production line downtime

5 Ways to Avoid Production Line Downtime

Downtime. It’s an 8-letter word that no one wants to hear.

Unfortunately, production lines can cease to work correctly, or show signs that a breakdown is in the near future.

With that comes the risk of losing valuable processing time that will result in unhappy customers and overworked, stressed employees and managers. Plus, it can lead to lost revenue, which is estimated at over $50 billion per year, according to Forbes.

It’s true that we all live in an imperfect world, and accidents and mistakes happen, but taking a proactive approach to any situation is the key to getting an operation up and running again. 

production line downtime

5 Steps to Take to Avoid Production Downtime

You can avoid downtime in an assembly line situation in a variety of ways.

Employee Training

Your personnel are professionals who take pride in their work, but training needs to be done on a regular basis. Encourage everyone to take the time to review operating manuals, and remind them that asking questions is never a bad idea.

When employees have a full understanding of a production line, they can identify problems faster. Remember that misuse of tools or improper modifications that are done in the interest of speeding up the process can do more harm than good.

Don’t Allow Parts Modification

Workers on a production line can have all of their best intentions at heart when they modify a part to keep things moving. However, any modification to an internal or external component can cause severe damage to the entire operation – and become a safety risk.

Remind your personnel that modifying a part can be dangerous. If they do find a component that’s malfunctioning, have a qualified technician perform a diagnosis, and then decide if the part needs to be repaired.

Audit Your Machinery

Codification and identification systems are included with the machinery you’ve purchased, so use them. When you monitor this data, you can quickly locate anomalies and performance issues that indicate problems with quantity, quality, and speed.

Whoever is doing this job should perform it on a regular basis, and share that information up and down the ladder. This approach ensures that everyone knows what’s going on, and having multiple people review the metrics can increase the probability of detecting possible problems.

Preventive Maintenance

Sure, your operation performs preventative maintenance on all of its equipment, but without a way to document when it’s done, and who is doing it, mistakes happen. Establish workflows that help operators, and enforce maintenance schedules. 

When the pace of work is picking up, forgetting to conduct this type of maintenance can happen in the best of environments. A schedule with the right personnel assigned to each task makes this action a part of everyday operations.

Communicate!

This is one of the simplest and easiest steps when it concerns production line downtime. Make sure that everyone on the line is comfortable with speaking to managers and sharing any observations or ideas that can improve the workflow and production.

It doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Quick meetings on a weekly or daily basis can help identify minor problems before they grow out of control.

ACS Can Help!

Even when you’re taking the right steps to reduce production line downtime, a part or component may need to be repaired. 

When it happens, get in touch with ACS, we’re one of the leaders in repairing electronics, and our team of experts can help.

  • Repair can often save as much as 80% of the cost of buying a new piece of equipment.
  • Most repairs are back in your hands in 7-15 days after approval.
  • Our Rush Repair Service ships in just 2-5 days after approval.
  • We Guarantee Our Repairs With A Full Two-Year Warranty.

For a Free Evaluation, use our RMA Form link or visit our website and click on the “Contact Us” button on the upper right hand. 

You can also reach out to us at 800-605-6419 and speak to someone on our customer support team.

Your Failure Analysis Program

If you’re an owner, operator, or manager in an industrial setting, it’s impossible to be everywhere at once. You have to rely on your personnel and team to make sure machinery and operating systems are being closely monitored – and updated.

Creating a Failure Analysis Process

However, it can be a challenge keeping up with everything. Sometimes it can be due to the lack of time in the course of a day or week. 

Regardless of where the problem lies, you can take steps to tighten up the process, and ensure that the chain of command and communication has been established correctly, and that everyone knows how it works, and how to move information from one party to another.

A failure analysis program can be a useful tool – and while it may sound complicated and complex, it doesn’t have to be. 

It can be easy to fall into the trap of overthinking a failure analysis program because you want it to be detailed and comprehensive, but if it becomes too complex, your program can cause more problems than it solves.

Start with these basic categories:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • When?
  • Where?

Answering these questions can help you begin to organize your process – and while it may seem too broad, you can obtain a clear picture of responsibilities, the personnel involved, and determine if the right skill sets are in place.

From this point you can begin to add more detail to the failure analysis process, and focus on more specific factors.

Common Types of Failures

The factors that contribute to component and equipment failure can range from overload to the operating environment. Missed maintenance checkups can be another culprit. 

For instance, internal drives and motors are the workhorses of a system, and experience a great deal of vibration, high temperatures, and components that have short life cycles. Lubricants can break down over time and allow for increased friction.

Decide how to counter these problems, and confirm how often maintenance protocols are being followed, and if they’re recorded and shared.

