Identifying bottlenecks in your manufacturing line is a vital step in maintaining production plan timelines. Invariably there will be one portion of your production line that is slower than others, and often this bottleneck will migrate as the line adapts. When the bottleneck stays in one place however and continually slows the line, you’ll need to consider options for improvement. Successfully removing a permanent bottleneck will increase productivity and allow for ramping up of projects.
The Theory of Constraints is a method that helps identify constraints and limitations that stand in the way of achieving a goal, and then correcting those constraints until they are no longer limiting a process. In the case of manufacturing, which consists of multiple linked activities or simultaneous operations, a constraint is a physical bottleneck or one within the process.
Identifying bottlenecks in your own line and implementing new processes, equipment, or technology to remedy these constraints can improve your company’s efficiency, cut costs, and allow you to up production and profit.
Solving Bottleneck Challenges With Automated Tape Dispensing Systems
In order to solve bottleneck challenges in your manufacturing line, there are a number of steps to take – the first being to identify bottlenecks. Here’s how:
- Accumulation – A visual bottleneck resulting in the accumulation of products on the manufacturing line may be an easy fix. If there are multiple bottlenecks in several areas, however, you may need to dig a little deeper to find the source of the error.
- Limited Throughput – Throughput on a line is measured by the output from a machine during production. Although not all machines on the line will operate at the same speed, it’s important to watch for reduced throughput of items which can indicate a bottleneck.
- Maximum Capacity – Bottlenecks can happen during manufacturing when each unit is running at or near full capacity. By tracking the ‘percentage utilization’ of each machine in the line, you will be able to locate the bottleneck, make adjustments, and increase the capacity, improving the production of the whole line.
- Longer Wait Times – Machine downtime tracking is the biggest bottleneck indicator, and it is most often due to a lack of production materials. More often than not, the bottleneck begins with the machine that comes just before the machine with high wait times. As long as a breakdown of the machine isn’t the issue, the problem can be solved by increasing or decreasing the production capacity.
How a Tape Dispensing System can Solve Line Bottlenecks
RoboTape, developed and tested by Innovative Automation is a patent-pending system that can automatically feed and install tape-backed foams, felts, and attachment tapes. RoboTape can be seamlessly integrated into existing machines via spools of material, which can also be replaced while the machine is in production to promote an uninterrupted line.
Complex geometrical applications and contours are handled easily by RoboTape’s tape dispensing equipment, which can be applied to a wide variety of parts and materials. A few of the industries which can benefit from a system like RoboTape include automotive, architectural, industrial, medical, and consumer goods.
The Advantages of Implementing Tape Dispensing Equipment into Your Existing Production Line
As with anything, a solid plan is the best way to map out your goals and objectives and create a path to reach them. When implementing new equipment or processes, a plan is especially important. Your production line requires a plan in place to remain efficient and there are many measurable advantages to a production plan such as:
- Lowered Labour Costs. Eliminating time leaks and improving efficiency will help your line run smoother. RoboTape can enhance your productivity since the tape dispensing equipment can run at speeds of 300mm/s or higher, increasing the output of products.
- Reduced Overhead Costs. Having a production plan in place can help you plan ahead and decrease the need for excess inventory. A RoboTape system uses built-in, automatic cutting which allows for variable cut lengths, depending on the product or material, reducing waste.
- Optimized Equipment Capacity and Output – The RoboTape tape dispensing system uses remote feeding of continuous rolls of tape, exceeding 1,800m. The unit also features automatic sensing and auto-rejection of splice joints.
- Seamless Integration – A RoboTape payout is compact at only 5.5 sq.ft., and integrates fully with a variety of robots and hardware.
- Sustainable – A RoboTape system is energy efficient and disposes of tape liners.
Innovative Automation & RoboTape
Innovative Automation has been providing innovative solutions on a global scale for the past 30 years. Innovative’s newest technology, RoboTape, was created to improve efficiency in manufacturing processes by integrating with existing equipment and providing tape applications for a wide range of materials and products.
To learn more about our tape dispensing system, contact us today and our team can work with you to create a tailored solution for your specific needs.