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Author: Obloda Koremudi

Keep Your Manufacturing Business Safe And Productive

Keep Your Manufacturing Business Safe And Productive

The reason that many manufacturing facilities fail to reach their maximum productivity level is their lack of understanding that productivity and safety are dependent on each other. Putting a risk management strategy in place and having appropriate manufacturing insurance will result in their keeping safety incidents to a minimum and having financial coverage when incidents do occur.

Creating an Effective Risk Management Strategy

Just as different manufacturing businesses operate differently, they also have a different approach to risk management. Those who have successfully implemented risk management into their operation to make it more productive and safe are likely to start by assessing the likelihood of diverse events for assets and operating procedures and then continue with assessing the impact of these adverse events. Next, they will rank the risk for adverse events in these areas and then create a closed loop process to mitigate the risk in each area. This basic structure incorporates identification, quantification and mitigation.

Backing up Your Strategy with Manufacturing Insurance

Nearly every manufacturer needs insurance regardless of the products they make. There are laws imposed on the need for manufacturers to carry insurance that may vary on a state-by-state level. Even in those situations where the rules and regulations are limited, manufacturers should consider their risk potential when determine the degree of manufacturing insurance they need to protect them. Insurance can cover the cost of equipment repairs and replacement, damage to the facilities, or for medical liability in case employees are injured on the job.

General liability is a type of insurance that protects the manufacturer when an injury takes place on their property and they are found to be at fault. Lawsuits can be devastating to your business if you do not have the protection you need to cover any losses that may be awarded. General liability should be the basic part of your coverage that is included in addition to that which applies to your specific risks.

Value of Insurance Your Business

When accidents occur, it can have an impact on your manufacturing business at any level. Loss of equipment or employees can lead to downtime that has a significant impact on your bottom line. Lawsuits or excessive damage to the facility could cause you to lose your business altogether. Understanding your risk and having the manufacturing insurance to cover your losses can often be the difference between a business that fails and one that is both safe and productive.

Steps To Improve Manufacturing Productivity

Steps To Improve Manufacturing Productivity

Collect data regularly

As you put efforts to comprehend your manufacturing processes in depth, you become better positioned to enhance your production process. First and the most important thing is to understand manufacturing patterns through data. The number of production hours, efficiency of production machines, time to manufacture each item, output per hour, and productivity of employees are some of the variables that highlight the overall efficiency of a manufacturing plant. Successful manufacturers keep track of everything happening on their factory floors.

Identify bottlenecks

It is very important to locate points in your workflow where production gets backed up because production processes are not properly integrated. Integration of production processes plays a vital role in bringing about an efficient factory floor where everything is connected and works in harmony. So, identify and eliminate bottlenecks in order to develop a more streamlined and organized workflow.

Upgrade manufacturing systems

Old-fashioned, manual production processes cannot meet the growing market expectations. Customers demand high-quality products. It will be extremely difficult for a manufacturer to address emerging market trends without implementing innovation and bringing in modern automation technologies. As a manufacturer, you should continuously look for modern production means that are fast, efficient, and flexible. It is the only way to maintain manufacturing productivity over a long period of time.

Industrial automation solution providers offer a variety of affordable manufacturing systems that you can integrate into your existing setup and witness dramatic improvements. Consult a reputable automation engineering company that can develop custom machines and control systems for your factory floor.

Find a Manufacturer Online

Find a Manufacturer Online

Forums – Try searching forums where people are discussing their experiences in working with manufacturers. You might be able to generate some leads that way in finding a manufacturer to produce your product.

Make Sure You Start Small – One of the most important things to know before you start working with a manufacturer is that trust must be there, especially if you are working with a foreign manufacturer and are not protected by US laws. The best way to establish that in the beginning is to start small. First, start by requesting a sample. Maybe the manufacturer will require you to pay for the sample and maybe they won’t, but even if you lose that money, it won’t be anywhere near as devastating as losing thousands on products that were never received or that were defective. Start with small product orders until you have established trust with your manufacturer.

