How to Eliminate Rejects When Managing a Digital Factory

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By Peggy Fonrose - July 30, 2021

Recent innovations in manufacturing have made production lines more efficient and profitable. Yet even with these recent advances, product rejects on the line persist, which leads to food manufacturing waste.   

To prevent waste caused by rejected products, companies can adopt lean manufacturing methods to help ensure processes are optimized and that people are working efficiently. Additionally, many food manufacturers have taken steps to digitize their factories using software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions that connect people, processes, and equipment to optimize operations. Combining lean manufacturing with these new digital technologies can help managers reduce rejects and other types of waste. 


Use Lean Manufacturing to Eliminate Waste

Lean manufacturing has a wide range of measures to optimize a production. The results of using lean manufacturing methods include higher profits, safer work environments, and solid customer relationships.

Many food manufacturers use lean principles to improve factory floor efficiency and reduce or eliminate processes that lead to waste or just don’t add value. Lean is all about how people—employees and managers—work together to ultimately create more efficient processes, use fewer resources, and maximize customer value. 

In lean manufacturing, there are two types of waste: obvious and hidden.

  • Obvious: This type of waste is, well, obvious; you can easily see it. One example of obvious waste is overproducing products or items that visibly don’t meet specifications.
  • Hidden: This type of waste is much less obvious and often invisible. Hidden waste is what happens when you’re not using the most efficient process or technology or when you’re using more resources than you need to.

For example, think of rework processes. If a line rejects a product because it is outside of the automated specifications, the item should be reintroduced to the line to see if rework is possible. The rework process often is not incorporated into the production line, so rejected products are handpicked for reintroduction. Whereas the rejected product is obvious waste, the efficiency lost in labor and material for a rework while the line is running is more hidden. Manual processes both slow down production and open up the line to more human error. 


How Lean Manufacturing Can Eliminate Rejects in a Digital Factory

Lean manufacturing targets waste in eight areas, which can be remembered with a very memorable acronym: DOWNTIME. The “D” in DOWNTIME stands for defects waste

Products that are rejected because of defects are considered to be obvious waste, and they’re the costliest area of waste because they can impact other forms of waste such as inventory and transportation. However, whereas defective products are obvious, the causes of those defects can be less obvious. 

Often, food manufacturing factory defect waste is the product of poor or inadequate training, whether it is in machine operation or calibration. This kind of waste can be easy to miss on the factory floor. Even with automated processes, humans operating machinery can still cause defects by starting equipment at the wrong time or skipping processes they don’t believe are necessary. Additionally, suppliers delivering even a slightly higher number of defective products can increase defects waste.  

How Can Lean Technology Help?

Lean technology gives you the tools to use data in a way that allows you to see the whole truth about your manufacturing process. You get solid, actionable analysis that all stakeholders can understand to create and implement processes that help to eliminate defects waste. 


Get the Digital Factory Data You Need to Go Lean

The only way to succeed with lean manufacturing is to have the right data. Using Worximity Smart Factory analytics is the simplest way to become a Smart Factory because we provide automatic data collection, monitoring software, and manufacturing analytics. Worximity gives you a cost-effective way to truly measure key production factors and gain the visibility you need to eliminate waste of all types.

For starters, you get:

  • Data collection with Smart Sensor TileConnect technology connected to your production line, collecting data in real time right from your machines.
  • A real-time dashboard where you can easily see all production data collected by sensors, sent using the cloud for real-time visualization and reporting.
  • Analytics reporting that’s accurate and current, serving up easy-to-use data to help make decision-making simple and quick.

Get started with eliminating rejects in your digital factory. Download our lean manufacturing E-book.

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Worximity provides simple realtime technologies to solve food processor pains such as downtime, rejects, waste, overtime; helping them gain profit velocity by improving throughput, yield and OEE.

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