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reliability in manufacturing

Reliability in Manufacturing | Exploring the Impact on Quality and Efficiency

6 Min Read

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    Manufacturing is a complex process that requires high levels of reliability to produce consistent and high-quality output. Any failure in the system can have significant consequences for the final product, production time, and costs.

    One effective way to address these challenges is to focus on progressing the reliability of the manufacturing process. By ensuring that every component, machine, and procedure works as intended and can withstand various stressors and uncertainties, facility managers can reduce the risk of errors, defects, and downtime.

    In this guide, we will explore the concept of reliability in manufacturing and its impact on quality and efficiency that drives success and competitiveness for your organization.

    Let’s dig in!

    What is The Concept of Reliability in Manufacturing Processes?

    The concept of reliability in manufacturing processes pertains to the capacity of a manufacturing facility to consistently produce products that conform to the required specifications. This involves ensuring that the manufacturing equipment and assets perform their intended function effectively over a specified duration and under specific operating conditions.

    Reliability is a critical aspect of manufacturing that significantly increases consistency and efficiency. To achieve reliability, manufacturing facility managers adopt a proactive approach. They identify potential failures, determine their root causes, and implement appropriate solutions to prevent future occurrences.

    Various tools and techniques, such as Statistical Process Control (SPC), Design of Experiments (DOE), and Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), are employed to achieve reliability in manufacturing. These tools assist in identifying potential issues and mitigating them before they result in unplanned downtime and equipment breakdowns. Consequently, organizations are able to produce quality products, lower maintenance costs, and deliver on time.

    Furthermore, diligent manufacturing companies incorporate Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) into their reliability processes. Advanced CMMS solutions, like The NonStop Suite, digitalize repeatable tasks and optimize the entire process. Thus, taking manufacturing reliability to the next level.

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    Why is Reliability Important in The Manufacturing Industry?

    Reliability is foundational to a faster and safer manufacturing flow. It is directly linked to producing high-quality products, reducing costs, and ensuring compliance with regulatory and safety standards.

    A reliable manufacturing process reduces the risk of defects and errors, which can compromise both quality and efficiency of the final product. This, in turn, enhances the company’s reputation and builds customer trust, leading to increased sales and revenue.

    Reliability also plays a significant role in reducing costs associated with production. A reliable manufacturing process curtails the need for rework, which can be costly and time-consuming. Not only does it diminish the frequency of downtime, but the maintenance costs associated with equipment malfunctions. Thereby elevating productivity levels and augmenting profitability.

    Furthermore, a reliable manufacturing process is critical to meeting regulatory and safety requirements. Consistency in production processes helps maintain the organization’s reputation while avoiding legal liabilities.

    How Do You Measure Manufacturing Reliability?

    Measuring manufacturing reliability is essential to improve product quality, minimize downtime, and maximize productivity.

    For successful reliability monitoring, the stakeholders must possess an all-inclusive understanding of the fundamental principles of reliability engineering and the metrics utilized to measure reliability.

    3 Key Elements of Reliability Engineering

    Reliability engineering entails designing systems and processes to operate reliably and minimize the risk of failure. The three key elements of production reliability engineering are documented as follows:

    1. Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) systematically identifies and mitigates potential failure modes in a system, process, or facility. FMEA analyzes each facility component and determines its potential failure modes and effects on the performance. Facility managers can use FMEA to prioritize mitigating potential failures and reducing the risk of downtime.
    2. Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) is a method focused on identifying the root cause of a failure in the manufacturing process. FTA involves constructing a logic diagram that represents the potential failure modes and their causes. By analyzing the fault tree, facility managers can identify the most probable root cause of a failure and take corrective actions.
    3. A reliability Block Diagram (RBD) depicts a graphical representation of the manufacturing system’s reliability. This diagrammatic method breaks down the manufacturing facility into smaller components and subsystems to analyze how their failure combines to cause a breakdown. By analyzing the RBD, facility managers can identify the critical components of the manufacturing unit and prioritize their efforts to ensure their production reliability.

    4 Metrics for Measuring Reliability in Manufacturing

    Manufacturers, facility managers, and other stakeholders, such as reliability engineers, maintenance personnel, and quality control specialists, use several metrics to measure manufacturing reliability. These metrics help assess the manufacturing process’ performance as a whole.

