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I got a job at a plastic manufacturing company and am currently working on a project to sort out the factory's production, planning, and scheduling problems.

As of right now, machines are being turned on/off based on orders (quantity, size, color). There are multiple machines that can produce the same products (i.e. 220 Liter drums). My questions to you are:
- Is it wrong to operate in that manner? Do efficiency levels rise when the machines are kept running and only turned off for regular maintenance?
- Can a machine ever run at maximum capacity utilization rates as given by the machine manual?

PS. All machines considered are blow molding machines

Thank you,

Hi George,
It depends on how the company has set up its business for accounting and generating profit if it can make money operating as you describe then I suppose it is not wrong however more profit could be generated if the machines ran more.
Most companies use utilization rates for production and machine efficiency of around 85%.
You are correct in your assumption that efficiency rises when machines are kept running.
Yes a machine can run at maximum utilization rates but this depends on a number of factors which can have an effect on efficiency such has colour changes and maintenance.  


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Robert Tomlinson


Tooling design,design for manufacture,tooling procurement,machine design,machine procurement,
Processes injection moulding,injection blow moulding,extrusion blow moulding, process control,productivity improvement,Quality,Decoration,Assembly,Automation.Thin wall moulding expert.


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