There are many ways to design a small manufacturing facility, but the best designs are ones that are cost-effective. When it comes to designing a plant layout, there are always a lot of things to consider, but it’s always good to make considerations from a financial perspective. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should cut corners to reduce costs. If you know the best tips to apply, you will find there are many financially savvy ways to design a small manufacturing facility. This is crucial to reducing start-up costs for your small facility. In this article, we’ll discuss practical and simple ways that can result in a cost-effective small manufacturing facility.
Understand the Principles of Lean Manufacturing
When you design a small manufacturing facility, it’s important to begin by having an understanding of lean manufacturing initiatives. Prioritizing the principles of lean manufacturing means that you’re designing a facility that offers maximum value in every area. When you remove non-value processes or designs, you’re already working with a facility that allows you to manufacture your products with reduced costs and increased product speed. The goal behind lean manufacturing initiatives is to check for any area in your design where you can eliminate wastage and delays. Lean manufacturing needs to be at the heart of every design concept you add, and the focus should be on designing a plant with better process flow and decreased demand for resources.
Whether you’re designing a facility for a candle making, ceramic ware, shoe making, furniture making, or motorized rollup screen manufacturer, these principles should serve you well. One of the best ways to understand how lean manufacturing principles work is to focus on simplifying the design as much as possible. So, you have to start by asking, ‘What’s the simplest way to design a small manufacturing facility?’ The more complex the design, the more the cost of setting up and running the facility increases. Any design with an elaborate layout will require more materials to set up, while lean manufacturing initiatives allow you to do more with less. Doing more with fewer means you’re embracing sustainability, and that’s always a good place to start, considering the progressive manufacturing landscape.
Prioritize Safety Features
Increased safety in manufacturing facilities is of the utmost importance. That’s why it’s crucial to incorporate the appropriate safety features into the design right from the start. This is financially savvy because it helps you avoid the long-term costs associated with workplace injuries. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were close to 5,000 fatal workplace injuries in the country in 2020 alone. If you want to avoid designing a facility that contributes to the statistics, then you need to research design strategies that ensure the actual facility is safe for all employees. You can start by incorporating the use of appropriate manufacturing machines, equipment, technology, and tools.
If the design fails to incorporate the right safety features, the liability costs that come with expensive lawsuits and loss of reputation could be astronomical. Additionally, a well-designed and safe plant helps minimize exposure to workers’ compensation claims and paid time off work for recovery. Hence, the safety of the manufacturing plant design is one of those things that you have to consider to minimize the risk of workplace hazards and accidents. For instance, when choosing design materials for commercial flooring, it’s important to do your research and weigh the pros and cons. Consider various materials, such as concrete, tile, brick, or vinyl flooring.
Save on Energy Costs
Commercial solar initiatives are on the rise, but they are not the only way to reduce energy costs when designing a manufacturing facility. While it’s true that some of the highest costs of operating a manufacturing business come from energy use, there are ways to meet the facility’s energy needs in a more efficient manner. For instance, it’s common knowledge that LED lights consume less energy than other alternatives. One of the best ways to ensure you come up with an energy-efficiency design is to incorporate high-efficiency manufacturing equipment. The design must also incorporate smart thermostats and sensors to enhance the heating and cooling functions of the facility.
Reducing energy costs can be a great way to lower production costs. Typically, a small manufacturing facility will have lower energy needs compared to larger facilities. Still, energy costs can run high if the design is not carefully thought out. The design must focus on improving the energy efficiency of critical functions like heating, cooling, lighting, and equipment operation that facilitates production. These are all energy costs that reduce profit margins, and you’re better off coming up with a working design to conserve energy. Even the slightest reduction in energy usage can have a great impact on the overall cost of manufacturing. The good news is you not only end up with a design that’s cost-effective but also helps shrink the facility’s carbon footprint.
Leverage Technology to Save Time and Labor
In a time when technological advancements are taking over the world, you can’t afford not to incorporate automation when you design a small manufacturing facility. Automation and technology have literally transformed the way manufacturing facilities operate, allowing manufacturers to save more time and reduce labor expenses. This can be achieved by replacing any manual and repetitive processes with automation to speed up production. With the use of tech, the plant layout can be streamlined, resulting in faster and more efficient production and, ultimately, high-quality output. While you can never completely design a facility where labor is not needed, the goal is to find the perfect balance of automation and human resources.
