Humans provide the skill, know-how and effort that keep every business running. Nonetheless, if you can safely and efficiently keep your manufacturing business rolling when they’re not around, you’ll see some big benefits.
Lights out manufacturing requires no human presence as production takes place. Many factories possess a limited ability to run ”lights out,” but few can operate this way exclusively. Usually a few workers are needed to set up machines and remove finished components.
Advantages of lights out manufacturing
- The most obvious advantage starts with the basic keys to manufacturing success — meeting deadlines and keeping costs low. Automated manufacturing keeps production flowing overnight or in between shifts without added labor costs.
- If you can’t completely automate, you can still make progress. Many manufacturers automate the production of simpler components at night and leave the more complex tasks for humans to handle during the day. This will increase capacity and make more efficient use of machinery.
- It’s tough to find workers with high-end skills. Often an operator, trained to set up machines, can be stretched too thin. In a “lights out” factory, that operator can set up multiple runs, while another machine is already running. Now, these employees can spend more time doing what they do best instead of unskilled tasks like loading and unloading.
- Good customers will surprise you. Sometimes your customers need orders delivered now. Think about the advantage point no. 3 above. The ability to start running a job quickly will help you meet tough deadlines and charge a premium. And you won’t need to interrupt another job to do it.
- Save money on energy costs. Many parts of the country charge less during off-peak hours, like overnight. Additionally, those machines don’t need a room heated to a cozy 70 degrees like humans. Turn down the thermostat, run at night and slash the energy bill.
Meeting the customers’ needs, keeping costs low and producing high-quality pieces form the foundation of a solid manufacturing partner. Contact Product Development Solutions today and see how we can accomplish all of this for your business.