For most manufacturers, increased productivity means increased profit. We recently read an article from Electrek titled “Tesla now operates the most productive car factory in the US,” and it got our wheels turning. We’ve been considering what productivity is, what it means, and what you can do about it in this series of posts.
As mentioned in the Tesla article referenced above, Tesla’s Fremont, CA factory is more productive than—which is to say, producing more vehicles than—any other auto plant in North America, even ahead of larger auto manufacturers.
For a simple example of what it means to increase productivity, if you are currently producing 100 units per week and you increase to 200 per week, your productivity has doubled. However, unless your equipment was not running at full capacity, it would be unusual to see a gain like this without other significant changes. This is where efficiency comes in.
Efficiency is the quality and effectiveness of the work being done, and productivity is just one part of this. Considering our simple example again, if you double your productivity but the increased production speed also leads to an increased error rate, you will actually decrease your overall equipment efficiency (OEE).
On the other hand, the article mentions that one way Tesla has improved productivity is that they use space more efficiently. Although their Fremont, CA facility is about half the size of Toyota’s Georgetown, KY facility, excellent planning and design allows Tesla to make the same number of cars in that smaller footprint as Toyota can produce in their larger facility.
Stay tuned for our next post where we’ll explore ways to drive productivity improvement.
When you are looking to make genuine business improvements, it’s important to partner with someone you can trust. Wes-Tech keeps you at the forefront of productivity and efficiency advancements by implementing best practices across manufacturing automation. When you need a partner who can help you drive towards higher productivity, on time and in budget, we’re here for you.
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