Thrive Academy : Change Over Reduction

Change Over Reduction

In so many different parts of the manufacturing industry, change over is simply a way of life. Whether you’re bringing in a new group of workers for the beginning of a shift, you’re changing the specific type of part you’re producing or you simply have to swap out parts or make other changes to production, this type of planned downtime is a cost of doing business for most organizations. 

Having said that, nobody said that it had to be a significant cost of doing business. 

The Art of Change Over Reduction, or: Why Downtime Tracking Matters 

For the sake of discussion, change over time is defined as the period of time that passes from the last good part you produced in the current run to the first good part you produce on the next run. Obviously, it’s in your best interest to keep that number as low as possible. 

But what a lot of people don’t realize is that even though this is absolutely an instance of planned downtime, it could still be costing you a lot more than you realize. Maybe operators aren’t engaging with equipment the way they should be, causing countless little micro starts and stops along the way that really add up. Perhaps you’re dealing with a situation where a piece of equipment is operating inefficiently and you’re not realizing it, thus causing change over to take far longer than you need it to. 

This, in essence, is why downtime tracking is important. Even if you know your change over times aren’t where they need to be, you’re not in a position to do anything about it unless you have that critical piece of context that tells you why. 

Downtime tracking solutions like those available from Thrive are designed to provide that context, showing you exactly what is going on with the entirety of your production line at a moment’s notice. At a quick glance, you’ll be able to see exactly what is happening, why and when. This allows you to not only better prioritize which people are running which machines (or which employees need a bit of additional training), but it can also help you make smarter decisions in terms of maintenance and even your business’s larger change over policies. 

Really, what you’re talking about is an incredible opportunity to make data-driven decisions based on both live and historical efficiency data. That, coupled with Thrive’s state-of-the-art algorithm, allow you to enjoy significant gains in terms of change over reduction all while maximizing your production capabilities at the exact same time. 

By planning ahead, you can help reduce changeover time through checklists, evaluating what needs to be done and reducing idle time.