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Manufacturing Throughput Starts with Hiring

by Thomas R. Cutler   |   March, 2021

For small to mid-sized manufacturers, falling behind on manufacturing throughput means delayed deliveries, which drives customers to find suppliers who deliver on-time. Manufacturing success relies largely on the ability to increase throughput and satisfy customers. Improving manufacturing throughput is not the same as output. Output refers to the total production: quantity produced or completed including rejections, scrap, and stockpiled items. It is considered a measure of productive capacity for an industry, machine, factory, or individual. On the other hand, throughput only counts parts that are delivered and accepted by customers. Throughput is also defined as the rate at which something is processed or produced.

Factory Automation

Manual production systems do not work when it comes to meeting tight production tolerances. Even the most dedicated and skilled employees get exhausted after a few hours of heavy labor. The appropriate use of factory automation can dramatically increase the manufacturing throughput. Automated production systems permit precision and the ability to perform repetitive tasks at a great speed. Operators can focus on planning, programming, and implementation. Modern industrial technology produces a large number of products while meeting the stringent quality control requirements. The right automated machines on the floor can greatly impact overall productivity.

Reduced rejection rates can be measured when manufacturers have a high output, but fail to meet throughput objectives due to high rejection rates. If a system produces 1000 parts per hour, but has a 20% rejection rate, 200 parts will be wasted in an hour. Reducing rejection rate by half will lead to an increase in throughput by 100 parts per hour. Manufacturers can meet production goals and reduce resources wasted on rework or reprocessing. One way to reduce the rejection rate is to identify and eliminate production processes that cause damaged parts.

Hiring Skilled Labor

Automation is only effective when operators care for the production line. A skilled manufacturing workforce has considerable impact on product quality and manufacturing cycle efficiency. FactoryFix is an online platform that matches vetted manufacturing workers with companies seeking specific skill sets. This platform sets a new standard in how small to mid-sized manufacturers hire talent across the U.S.

According to Patrick O'Rahilly (pictured left/above), CEO & Founder, "FactoryFix ensures that workers possess the needed skills. Without this primary focus on labor, small manufacturers will suffer inefficiencies. Undertrained operators cause delays as they do not understand the entirety of the production process. Hiring skilled labor and training them so that they can make well-informed changes is key to maximizing throughput."

As the manufacturing industry is poised for rapid growth over the next 24 months, hiring the best workers remains the top challenge. As the workforce is vaccinated and reshoring the supply chain becomes a clarion call for industry, finding the right people with the right skills forces plant managers, operations managers, and HR managers to find new and innovative recruiting strategies.

The solution cannot be yet another online job board or recruiting service. O'Rahilly reports his firm is actively growing a unique talent pool of manufacturing professionals, technicians, and experienced labor. This is accomplished by providing additional value to manufacturers and candidates. Providing a personalized career coaching experience for manufacturing personnel enhances and coordinates optimal professional development.

Access to the Best Manufacturing Candidates

With nearly 200,000 manufacturing workers within the network, companies utilize an annual subscription model. Small and mid-sized manufacturers are guaranteed qualified workers for any position available, from automation engineers and CAD designers to maintenance electricians and press operators.

A Universe of Manufacturing Job Candidates

The pool of potential workers must be wide and deep to create the perfect fit. Recently, O'Rahilly introduced a new service: a 3-directional chat service named TalentText. TalentText is an SMS messaging feature that connects applicants with managers via a text conversation, helping managers to engage directly, ease conversation flow, and ensure candidates actually show up to interviews. It allows a connection with candidates five times faster with straightforward, comfortable, and immediate access to messages via mobile devices.

Automation Throughput and Productivity Starts with Hiring

All the data and promised metrics from automating manufacturing facilities are theoretical. Manufacturing workers must understand, implement, and be ready to repair every aspect of an automated solution.

The most needed industrial positions involve automation.

  • Automation Engineers
  • Automation Technicians
  • CAD Designers
  • CNC Operators
  • CNC Machinists
  • Controls Engineers
  • Electrical Engineers
  • Forklift Operators
  • General Laborers
  • Industrial Electricians
  • Injection Mold Operators
  • Machine Builders
  • Maintenance Electricians
  • Manual Machinists
  • Material Handlers
  • Mold Makers
  • Panel Builders
  • Press Operators
  • Production Supervisors
  • Quality Inspectors
  • Robot Programmers
  • Test Engineers
  • Tool & Die Makers
  • Welders

  • Automation decisions must never be made in a vacuum without staffing considerations. Aligning skill sets and productivity are non-negotiable.

    Thomas R. Cutler is the President and CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based, TR Cutler, Inc., celebrating its 22nd year. Cutler is the founder of the Manufacturing Media Consortium including more than 8000 journalists, editors, and economists writing about trends in manufacturing, industry, material handling, and process improvement. Cutler authors more than 1000 feature articles annually regarding the manufacturing sector. More than 4800 industry leaders follow Cutler on Twitter daily at @ThomasRCutler. Contact Cutler at See More Details.

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