Methodology at Work

Establishing the process is the goal of this step. While each operation can vary depending upon what’s being manufactured, most of these steps can be applied to your situation.

  1. Diagnosis
  2. Background data collection
  3. Component inspection
  4. Confirm physical failure
  5. Determine human root causes

Each of these steps produces information that can be collected and reviewed, but in order to work they must be consistent and enforced. Don’t allow employees to customize these steps, but listen to their feedback and suggestions.

In cases where production is ramped up due to customer demand, internal systems can become overworked and prone to failure. There might be a need for adding additional parts to an assembly line so the workload is more evenly distributed.

Operator error and the “human factor” should be accounted for. You may have employees who aren’t qualified or are taking matters into their own hands. 

Be honest in your assessments and refer to concrete data: employee reviews, production output, and maintenance records are several examples.

Finally, write a course of action for how the problem will be properly fixed via increased maintenance, locating parts that may need to be fixed, or evaluating the need for replacing the equipment in question.

Failure analysis programs aren’t finished overnight, they require collecting information from multiple sources, analysis, and then agreeing on a final version that has buy-in from everyone involved – from front line personnel to upper level management.

Following your failure analysis program can help solve problems, save money, and contribute to a more successful operation. 

ACS Can Help

As your failure analysis program produces results, you may find that certain components or parts might need to be repaired instead of completely replaced.

When that happens, contact the experts at ACS, we offer a free evaluation and repair quote for a variety of electronic repair and services.

Repair can often save as much as 80% of the cost of buying a new piece of equipment.

  • Most repairs are back in your hands in 7-15 days after approval.
  • Our Rush Repair Service ships in just 2-5 days after approval.
  • We Guarantee Our Repairs With A Full Two-Year Warranty.
  • For a Free Evaluation, use our RMA Form link or Contact Us. You can also reach us at 800-605-6419 and speak to someone on our customer support team.

barcode scanner

Does Your Barcode Reader Need Service?

Barcode readers aren’t just for grocery stores and big box retailers, they can play an integral role in different industrial and production facilities for tracking and tracing items from production right up to distribution.

Available in different sizes – from fixed industrial scanners to handheld scanners – these tools are not only designed for heavy use, many of them are built to withstand harsh environments and extreme temperatures. They are also built to keep out debris and dirt and designed so they can be used for hours straight without causing hand and arm fatigue.

Purchasing the right barcode scanner depends mostly on how you’ll be using it, and where. There are several quality companies that have been making these scanners for decades, and the equipment they produce is durable and dependable.

Besides the scanner itself, there are other accessories to consider like a printer to create barcodes or replacement labels, charging stations, and docking stations to download information into a desktop, laptop, mobile phone, tablet.

Why Isn’t the Barcode Scanner Working?

Despite their durability and design for the workplace, barcode scanners can malfunction or stop working. Being able to identify the reasons why your scanner is no longer working how it should can help you determine if it’s time for repair services.

One of the simple reasons behind barcoder malfunctions is the actual screen – they’re easily smudged by dirt, grease, and debris. This problem is easily solved by cleaning with a non-abrasive cloth and a light application of cleaning fluid.

If cleaning the screen doesn’t work, it could signal that there are breaks or deep scratches that are disrupting the laser used to read the barcode labels. If this is the case, repair services are most likely the answer.

When they’re used for industrial and factory operations, barcode scanners can suffer a great deal of physical harm – whether they’ve been repeatedly dropped or misused. In these cases internal parts – like the lasers and accompanying reflectors that perform the actual scanning – can be damaged beyond repair and need to be replaced. 

Besides internal mechanisms, barcode scanners contain wires and circuit boards that can break, crack, and erode over time if the scanner’s casing has been cracked or completely broken.

When one or several of these factors occur, your barcode scanners will need service or repair. These options are usually less expensive than replacement and help save you money and help eliminate downtime.

Our Repair Services Can Help

For more than two decades, ACS has provided barcode repairs for our clients. As one of our core areas of service, we have deep knowledge of how to repair them. Our access to parts and materials means quick turnaround at affordable prices.

We’re familiar with most of the brands on the market and among those we can service and repair include those listed below.

ACS Industrial offers free evaluation and a repair quote so you experience minimal downtime. When your bring your monitor to us you can expect:

  • To save up to 80% of the cost to buy a new one
  • Your scanner will be back in your hands in 5-15 days. 
  • With our Rush Repair option you can have your equipment back in just 2-5 days.
  • A guarantee on our repairs with a full two-year warranty .

For a Free Evaluation, use our RMA Form link or visit our website and click on the “Contact Us” button on the upper right hand. You can also reach out to us at 800-605-6419 and speak to someone on our customer support team.