Reduce Wait Times

Reduce Wait Times


It's possible that a good chunk of your downtime is related to your operators waiting for something or someone to get to the machines, and you may not even realize it. They could be waiting on supervisors, Quality Control, Maintenance or other things. You can use downtime codes to determine which teams your operators might be waiting on the most, to help address any communication lapses and reduce these waiting times.


  • First, establish downtime codes like Waiting on QC, Waiting on Maintenance, Waiting on Supervisors, or Waiting on Material
  • After a few weeks of this, you'll be able to see which teams your operators are waiting on the most.
  • If the root cause to "Waiting on (X)" is a communication issue, we recommend implementing Amper's Andon Call feature: the Call Team Button. When issues occur, your operators can easily call the right team without leaving their station. The system tracks response times to see how long it takes for the issue to be resolved, and you can then use the Call Response Explorer to see how those response times improve over time, and measure utilization before and after.


Below are some other projects to consider for certain "Waiting on (X)" root causes:

If after a few weeks of labeling, you find that Waiting on QC is a major downtime reason, there are a few projects you can implement to address this.

  • Move your quality control lab closer to machines.
  • Add more personnel to the Quality Control team.
  • Implement Autonomous Inspection: simplify gauging techniques so operators can perform inspections themselves.
  • Justify automatic in-line gauging machinery.
  • Keep machines running during inspection in a secure area, if failed inspection rate is low. If in the rare case that a part does fail inspection, quarantine that part and rework.

If after a few weeks of labeling, you find that Waiting on Material is a major downtime reason, there are a few projects you can implement to address this.

  • Consider POUS , or Point of Use Storage. If you have repeat parts that run on certain machines, you should consider moving that inventory closer to that machine, so operators don't waste time going to retrieve those items.
  • Quantify time lost due to Waiting on Material, and hire more material handlers.
  • Set up a better structure to divide material handlers workload.
  • Install support equipment to notify when a machine is running low on material automatically. Often times, an operator may not know their machine is out of material until its out, so if they can be notified before this happens, it can prevent the machine from stopping all together. While this type of equipment may be expensive, you can use downtime labeling to quantify how much money you are losing to Waiting on Material to justify the cost.
  • Organize your material better, so your operators aren't spending time looking for things. You can implement a FIFO (first in first out lanes) or 5S material as demonstrated below.