Tork study analyses motion and inventory waste in manufacturing sites

2 mins read

Tork®, from leading hygiene and health company, Essity, explores how using data can optimise performance and time management for individuals working with waste.

With hygiene and waste management processes in the spotlight following the COVID-19 pandemic, Tork® is exploring how data can help us to optimise worker performance through making operators’ use of time more efficient for both employers, and for them. Reducing waste in order to increase productivity is a core principle of keeping manufacturing lean, with data showing that reductions in motion and inventory waste can come from unexpected places.

As a part of its work to better understand how to improve manufacturing efficiency, Tork® conducted a study on this topic. The results revealed that the placement of wipers, if not optimised, can generate both motion and inventory waste as well as cause stress among workers.  

In facilities and factories, 44% of machine operators are needlessly interrupted at least 20 times during their workday by having to fetch or dispose of wiping and cleaning products. Furthermore, Tork research showed that 74% of operators often take more wipers than needed for the task to avoid having to walk and fetch more each time, attempting to avoid interruptions yet unknowingly wasting more time.  

The research also made apparent that efficient and effective processes in facilities had an impact on mental health and wellbeing. 69% of machine operators stated that they get stressed if they are interrupted in their work when they have a lot to do, while 90% of machine operators say that if they were provided with professional industrial wipers close by, it would help their workplace organisation and work satisfaction. 

The findings illustrated the need for a service to help employers manage and measure travel and efficiency of cleaning and hygiene. Using this research, Tork® has created the free Tork® motion Waste Calculator. This online tool allows companies to check and measure the impact of ineffective wiper placement in their facilities, providing insight into how dispenser placement really impacts the daily work of operators. Through a series of short questions, the calculator will be able to estimate how many minutes operators waste per workday.  

The solution to the problem is to place the wipers at the workstation so that the machine operators don’t have to walk any distance to fetch them. But as manufacturing environments are varied it can be difficult to find a solution that fits every company. That’s why Tork Performance® dispensers have been designed with a range of unique and flexible mounting options, allowing them to be placed where they are needed the most – within reach of the machine operator. This design feature effectively removes the root cause of the motion and inventory waste shown by the study. 

“Thanks to our understanding of the manufacturing environment, we are in a position to not only help companies identify new sources of waste, but also to provide them with a solution to the problem. Our innovative products can help companies continuously improve by reducing motion and inventory waste,” says Jenny Turner, Marketing Director – Industry at Tork.