by Rob Levandoski, CSP, CIH, CHMM
October is National Manufacturing Month! Recently, the state of manufacturing in the United States has received a lot of attention in political circles. In an ever-growing global economy, where manufacturing costs are often lower in other countries, manufacturing accounts for approximately 8.5% of our workforce (almost 13 million jobs). Manufacturing adds value to other supporting sectors in the economy and pays at a higher rate than other markets (in 2017, an average worker made more than $40 per hour), yet qualified applicants appear to be harder than ever to find. In order to provide a competitive advantage, stateside manufacturers have to be more efficient, limit downtime, and maintain a safe working environment for their employees.
At Fuss & O’Neill, we have a dedicated group, Manufacturing Solutions, LLC, that is committed to developing customized solutions for manufacturers that address site needs, increase performance and worker safety, and improve sustainable practices. While the cost of raw materials is always going to be a driving factor of the profitability of manufacturing firms, so too is the efficiency in which these firms operate.
Manufacturing firms can benefit from a total productive maintenance (TPM) environment, which seeks to maintain the integrity of production, safety, and quality throughout the organization. Before value is realized, we first evaluate and assess facility management practices, equipment care and maintenance, employee efficiency, and overall waste management. Once we have performed this customized assessment, our team works with clients to implement improvement plans that focus on improving operational efficiency, and ultimately, increase output.
While productivity is obviously important, maintenance and downtime often hinder optimal production. We often help our clients utilize predictive maintenance, which implements a standard work plan for maintenance procedures. Using computerized maintenance management, operations staff can anticipate maintenance issues before they happen, help determine the root of some of these issues, and ultimately keep equipment clean, available, and safe to use. Introducing a customized maintenance plan and schedule can reduce costs significantly over the long term.
But neither of these improvements will matter if there are no trained staff. The manufacturing workforce is down on the whole, making it essential to train and retain existing employees. We provide tailored workshops and training events that focus on company-specific safety, efficiency, and improved production. These events raise the possibility of cross-training current employees on multiple pieces of equipment and machinery, showing them the proper techniques, ensuring safe operation, and resulting in a more versatile, valuable employee.
We are proud to serve the manufacturing industry, as it serves many industries throughout the country.
About the Author
Rob Levandoski, CSP, CIH, CHMM is the President of Fuss & O’Neill Manufacturing Solutions, LLC. With more than 25 years of experience directing a wide variety of safety and industrial hygiene compliance projects during his career, Rob’s goal is to prioritize safety. He has extensive experience in various safety subjects, including machine safeguarding, program development, training, recordkeeping, and citation resolution.