Bottleneck in production
Bottleneck in production. We say that in our production chain we have a bottleneck when one phase of our production process is slower than the others and that slows down our production process in general. In other words, a bottleneck is a restriction of the capacity of the system that causes a considerable drop in efficiency. They are usually easy to detect. When you have one, the work piles up just before the neck, producing a plug that creates downtimes after it.
Main reasons that generate a bottleneck
- Lack of materials. A production process requires inputs and machines that are in good condition. It is necessary to carry out the correct inventory to recognize which implements present failures in order to avoid that the process is delayed and thereby increase the cost.
- Badly trained staff. Having a qualified and prepared staff will make the production process progress in a compact manner. Having a worker who does not know the process or is inefficient can cause economic losses in the company and even human losses.
- Lack of warehouses. Companies have problems putting the products away, that they manufacture, due to lack of space. To avoid this, it is recommended to install intermediate warehouses between those processes where a bottleneck can be produced in order that the material does not get lost and, at the same time, cause economic losses.
- Administrative disinterest. The managers and heads of the company should be aware of the entire production process and the possible failures that can be generated in order to mitigate the damage. If they do not show interest, it will be difficult to comply with established times, losing money and, more important, the prestige gained.
Keys to the premature detection of bottlenecks
The best way to avoid bottlenecks is to foresee them before they can have a decisive effect on production. These three keys should be considered:
The necessary vision:
It is necessary to have a complete vision of the entire production process, from beggininng to end. This will avoid deadlocks without control that can be the main reason of bottlenecks.
Accurate data and with sufficient quality:
It is essential to have data that are accurate but also that have a sufficient quality when providing additional information. It is essential to have the appropriate and more efficient artificial vision technology in each case. Otherwise, it will be difficult for those responsible to successfully fulfill the function of foreseeing bottlenecks, due to the slowness of inspections in the production line.
Exchange of information in real time:
Updated and processed information in real time. Otherwise, bottlenecks will end up appearing sooner or later.
How to fight the bottleneck?
When you know where the problem is, there are two alternatives to solve it:
Adapt the entire chain to the fault:
What will suppose to lower the level of production and with it you will see the final benefits.
Work on the problem:
It is the option that requires more work but that, both medium and long term, will give better results, both in terms of efficiency and benefits.