer storage areas, though minimal, along the production line to enable the free flow of components and finished products through the production line.

Within the four corners of an automotive components manufacturing plant, therefore, plant management and vendors alike use analytical approaches to maximise space utilisation to examine various plant layout options to address complex production needs arising because of unpredictable customer demand.

A complex and Demanding Concern

Because of factors such as peak volume considerations, production flexibility, cost minimisation, and lean production requirements that are relevant automotive components manufacturing, Layout generation and evaluation is a difficult challenge and time-consuming task. Since these factors are closely correlated, effectively addressing one is normally at the cost of one or more other such factors.

Also, such planning has to be carried out and implemented with minimal impact on the existing infrastructure to ensure production continuity.

However, when this task is carried out successfully, it can result in higher productivities, lower costs and therefore higher profitability combined with better customer satisfaction.

Why Space Utilisation Matters

Facilities are expensive for component manufacturers to operate. A sub-optimal facility can mean higher power, labour and materials movement cost. Better space utilisation can therefore lower costs significantly and by assuring production-oriented utilisation, enhance productivity considerably.

Moreover, space realised from better utilisation of available production area can result in the effective implementation of vital quality and productivity enhancing programs such as 5s. A certain openness that follows optimal space utilisation can be used to implement low-overhead quality programs such as Jidoka which enable multi-machine handling due to a more open layout and therefore enhance productivity.

Some Simple Ways to Ensure Space Utilization

  • Generate a high-level schematic of your production areas for effective analysis
  • Involve all stakeholders in the space saving exercises, irrespective of hierarchy
  • Move machinery that is not involved in core-production activity to a location outside the main production area
  • Reduce the number of working components and sub-systems where possible
  • Adopt vertical and underground storage and equipment placement options to free up space
  • Analyse stock and processed parts movement to assist planning
  • Implement 5s, lean and Kanban for decluttering, maximum efficiency and continual improvement
  • Involve vendors with a proven track record in space savings where possible
  • Use free plant and real estate planning maintenance software such as openmaint

Veeraja has a proven track record of freeing up space when implementing its industrial filtration systems, while working non-intrusively around complex existing set-ups, with remarkable power savings—up to 50%!
For more details talk to our engineers

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