Establish a system to inspect and grade the lumber at various stages of production to ensure consistent quality.
Use advanced sawing equipment and techniques to reduce waste and improve the accuracy and consistency of cuts.
Control the temperature and humidity of kiln-drying chambers to prevent defects and ensure proper drying.
Minimize damage to lumber during storage and transportation with proper stacking techniques and covering materials.
Provide training and education to employees on quality control and best practices for production and handling of lumber.
Regularly maintain and repair equipment to ensure optimal performance and reduce the risk of defects in the finished product.
Continuously monitor and evaluate processes, and seek feedback from customers to identify areas for improvement and drive quality up.
The lumber manufacturing process and the supply chain of lumber mills are very different from your usual discrete manufacturing, which is what most commercial-off-the-shelf ERPs are designed for. In fact, lumber manufacturing is closer to process manufacturing, but not quite. For example, sawmilling is a divergent process—there are various acceptable quality grades and it’s possible to accept “losing” some a of the raw matter to maximize value. This usually means that ERPs must be heavily customized to meet your needs.
This means that they isolate the machine from the rest of the system, overlooking outside elements that may influence its efficiency and effectiveness. These outside elements must be factored in and then analyzed, which can prove time consuming and complex, making actionable insights hard to get—thus, their impact on quality is limited.
Luckily, a manufacturing execution system (MES) can help supplement your ERP and machine reports, and—indeed—your quality improvement program in many ways:
An MES like PMP TeamMate provides real-time data on manufacturing operations, such as availability, product yields, and labor performance. This helps monitor manufacturing processes in real-time and make data-driven decisions directly on the plant floor, which has been shown to have a real impact on product quality.
An MES can help monitor and control the quality of products being manufactured. It can also track and manage product defects, helping to reduce waste and improve overall product quality.
More specifically, PMP TeamMate pools data from all the equipment it’s integrated to and applies a layer of intelligence that takes the form of pre-analyzed reports from which you can easily derive actionable information regarding quality and more.
An MES can help streamline and optimize production workflows, reducing downtimes and improving overall equipment efficiency (OEE), resulting in higher quality products.
An MES can help manage and track equipment maintenance, ensuring that machines are kept in good working condition and reducing the risk of unplanned downtimes.
PMP TeamMate, in fact, offers tools to analyze the various causes of downtime, which can help you plan maintenance and predictive maintenance.
An MES can help lumber mills to comply with industry regulations, such as the moisture content of lumber, which also yields higher quality lumber.
An MES (compared to an ERP) provides a more granular view of manufacturing operations, enabling better control and optimization of manufacturing processes, which not only help lumber mills improve quality, but also increase efficiency and reduce waste. Time has also shown that giving timely information to key employees on the plant floor prompts proactive behavior and a sense of pride in a job well done.
In over 15 years, we’ve worked with over 100 mills like yours across the United States and Canada. As such, PMP TeamMate is the only complete lumber-specific solution that addresses every aspect of lumber manufacturing, reliably and efficiently orchestrating your operations so they run more smoothly, efficiently, and profitably. We’re proud to see floor and management staff alike systematically adopt PMP TeamMate as their go-to tool to help them operate at peak efficiency.