Equipment for Production Supervisors

posted on: Tuesday June 2, 2015

Production supervisors benefit from practical equipment that improves both safety and productivity on the floor.

XtremelargeIn the manufacturing industry, production supervisors have extremely complex roles. They must be experts both on the floor and behind the desk. They need to be effective trainers, managers, and problem-solvers. Two of the most important concerns for supervisors are productivity and safety.

Productivity is easier to measure than it is to improve. Making workers more productive usually requires the implementation of certain changes. These changes can often hinder productivity at first. For example, Just in Time (JIT) strategies are preferred in the manufacturing industry, but can result in a reduced rate of flow until all the kinks are worked out. JIT is a calculated schedule by nature. If not carried out correctly, it may not match the production floor reality.

For example, forklifts are often used to move product. In a large facility, they may need to be scheduled in advance. These moves can add up to a lot of time in waiting, affecting the entire process. For JIT, it can greatly throw off the rate of flow and cause production people to work inefficiently.

Day-to-day movement of heavy carts and equipment also affects production. Two problems that can result here are:

  • One person has to lighten the load in each trip, thereby increasing the number of trips he or she has to take to accomplish a job.
  • Multiple people have to stop what they are doing to get each single load moved across the floor.

Both of these scenarios also threaten the safety and well being of production workers.

Safety continues to be a hot issue in manufacturing, as it is one of the most injury-prone fields recorded. Injuries, both chronic and acute, have a ripple effect. The injured worker faces medical costs, time away from work, changes in quality of life, and possible changes in ability to perform job duties. The company faces a variety of interwoven costs stemming from workers’ compensation, labor, training, insurance, and damaged reputation.

A solution that works best for production supervisors is one that addresses both productivity and safety. For daily pushing and pulling tasks, that solution is a power tugger.

Power tuggers, also called cart pushers or battery-powered tugs, are becoming commonplace in the manufacturing environment. Their simple, compact, and durable design lends to any pushing/pulling task. They improve both productivity and safety in a number of ways:

  • Just one person can overcome hundreds to thousands of pounds of “Draw-Bar Pull” without help. There is no strain or risk of injury to the operator.
  • When moving component carts, raw material or tooling/equipment can be moved by a single operator.
  • Inventory parts can be staged to the production floor by pulling a train of multiple carts behind an electric tug. This gets more product moved in less time.
  • Any employee can operate a power tugger without certification or specialized training.
  • Power tugs allow production supervisors to apply Management by Walking Around. A supervisor can operate a walk-behind power tug and be on the floor working alongside the production workers. Efficiency improvements can be discussed while accomplishing tasks.
  • The movement of product by using Battery-powered tugs is much safer than lift trucks and other material handling equipment. There is optimal operator visibility and reduced risk of injury to other production workers.

Electric powered tugs and wheeled carts are relatively easy and fast to implement. It will also improve production efficiencies and safety right away, as there isn’t a steep learning curve. If you want to improve productivity and safety contact Load Mover, Inc. to get more information on an electric powered tug. The experts at Load Mover Inc. will help you understand its benefits and impacts on your specific operation. Call us at 952-767-1720 or email info@loadmoverinc.com.