How Well Do You Engage Your Factory Staff With New Equipment Selections?


Hey everybody! This is Peter Schier of Scale Up Partners, with a short video about the benefits of involving your key factory staff when purchasing equipment for your manufacturing facility.

So, when contemplating new equipment, how often do you discuss problems of existing machines and specific design considerations with key operators that might lead to a better overall equipment purchase.

For example: Design considerations that might make the equipment easier to operate or maintain.  Easier to clean or change over or easier to view critical aspects of the machine operation?

I’ve witnessed on so many occasions, the results of extremely expensive machines or entire production lines being designed exclusively by office bound executives, often with little or no involvement of knowledgeable machine operator or maintenance staff during the design phase.  The results on almost every occasion, have been the new machine system retaining the majority of inherent problems the old equipment may have been plagued with and usually, the addition of plenty of new problems.

The net result often translates to the new equipment performing roughly as bad or even worse than the old equipment.  

And key machine operators openly venting their frustration about lack of consultation and failing to eliminate past problems in the new equipment.

Thus, it’s generally recommended to start engaging potential key contributors from your workforce, particularly members of your shop floor by inviting them to share their relevant equipment experiences, both good and bad via structured deep dive sessions.  When assessing a typical production machine due for replacement or upgrade, we generally expect to discover at least 60 to 80 areas for improvement and aim to prioritize and factor elements for addressing these into the new equipment design specifications.

That’s where building trusting and respectful connections with key members of your shop floor staff can really translate into constructive input in the machine design process and if managed well, can flow into more successful machine install and commissioning phases.

OK, that’s all I wanted to discuss today and I look forward to sharing other insights in upcoming posts.  

Goodbye for now.