Post Your Job on a Manufacturers Platform – There are a few sites who offer a platform where you can post your job and receive bids or contact information of manufacturers who are interested. This is another way to narrow down your search with less time invested. However, some of these services can be very expensive.

Directories and Lists – There are many directories and lists of manufacturers. Many of them hold contract information on 1000’s of different manufacturers. The difficult part about finding a manufacturer this way is that you literally would need to email, or fill out a contact form for hundreds of manufacturers before you found one that would respond to you with interest in producing your product. Also, many manufacturers have high volume limits. For example, they typically don’t like to produce products in the hundreds, they want to produce in the 1000’s or tens of thousands.

Process Manufacturing

Process Manufacturing

Process Manufacturing techniques work on the simple concept of integrating all the tools, machines and resources to optimize the efficiency of the manufacturing processes. Automation is an integral aspect of process manufacturing with many applications built for specific purposes. ERP software is one application which ensures that process manufacturing is achieved by means of automation.

benefits of process manufacturing

  • Reduces Inventory – Inventory is one of the reasons why production processes slow down. Process Manufacturing techniques like Lean Manufacturing employ different tools to ensure that the Inventory is reduced to a bare minimum. This ensures that the manufacturing processes work out of required materials for the manufacturing processes with unwanted materials not finding a place.
  • Reduces Lead time – Process Manufacturing techniques also advocates smooth flow of information between different stages of the production cycle ensuring less probability of errors in subsequent stages of production and reduction in lead time. All this leads nicely for the manufacturing processes to achieve shorter production times.
  • Shorter Production Cycles – Every manufacturing process aims to produce ‘x’ quantity of a product within a time constraint. A company’s capability to do this consistently holds it in good stead with its customers. A company can achieve this by shortening the production cycle time. Considering that this has to be implemented with minimal impact on quality, process manufacturing techniques are implemented.
  • Automation – This is an inherent feature of almost all the process manufacturing techniques. Integrating manufacturing processes ensure that the chances of errors due to human intervention are minimized. With automation contributing directly to lessening the administrative and information-sharing workload, most companies consider automation as their strategic objective to process manufacturing.

Benefits aside, there are many challenges to implement process manufacturing techniques in an organization. Firstly, the business owner must do well to manage the change without impacting the performance of the manufacturing process. Remember, process manufacturing techniques may re-engineer the manufacturing processes. If the re-engineering is not managed by the business owner, it may result in a lot of employee dissatisfaction. Secondly, process manufacturing techniques are not immune to uncontrollable changes. This means that human intervention at some stage of the manufacturing process is inevitable.

Stent Manufacturing

Stent Manufacturing

A stent is a mesh tube that is used to keep an artery open, or to provide support to tubular structures. Stents are widely used in the medical sector as they are used in cardiovascular treatments and during renal procedures. Stent manufacturing is a very complex technique that needs to be undertaken with the highest levels of precision. The material used in manufacturing stents is just as important as the manufacturing process itself.

Certain materials such as Nitinol, platinum and titanium alloys, stainless steel and gold are used in the manufacture of stents because they can be machined without introducing heat affected zones. These materials are medically-approved and thus are widely used by manufacturers of medical-use stents.

With the advancement of medical science, new solutions and treatments are increasingly being devised. While most of us associate stents with cardiovascular procedures, there are several other medical applications where stents play an indispensable role. They are increasingly used in birth control, kidney stone pain control, gastro intestinal uses, esophageal uses, and others.

If these stents are to prove efficient in their applications, they need to be manufactured using the highest degree of precision and the use of the most advanced techniques. Of course, it all begins with precise design. Keeping of all these aspects in view, it is imperative that you partner with a manufacturer that can use their expert capabilities to bring you the best, most cost-effective solutions.

With the use of the right techniques, the minimum achievable feature size of a stent could be as low as 0.05mmThe type of machinery and equipment used in the manufacture of stents carries considerable significance. Production equipment used by leading manufacturers often comprises lasers, optics, CNC programs, positioning systems and so on.

