Production controls are systems and processes implemented in a manufacturing environment to monitor, direct, and adjust the production process, ensuring it runs smoothly and effectively. They are crucial to maintaining production efficiency, minimizing waste, ensuring product quality, and meeting production goals and deadlines.
- Scheduling: This involves setting timelines for when each task in the production process should start and finish. It also involves sequencing tasks to ensure they’re done in the most efficient order.
- Dispatching: This is the process of initiating production by releasing necessary orders, instructions, and drawings to the relevant departments and workers. It ensures that each component of the manufacturing process begins as scheduled.
- Progress Monitoring: This involves tracking the production process to ensure it’s keeping to the schedule. It can involve tracking the progress of individual tasks, the usage of materials, and the productivity of workers.
- Inspection and Quality Control: Regular inspections are necessary to ensure that the product is being manufactured to the desired quality standards. If defects are found, the process can be adjusted to correct them.
- Corrective Action: If the production process deviates from the schedule or desired standards, corrective action is taken. This can involve adjusting schedules, reallocating resources, or making changes to the process.
Here are some key elements of production controls:
By implementing effective production controls, a company can reduce costs, minimize waste, ensure product quality, and ensure that products are produced on time. This is crucial for meeting customer demands and maintaining competitiveness in the market.
Example of Production Controls
Let’s use a fictional automobile manufacturing company, AutoMakers Inc., as an example to illustrate the concept of production controls.
- Scheduling: AutoMakers Inc. creates a detailed production plan for the manufacturing of their new car model. This includes the timeline for each stage of the assembly line, from the installation of the engine, fitting the body panels, painting, to the final inspection. Each task has a start and end time, ensuring the car assembly process is efficient and timely.
- Dispatching: Once the schedule is set, the production orders, instructions, and required materials are dispatched to each station on the assembly line. This ensures that every part of the assembly line has the necessary information and resources to begin work as scheduled.
- Progress Monitoring: Supervisors at AutoMakers Inc. closely monitor the progress of each assembly line station. They track whether tasks are being completed on time, if there are any bottlenecks or delays, and whether materials are being used efficiently.
- Inspection and Quality Control: At various stages in the production process, cars are inspected for quality. For instance, the fit and finish of the body panels are inspected before the car moves to the painting station. After painting, the quality of the paint job is inspected. These regular inspections help ensure that any defects are caught early and can be corrected before the car moves further down the line.
- Corrective Action: If a station on the assembly line is consistently falling behind schedule, corrective actions are taken. This could involve additional training for workers, bringing in extra workers, or adjusting the schedule to allow more time for the tasks at that station. If inspections reveal a persistent defect, the process may be adjusted to eliminate the issue.
All these controls help AutoMakers Inc. ensure that they produce high-quality cars efficiently, on time, and within budget. They also help the company quickly identify and correct any problems that could affect product quality or production timelines.