    The four key metrics for measuring reliability in manufacturing are explained as follows:

    1. Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) indicates the average time between two manufacturing systems or component failures. MTBF is an essential metric as it provides insight into the reliability of the production processes. A higher MTBF indicates a more reliable manufacturing facility or component, while a lower MTBF indicates a less reliable system.
    2. Mean Time To Repair (MTTR) is the average time to repair a failed production system, indicating the downtime of the broken component. A lower MTTR means faster recovery from a failure, while a higher MTTR indicates a longer recovery time.
    3. Availability is the percentage of time that the manufacturing system is operational. Focusing on such a system’s uptime, a higher availability suggests a more reliable status and vice versa.
    4. Failure Rate is the number of failures that occur in a given period. This metric serves as a means for facility managers to gain insights into their manufacturing system’s failure history and forecast. A lower failure rate hints at higher production reliability, whereas a higher one indicates the opposite.

    PRO TIP

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    How Does Maintenance Impacts Manufacturing Reliability?

    Maintenance is an essential factor that influences manufacturing reliability. The effectiveness of maintenance strategies determines the uptime and throughput of manufacturing processes, as well as the quality progress of the products produced.

    Several maintenance strategies can be employed in manufacturing operations. Discussed below are the two common maintenance strategies impacting your organization’s reliability status differently:

    The Wrong Approach: Corrective Maintenance

    Corrective maintenance is a maintenance strategy that involves fixing equipment after it fails. Based on the reactive maintenance approach, this strategy involves reacting to an equipment failure or breakdown rather than proactively preventing it.

    While corrective maintenance can restore equipment to working order, it can also result in significant downtime and production losses. This is because the equipment malfunction may cause interruptions to the manufacturing process, leading to delays in production, reduced output, and affected reliability.

    The Best Approach: Preventive Maintenance

    Preventive maintenance or predictive maintenance involves scheduled maintenance activities aimed at preventing equipment failures. This strategy can increase the reliability of manufacturing operations by reducing the potential of unplanned downtime and associated maintenance costs.

    Preventive maintenance utilizes data from sensors and other sources to predict when equipment failures are likely to occur. This approach enables maintenance teams to proactively address potential issues before they cause downtime, improving reliability and minimizing costs.

    How To Implement Strong Reliability and Maintenance Programs in Manufacturing Organizations?

    Implementing strong reliability and maintenance programs in manufacturing organizations requires a strategic approach. Organizations can improve their bottom lines by establishing clear objectives, developing a comprehensive maintenance strategy, gathering necessary resources, and fostering a continuous improvement culture.

    This analysis outlines the three primary domains your organization needs to focus on for a robust production reliability and maintenance strategy:

    • Digitize Manufacturing Processes With CMMS

    CMMS and EAM software solutions, such as The NonStop Suite, offer an all-encompassing approach to managing the maintenance and reliability of manufacturing equipment.

    Through digitization, organizations can have real-time access to data on equipment performance, maintenance schedules, and inventory management.

    This data can be used to develop a proactive maintenance strategy that prioritizes equipment reliability based on performance and risk. Ultimately, the organization is facilitated with an optimized maintenance process and minimized equipment downtime.

    • Design for Process Reliability

    Reliability is influenced by the design of experiments (DOE) methodology. This approach considers reliability throughout the entire design process, from concept to production.

    This strategy is used to optimize the manufacturing process by identifying the key factors that affect production line quality and determining the optimal settings for those factors. This helps to ensure that the manufacturing process is highly efficient and effective and that the final product meets all the required specifications.

    • Conduct Root Cause Analysis

    Root cause analysis is a process of identifying the underlying causes of equipment failures. This approach involves looking beyond the immediate cause of a failure and identifying the underlying factors that contributed to it.

    By understanding the root causes of failures, facility managers can take the initiatives to prevent them from happening in the future. This proactiveness streamlines the path to continuous improvement and making targeted changes to improve reliability.

    Conclusion: Maximize Manufacturing Efficiency and Reliability With The NonStop Suite

    Organizations that prioritize production reliability and continuously improve their processes can gain a competitive advantage in the market and win the trust of their customers.

    To streamline the path to reliability in manufacturing, The NonStop Group brings you The NonStop Suite — a comprehensive package of reliable digital solutions to facilitate and optimize asset management in your organization.

    By integrating The NonStop Suite, manufacturing organizations can manufacture operations, ensure equipment reliability, and maximize efficiency. With features like Dynamic eForms, a centralized database, and Smart NFC tags, The NonStop Suite brings valuable data and insights to your fingertips.

    Companies can regularly evaluate their processes and procedures, seek feedback from customers and stakeholders, and implement improvements to optimize their manufacturing operations. The NonStop Suite also enables organizations to make data-driven decisions, monitor real-time equipment availability, and prevent potential issues before they occur.

    Moreover, The NonStop Suite facilitates collaboration among various departments, improves communication, and enhances productivity. This results in increased efficiency, reduced operational costs, and improved profitability.

    Should your organization want to maximize reliability, consult The NonStop Group today and book a FREE personalized product tour.

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