It's Friday night at 9:00 pm and you look at your phone and realize you have just two more hours before the weekend.
Your material handler is playing catch-up because the day shift was shorthanded with four call-ins. The quality inspector just called you on the radio and said a core pin has broken on a part in the past hour since the last hourly inspection was done.
With all you have left to do by 11:00 pm, you think to yourself: "How am I going to get all this done?”
First things first, remember that you are only one person. But you have an entire team of employees that are very resourceful as well. Even that new temp worker that just started today can be taught to pull a material wand at 9:45 pm to let his machine run the material out by 11:00 pm.
Many times, the plant shutdown team only consists of a smaller group of people out of the fear of a poor or unacceptable shutdown.
They say the shift shutting down your plant will setup the Sunday night or Monday start up success. This means it will either be an easy start up or difficult start up.
Consider these ideas/options to help get more machine run time during the week to ease the shutdown workload:
1- Take your top priority machines and schedule manpower to relieve the operators during breaks and lunches all week and across all shifts. If they don't get shut down during the week for breaks and lunches, you gain a shift of production by Friday.
2- If you run certain machines on certain shifts then consider having day shift (day shift usually has more support staff versus night shifts) begin the shutdown late Friday on their shift.
3- With the help of your process techs, mold setters, & material handlers, determine how long it takes for each individual machine to run out of material if the loader is shut off. Then pick the priority of order for all machines to run out.
4- Make sure there are copies of instructions placed on a clip board at the machine for reference for any special machines that have very specific shutdown instructions.
5- Don't be afraid to involve more people with your shutdown tasks. Most operators want to move up in the company, learn, and grow. The more people you teach how to do a great shutdown, the better the shutdown will be.
6- This is a big suggestion that often does not get considered. Change which shift does shutdown and start-up equally rotating until each shift has completed both. This lets the shift that normally starts the plant up see firsthand what it takes to shut down the plant. Many good ideas for improvement can be found by doing this. It promotes teamwork and respect between the shifts and shows the company equally values day to day and shift to shift operations.