There are certain codes that need to be adhered to. These would include certifications such as ISO 13485:2003 for medical manufacturing. A flexible, adaptable manufacturer will be able to meet the ever-evolving requirements of OEMs and hence it is important to partner with a firm that has a long-standing reputation.

Here are a few aspects to consider before you choose a stent manufacturing firm:

  • The firm should have a streamlined process of using the latest manufacturing, cutting, finishing and inspection techniques.
  • The firm’s established proficiency in processes such as nitinol shape setting is another crucial aspect that you shouldn’t fail to check.
  • If your firm of choice has experience in dealing with projects as varied as orthopedic implants, surgical device manufacturing, stent manufacturing and more, this experience would be an asset.

 

Business of Pump Manufacturers

Business of Pump Manufacturers

The local manufacturers however in some what a stage where we have to deal with so many challenges like scarcity and high in raw material price, multiple tax mechanism of the government, labour problem and end up manufacturing high quality pumps for specific needs but can not compete with multinationals due to high manufacturing rate. The situation gets tougher when some small local manufacturers illegally produce and sell at cheaper price.

The ray of hope for the pump manufacturers is the foreign market as the current rate of export is 10% and it is increasing every day. To export pump have to make some changes in their policies like they need in depth market analysis for the specific demand calculation and they must make their pumps at per with the international quality along with its packaging.One of the most important factor in the export business is to appoint some expert and efficient distributors for your product and to participate in the international exhibitions with their product so that the buyer can assess your product and buy.

With the help of internet pump manufacturers can reach to the global market for research and technical upgrading.Indian government should also organise the small and medium manufacturers to reduce the illegal production and check the open policies which attracts foreign countries to have the cream out of local manufacturers’ mouth. With weapons like strong dealer base local pump manufacturers also make it big by encouraging the distributors and dealers regularly and introducing low cost automation in the production. India has got the talents to invent new technologies and with proper encouragement from the government and the industry they can invent new technologies to improve the qualities of the pumps produced in India so that in spite of strong competition pump manufacturers can make it large.

Electronic Contract Manufacturing

Electronic Contract Manufacturing

The market was ready for ‘electronic contract manufacturers’ that specialized in the design and manufacture of specific components that would then be sold to the OEM to be placed in the final product. Narrowing the focusing of a company to just one product or component, allowed them to offer economies of scale in the acquisition of raw materials, talent and expertise in the design process, and equipment for production. This cuts costs for the original manufacturer and frees up their capital.

With this new structure, manufacturing companies were able to produce a better product, more efficiently, and easily scale up or down to customer demand. In the design development process, usually the most complex and difficult part of the process, a contract manufacturer is more likely to accumulate a team of experienced engineers that will focus their expertise on the specific component. In the production process, they are more likely to keep up with the latest, high tech equipment and state-of-the-art technology.

Suppose there is a problem with one of the components. If the manufacturer is producing all the components in-house, it may take a while before it is found – and maybe even after it has gone to the end-user. In addition, the problem has to be solved using in-house resources and capital. When working with a contract manufacturer, in many cases component flaws have already been caught long before they reach the OEM – often due to experiences with other manufacturers. Often a third-party view of the problem is what’s needed, and the resolution is solely on the shoulders of that third-party.

Since an ECM only purchases materials for the components they produce, they are able to purchase in bulk offering the OEM substantial cost savings. And since they are purchasing from their individual supplier in greater frequency, the manufacturer takes advantage of the strong relationships developed.

Finally, the contract company will thoroughly test the components they provide for quality. They will stay at the forefront of technology proposing improvements and upgrading their product so that it works better, lasts longer, and is more efficiently. This is a daunting task for the original manufacturer that has hundreds of components to keep up with.

An electronic contract manufacturer is an expert in the components they develop and provide. This expertise offers extreme value.

