5 Common Temperature Control Mistakes That Could Cost You Millions

    Posted by Mike Bonner

    Jun 25, 2013 10:40:00 AM

    Awareness is half the game.”

    shutterstock 105655442 resized 600We understand it’s not easy. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with everything needed when managing a manufacturing/production facility. But, what if you learned that you’ve been making costly mistakes, without even realizing it. Even more difficult is changing the habits that caused those mistakes in the first place. Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen just about every mistake in the book and, believe us, we’re not here to judge you.

    In our experience, far too many manufacturing leaders, CEOs, and industrial managers are guilty of violating many of the mistakes you’re about to read. But don’t let these depress you: if anything, they should motivate you. 

    Every one of these mistakes is directly related to point-of-application temperature control, and are easy to overlook as mere process improvements, rather than game changers. They are common and costly mistakes, but relatively easy to fix. So, if you’re looking to improve your performance and/or reduce your costs, this list is a good place to start. 

    Mistake #1:  Ignoring temperature

    The most common (and damaging) mistake made is simply ignoring temperature as a variable. Changes in temperature are a major cause for the hidden costs associated in the manufacturing and production process.

    Mistake #2:  Attempting to Control At The Source

    A close second is controlling temperature at the source. The problem here is that you think you’re addressing the temperature problem, when, in fact, you’re not. Only when you control temperature at the point of application, do you end up with the results you expected all along

    Mistake #3:  Blunt Control

    An example of this is the over emphasis on in-line heaters. People forget about their inaccurate control and limited surface areas, which force the need for higher surface temperatures to lift the entire volume of fluid up to the proper temperature. This can degrade these delicate materials and, therefore, degrade the product. Additionally, in-line heaters cannot cool, so they cannot adjust for the process generated heat.

    Mistake #4:  Treating The Symptom

    We see it all the time. Seasonal material blends, robot programs, etc. They all attempt to address the symptom rather than the cause. This results in slower production times, greater complexity and high costs.

    Mistake #5: Inspector 11

    Remember the days when you bought a new shirt and there was a small piece of paper in the pocket that said something like “Inspector 11." It’s hard to believe that the standard manufacturing process once relied on inspection after the fact, because the process itself was designed to fail. 

    Then W. Edwards Deming came along and showed everybody the fallacy of that approach.  While “Inspector 11” is dinosaur-like, it’s not extinct. We see it everyday. Things like end of process “touch-up” that is tantamount to simply reworking the product, or having people on the line to eliminate paint scum and bubbles, continuously adjust pressures, etc. The end result is higher costs and marginal improvement in results.

    Check which mistakes you’re making. Then pledge to retire the bad habits. And remember, something as simple as process- temperature control can eliminate all of these mistakes. 

    Topics: Manufacturing, cost of temperature, Temperature control

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