How To Be Lean in a Batch Production Industry

With the economy so rigid at this time many manufacturers that use the batch processing method for production are looking to cut costs.  But if you're wondering how to go lean with batch systems that are already designed to run for maximum profitability, the answer is careful batch management planning.

Batch processing is already one of the most effective ways to run a business with minimal equipment and maximum product.  The trick to running leaner in a tough economy is to purchase in bulk and stock up on product.  There really is no other viable way to do trim costs.  Instead of making single batches of products before changing to the next phase, you will need to run double or even quadruple batches prior to breaking down the equipment for the reset.

This brings into question the ability for storage of products.  Yes, this may be a problem, but to cut costs in an already efficient batch processing system this is about the only way. Cutting downtime between resetting the equipment and not having to continually change the equipment for the next run is the option.

An increase in production growth may also be able to help you increase your sales.  By having more production inventory on hand you may, in fact, be able to promote the product easier because more product is available.  An increase in inventory may allow you to be more competitive with your cost per unit and therefore increase your selling power.  Batch processing is a great way to reduce costs initially but superior batch management skills can grow the company.

If you are a manufacturing company that is not currently using batch processing, this tough economy may be reason to consider the process.  Batch processing is an effective way to utilize singular equipment for multiple uses.  If your company needs to trim its budget, batch processing may increase your bottom line.  Companies can take a piece of equipment, make a product on it, and then retro fit the equipment to produce another similar item.  This works in many industries and more and more companies are finding this process a way to save money and time.

Several large corporations use batch processing as a way to produce parts for multiple products that they sell. As an example a bicycle manufacturer may have several body styles, but all the bikes use the same chain or wheels.  So, one machine produces a batch of wheels that is in turn used on all their other products.  Careful design and planning enables large manufactures to save money and mass produce a variety of products.  This creates a larger profit than if they had to customize parts for each individual product that they sell.


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