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How to avoid costly defects when switching between codes

Lean manufacturing aims for continuous improvement by identifying opportunities to reduce waste and add value. Companies may use a range of proven methods when applying lean principles, including Just-In-Time deliveries which offer such benefits as eliminating the need for high stock levels, and freeing up factory floor space.

Just-In-Time production methods will mean that products may be coded at short notice and in shorter runs. Therefore it is essential for your coder to be able to switch between messages quickly, easily and without hassle. If your coder can't accommodate effectively for lean production methods such as JIT, the entire production line will be unable to work at maximum efficiency. Your coder needs to offer reliable printing onto numerous substrates, and be simple to use in order for lean principles to be best effective.

How you can improve production using lean principles

Coding errors can be costly, both in terms of lost time and, sometimes, product. Savings can be made using lean principles and companies can improve production quality and reduce waste as a result.

One such company who introduced these standards is Boeing. The aerospace giant reduced defects from 1,200 out of 10,000 to fewer than 300 out of 10,000, and reduced floor space by 200,000 square feet in their manufacturing plant in Auburn, Washington. By minimising quality issues, Boeing's Fabrication Manufacturing Business Unit (MBU) reduced its quality cost performance measure by over 51%! As you can see, big savings can be made using lean principles to reduce defects at every stage of the production line.

Switch product runs with ease

Being able to switch between multiple product runs quickly and easily is essential for a lean production line. Excessive downtime can increase costs, while a complex product run change-over procedure can increase the chances for errors to be made, again increasing costs through excessive waste. Linx coders have been designed from the ground up to address both these issues when applying coding to your products or packaging.

To achieve effective lean production, costly down time should be avoided, and so switchovers should be fast, simple and hassle-free. Whilst startup processes may seem insignificant at first, they can have a real impact on down time, especially if done on a daily basis, or if additional processes are needed before and after lengthy holiday breaks. Ease of use is a key area that can improve the speed of set up, particularly when switching between code messages. Linx coders are simple to use and with intuitive touchscreen user interfaces, with models using picture-led prompts and on-screen help, ensuring you can avoid costly defects caused by programming machinery incorrectly.

Linx coders deliver further benefits for lean production lines, including ease of switching between codes from a list of saved messages, offering valuable time-saving benefits and allowing multi-skilled staff to operate with ease. By allowing code content to be transferred between machines via USB, the process of switching product runs is speedy and simple. Printers can also be controlled by a central PC using Ethernet, further speeding up product run switches and code changeovers.

Reducing costly errors

The likelihood of mistakes on the factory floor are reduced thanks to Linx printers' ease of use, fast set-up and central control feature which allows individual or multiple coders to be managed and monitored from a central computer or even a smart phone. This makes the process of checking codes quick and simple, and reduces risk of defects. What's more, barcode scanners linked to coding equipment can allow automatic code selection, and different users can be assigned different levels of permission to create, select or change messages – another way of reducing inadvertent tampering and errors.

Wrapping up

With benefits including easy-to-use interfaces, speedy set-up, and saved messaging; Linx printers are the perfect fit for a lean production line, allowing for coding to be switched seamlessly, resulting in fewer errors and therefore less costly product wastage.

Get in touch to discuss how Linx can support your coding and marking needs