Job Shops

Application Notes

About Job Shops

A job shop is a type of manufacturing environment where production is focused on making specific, often custom products one customer at a time. These kinds of manufacturers fit in the “high mix, low volume” category. Each unit produced is created according to precise customer specifications, resulting in highly specialized and customized products.

Examples of job shop manufacturers:

  • Machine tool shops
  • Machining centers
  • Commercial printing
Manufacturing Challenges FreePoint technologies

The Challenge

Manufacturers operating in a job shop type of machining environment have a wide variety of products with no real pattern as to when, or in what order things come through the shop. This makes the day to day operations very different and often unpredictable.

However, due to the unpredictability of daily operations in a job shop, it is challenging for these manufacturers to establish a baseline and by extenstion, determine what an efficient production rate is.

The Solution

With the experience that we’ve gained working with such companies, we have found that a combination of the following key metrics is most effective in job shops:

  • Machine utilization (% of time the machine is adding value)
  • Total number of set-ups
  • Average set-up time
  • Total of all other time (when the machine is not adding value or being set up for a job)

These 4 metrics combined provides:

  • Operators with an indication of overall productivity
  • Management with more accurate insights into machine utilization & capacity

The Outcome

By leveraging the previously mentioned metrics, manufacturers can:

  • Reduce average set up times, because what gets measured gets improved
  • Increase scheduling efficiency by aggregating small non-productive periods to create a larger block of availability
  • Improve CI using collected downtime reason codes
  • Use empirical data to justify equipment investments

One job shop reduced their average set up time by 50%. Half of this was achieved by being objective focussed, and half by making small investments in equipment as well as altering scheduling priorities. Another shop was able to aggregate non-productive time on non-bottleneck operations, freeing up capacity and directly benefiting the bottom line.





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