Considerations when choosing an Electronic Contract Manufacturing partner

For many companies, especially small to mid-sized companies, having a contract manufacturing partner is not only a good idea, it’s critical to the success of the business. Besides pricing structure and quality requirements, there are several other items that should be considered in evaluating potential partners:

How much and why do they want your business – Choose a partner with compatible objectives.

Some companies may only be interested in the amount of money at stake. While it is important that the numbers match up for the benefit of both parties, find out what their main driving force is. Larger contract companies may be interested in smaller manufacturing companies if they offer the opportunity to gain experience in an industry that is new to them. Or a product that has big growth forecasts.

Learning the answers to these questions is important before proceeding to the length process of submitting an RFP, and more critically, entering a partnership.

If the business principles do not match up, the OEM may not get the attention they need to make their product successful.

What will the ECM be looking for in a partner – Provide accurate forecasts

No one knows where an original manufacturer plans to go unless they see a well-developed forecast. If they want to make the most of the partnership, they need to inform the contract manufacturer about where they have been and where they plan to go in the future. This provides needed credibility.

The contract manufacturer will need to know what level of risk they are signing up for, while determining what level of resources will be needed to meet the requirements. Will they be able to purchase materials when needed, will they be able to handle the inventory?

What are the expectations regarding inventory

Determining up front what the policies and liability for inventory are between the two companies will minimize the possibility of conflict, and surprises. Understanding inventory issues and supply chain management, and actively making efforts to reduce exposure, is crucial when forecasts do not match up to sales, or a crisis occurs.

How will the ECM handle product changes

With electronics changing at lightning speed, changes are bound to occur fairly regularly. Find out the preferences for handling product changes, and the process they have taken in implementing them in the past with other customers is very important.

Defining the level of involvement expected by each party in the change proposal, analysis, and execution is important for the success of the partnership and the product itself.

Partnering with a company that has a large amount of experience in the multiple phases of a product lifecycle will provide valuable input in the various phases. Therefore, this experience as well as the documentation process should be discussed.

Challenges in Manufacturing Industries

Challenges in Manufacturing Industries

  1. Regulatory Compliance and traceability: Manufacturers of all sectors faces increasing regulations which aims in ensuring product safety to managing disposal and reclamation procedures. Consumers may be benefited from some of the regulations, and each of the regulation adds an additional burden to the companies that must comply with the requirements. Complete visibility in the global supply chains is ensured by the manufacturers and they can prove their own deference and that of the suppliers also. Regulations needs the ability to track where the specific items have been used or to trace materials from an end item at a customer site back to specific materials used in the manufacture. Keeping in view the regulations and managing compliance reporting is a full time activity for multiple people or teams at many manufacturing companies.
  2. To keep Product Relevant: Product innovations come at varying pace and manufacturers struggle to keep up. With the new concept the companies compete to be first in the market, the temptation to skip steps on quality materials can be challenging. There should be adequate time for the companies to ensure that the specific materials like wires and cables are in line with the operating conditions. A new product needs to develop a reputation of good quality to drive out poor quality. The companies will become more systematic about managing innovation rather than to leave new product ideas to chance. The preferences in product are changing so quickly that this delays the introduction of once popular products. For the success of manufacturing it is essential to implement the procedures to keep a steady stream of new product ideas and innovations in the pipeline.
  3. Aging Workforce/Skills gap: As per age, the workers retire and leave their workforce and take along with them their hard-learned skills and experience with them. The workers who are retiring are not available to be replaced easily as the new ones do not have the needed skillset for many critical roles. Manufacturers will have to work with the schools in their communities to check that the educational system includes the topics and skills training for the younger workers to fill these roles. Besides, manufacturers may need to be more flexible with the aging workforce so as to allow workers to slow down by working part time rather than to retire suddenly. This will enable the aging workers to pass on their skill to the next generations of workers.
  4. Environmental concerns: Various aspects of the manufacturing process is affected by the local and regional regulations, from the ability to use certain materials, to worker exposure, to disposal of waste and byproducts. There is a harsh environment for manufacturing and hence should ensure the safety and health of workers with proper care and equipment. Disposing of waste products and recycling materials add costs and complexity to manufacturing and also result in a healthier environment and protection alike for both workers and customers.
  5. To maintain a balance with output: In a manufacturing unit it is very essential to keep the equipment functioning. Preventive maintenance should be taken regularly including worn wires and cables which help in increasing output and ensuring customer satisfaction with delivery lead times. Manufacturers are sometimes tempted to postpone preventive maintenance or replace factory components with lower quality items. The practice creates unsafe conditions in harsh manufacturing environments if these lesser components can’t stand up to operating conditions. The operating cost can be kept low and output high by using components, cables and wires that meet or exceed manufacturer specifications and to perform preventive maintenance on recommended schedules thus ensuring worker safety. By meeting these challenges the manufacturing companies can stay on current legislation and technology and be responsive to meet the needs of workers and act responsibly in the best interest of all parties.

