How to Stay Productive During Downtime

As things are slowly starting to get back to normal, many shops will undoubtedly find themselves with a bit of a “ramp-up” period. In other words, even with employees able to return to the shop floor, you may find yourself with more downtime than usual. That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways you can keep your employees busy. Here are just a few ideas when your shop’s trying to stay productive during downtime. 

Routine Maintenance is a Great way Stay Productive During Downtime

Everyone knows how important routine maintenance is on any shop floor. The very machines that have worked for you in good times and in lean require constant attention to ensure they’re working at maximum capacity. The worst thing that could happen would be for your operation to fully ramp up only to be slowed right down again by a misbehaving piece of equipment. 

Preventative maintenance like checking hydraulic pressure or fluids, cleaning and wiping down surfaces, and flushing coolant should be regular tasks. Now’s the perfect time to catch up. Check machine parts, wires and batteries. Make repairs or replacements now so you don’t have to waste time later. 

Finally, safety checks are great use of downtime. Make sure your shop floor is up to par with warning signs, placards, guards, etc. Give your employees a great environment once they return to work.

Professional Development and Recertifications

Depending on your industry, there might be plenty of opportunities to bring your staff to the next level. Do employees require annual or semiannual recertification or training? Are there any resources you can share to enhance their industry knowledge? 

While this might not feel like the most valuable use of your employees’ time, staying productive during downtime through professional development could help your shop grow smarter and more efficient. Think of it as a long term investment. 

Revisit Machining Equipment and SOPs

Along with routine maintenance, taking the time to ensure all of your machining equipment and cutting tools are optimized is a great way to boost productivity further down the road. Take advantage of your downtime by showing your equipment the TLC it needs. That way, once things are up and running again, it’ll be like working in a brand new shop. Is there anything better than working with a fresh piece of equipment? 

The same goes for your business’s standard operating procedures. Every company experiences shortfalls in their SOPs. Just ask your employees. There’s a good chance you’ve developed better or more efficient protocols since many of your SOPs were written. Not only is revisiting SOPs a great way to stay productive during downtime, but you can also engage your employees and allow them to share their firsthand experiences. 

Custom Tool keeps Your Shop Productive

No matter where your shop falls on the productivity scale right now, Custom Tool and Grinding is here to help you get the most value from your operations. Request a free quote today for your next project.