For instance, your design could involve the use of collaborative robots that can trim your manufacturing costs by increasing yield without requiring higher labor expenses. You can manage to trim your workforce from the start by virtue of a streamlined design. Another important benefit of designing with automation in mind is that you can maximize the potential of your workforce. That’s because if there’s a good balance of man-machine activities, employees can focus on other roles that require critical thinking skills.
Use High-Quality Equipment
Part of the design process that you’ll have to navigate is selecting and adding equipment. It’s not unusual to have a 3D layout that can help you visualize the facility you have in mind. This can be advantageous because you can try out different equipment parameters to ensure that the overall design is precise and accurate. That said, when selecting equipment, don’t just focus on getting the best visual of any potential layout. Your focus must go beyond this and delve into the material used to construct various components. Keep in mind that a well-designed manufacturing facility must be able to stand the test of time.
The last thing you want is poor equipment selection that may cause issues down the line. For instance, the wrong equipment that’s not designed to be durable is prone to breakdowns. You can imagine what this can do to production costs if there’s frequent downtime. High-quality machinery and equipment should not be considered a cost, so there’s no need to try and save by opting for cheaper options. Instead, this is an investment with a high ROI, and it’s good to keep it in mind during the design process.
Work Only With Reputable Services and Suppliers
While this may not be strictly part of the design process, it’s worth keeping in mind. After all, when you complete the design process, the design has to be implemented so that what’s on the ground and what’s on the paper match. There’s a need to hire various services and work with different suppliers when implementing the design. Therefore, it’s essential to only work with reputable people who can be trusted to deliver quality results. Whether you need to hire sheet metal fabrication services or door installers, there can be no compromise when it comes to quality. Even something as simple as hiring commercial pavers or mobile welders must be done with the due diligence it deserves.
Ensure the Highest Security
One of the most financially savvy ways to design a small manufacturing facility is with security in mind. A design that lacks security features can result in huge financial loss. The good news is that there are many ways to incorporate security into the facility’s layout. This is all thanks to the technological advancements that have been made in this area. For instance, your design should include the implementation of high-tech security systems. There are various options you can utilize in a manufacturing plant for security reasons. Depending on the industry, one of the greatest threats that manufacturing facilities face is fire, so there’s a need for commercial fire alarm services to install an effective fire alarm system.
If the threat of break-ins proves to be more serious, then you might want to consider a design that includes tailored electronic enclosures. This can help prevent the risk of theft and other issues that may come up by restricting access to certain parts of the facility. Access control is an important issue in particular because this security system can serve as the best line of defense. Implementing access control into the design is essential if you want to maximize security. In any case, your design should have multiple layers of defense for the best protection against potential threats.
Keep the Design Compliant
It’s important to keep compliance in mind when you design a small manufacturing facility. Thus, you should also consider the legal perspective as well as the financial perspective because they tie in together. Remember, failure to comply with applicable rules and regulations can be costly. If the design is implemented and it’s discovered to be in breach of various regulatory, technical and corporate governance requirements, then this could be costly. While you may think that being compliant is necessary, these requirements are often meant to protect the facility, the environment, employees, and consumers. That’s why it’s encouraged to concern yourself with all the rules and regulations that apply to the type of manufacturing facility you’re designing.
Seek Financial Advice
If you’re looking for financially savvy ways to design a small manufacturing facility, then it’s important to consult with experienced professionals. That said, make sure that you have set aside enough time to do your own research on the topic. That way, when you finally seek professional expertise, you can quickly recognize what works for you and what doesn’t. The main advantage of consulting with experienced professionals is that it can provide you with a fresh perspective. When it comes to designing a cost-effective small manufacturing facility, there may be surprising ways to achieve the goals that you hadn’t thought of. Therefore, the right input from a different perspective can help ensure an efficient design that leads to both long-term and short-term savings.
You can look for personal financial advisors that can provide guidance on how to structure your design to match your financial goal. They can also assist you with adding up all the costs of different designs to see which one is the most cost-efficient. When designing a manufacturing facility, it’s crucial to understand the costs associated with various components of your design. This helps you see the areas of your design that need tweaking and where you may be able to cut costs without compromising the quality of your design.
There are some of the cost-efficient ways to design a small manufacturing facility. Even though the right plant layout can help reduce manufacturing costs, the importance of the design process is often overlooked. This automatically means there’s an in-built cost that you can never eliminate once you start manufacturing. On the other hand, applying these financially savvy tips to design a small manufacturing facility means you’re maximizing the money-saving potential of your business. This offers plenty of benefits, including efficient process flows, better yields, and higher profit margins. In the world of manufacturing, this is the key to staying competitive and hitting your business’s financial goals.