Using a Foreign Manufacturer

Using a Foreign Manufacturer

United States businesses many times use foreign manufacturers because the cost of manufacturing a product in other countries is usually lower than the cost of manufacturing it in the US. Nevertheless, it is important to be aware of the additional costs of using a foreign manufacturer versus having the product produced domestically. Two additional costs of using an foreign manufacturer are shipping and bank fees. Shipping costs are obviously much higher when doing business with another country. As for bank fees, many foreign businesses will only accept payments via bank transfer. The fees for making bank transfers vary from bank to bank so look into what these will be ahead of time.

Imports from foreign countries to the United States are regulated by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. The regulations administered by this agency are highly complex and detailed, and it is very important for anyone interested in dealing with a manufacturer in another country to determine exactly which regulations apply to the product or products being imported. Duties on imports are also additional costs of importing products.

Because most, if not all, of your correspondence with a foreign manufacturer is done from a distance, it is also important for you to safeguard against the risks associated with dealing with a potentially unreliable company. For this reason, it is strongly advised to use only reputable companies that have demonstrated reliable service in the past. If a company steals your money or fails to deliver on an order, it will be far more difficult for you to take legal action against the company than it would be if you were dealing domestically. There are many resources to be found online that can help you determine whether the foreign manufacturer you are considering has shown themselves to be reliable.

Bad Credit Manufactured Home Loan

Bad Credit Manufactured Home Loan

The manufactured home loan industry has undergone several changes over the past couple of years and the main change is that most all banks have discontinued their subprime manufactured home loan programs. Many still loan under Fannie Mae guidelines but these loans are capped at a maximum 65% loan to value. The problem with this is that many manufactured home owners purchased their properties a few years ago at much higher loan to values when the banks were much more flexible in their loan programs, so when a borrower tries to get cash out for debt consolidation today, they realize it’s almost impossible to find a lender who will go to 80-95% loan to value.

Manufactured homeowners with bad credit are having a tougher time finding mortgages for their homes and many are in adjustable rate mortgages that are starting to climb towards the sky. Leaving borrowers frustrated with very few options in finding a decent loan for their properties.

The truth is that there are still lenders, investors and mortgage brokers that specialize in the subprime financing of manufactured homes. Subprime, meaning borrowers with less than perfect credit to even terrible credit. Even A paper borrowers may be forced to go this route to consolidate debt and obtain a loan with a higher loan to value

The first thing every manufactured homeowner with bad credit should do is their homework and there is no easier way than the good old trusty internet. When searching the web, keywords will be the golden key to connecting with the right lender, investor or mortgage broker. Try keyword phrase searches such as, bad credit manufactured home loan, manufactured home loan, manufactured home loans, manufactured home lenders, subprime manufactured home loan, etc. Each search will pull up different results. Some sites will be just lead portals for companies to sell your information and some will be the companies you want to talk to.

When searching for a manufactured home loan, my advice is to always talk with someone or a company that specializes in these types of loans. If you just go down to your local mortgage company down the street, chances are they can’t help or will give you the run around leaving you stressed out and frustrated.