Some of the best tips for production line control are strategic employee positioning and and motivating workers. Products along the assembly line should also have thorough testing as they move from each manufacturing point to prevent costly defects. These small steps help the line stay productive and profitable. Control of the production line involves both human and robotic factors; however, each employee will work at a different pace compared to an automated machine. Positioning slower moving employees near the beginning and end of the production line can improve manufacturing times; faster workers near the middle of the line will pick up the lost time to keep the product moving efficiently through the assembly process.
Another form of employee positioning in production line control is determining any assembly line bottlenecks and adding more workers at that particular point. Certain portions of an assembly line can be more complicated than others, such as aligning a diode component with a computer system. More workers can be added to this area to expedite the process. As a result, the production line retains its productive pace to maintain product output.
A mechanically based assembly line keeps the product moving at a particular pace, such as parts on a conveyor belt. Many experts agree that pacing workers in this manner actually lowers productivity. Employees that can set their own pace produce better production times overall. For example, a worker can put a product module together at one work station and pass it to the next worker at his or her own pace. As a result, the employees are more relaxed to produce more product output.
An important form of production line control is motivating workers. Any problems along the assembly line should not be blamed on the workers; they may become defensive and may produce lower production outputs afterward. Employers should work alongside the workers to find the assembly line problem in a positive manner; working toward a common goal will motivate the employee to resume an efficient work pattern.
Production line control also involves attention to product design. Each assembly point should have a short testing procedure so that no defective pieces remain on the line. For example, a faulty camera placed in a cell phone can be pinpointed the moment after it is installed in the housing, rather than finding the defect after putting the entire product together. Progressive check points will increase production times and reduce final product defects.