Speeding Up the Line

Sometimes speed is the name of the game. Fast cars, fast internet, fast pizza delivery. For some things faster is better, but that’s not always the case.

Let’s say that you want to increase the speed in your plant. Speeding things up isn’t a problem, but is your current equipment capable of supporting the newfound speed?

A case study

A while back, one of our clients sank a large sum to up the pace of his plant’s packaging section. He was successful in speeding up the line, going from 800 to 1600 widgets per minute. Good deal, right?

The bad news was, the batching capacity of the plant  wasn’t able to exceed 1.1 times the speed of the original rate. So the client had put all of this money into a speed increase that he couldn’t even use without building an entire new batch setup for higher capacity.

The root of the problem

The root of the problem is looking at issues in isolation. You think to yourself, “Hey, if my lines were faster I could produce more. If I produce more I can make more money!” This train of thought is like thinking you can cannonball into a pool and the only effect is that you get soaked.

That’s not the whole story, though. You cannonball in, and the waves you create work their way out, pushing inflatable pool toys to edges of the pool. Plus you made a huge splash that soaked everybody sitting poolside. If you make changes to your system, you will certainly have effects in other parts of the system.

This is a common issue that comes up in upgrading. It’s easy to get gung-ho on the glitz of a speedy system, but just remember, all that speed means nothing if you’re not thinking about it in relation to the whole system.

When your Indramat components need support, think of us.