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Lean and Efficient Manufacturing: Dont Forget Defrag

Lean manufacturing is a top priority in today’s cost conscience enterprise. Lean manufacturing is the consolidation of every production detail from raw goods to employee efficiency creating a completely streamlined process. This method is now vital to the survival of business.
Computer performance plays a major role in the streamline process. Baldwin Filters, an international industrial filter manufacturer, is currently ramping up an OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) program, and knows how important computer efficiency is in maintaining cost-effective operations.
“Computing systems are instrumental in the manufacturing process,” says Eric Carel, Network Systems Supervisor for Baldwin Filters. All of Baldwin’s 52 servers and approximately 400 workstations run Microsoft’s Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2005 and SQL Reports.
Because every second of production counts, hard drive file fragmentation creates a serious barrier to increasing efficiency. Fragmentation occurs as files are created, edited and then saved wherever free space is available creating thousands of fragments. The downside is trying to access a fragmented file becomes a painfully slow processes.
Like many manufacturers, Baldwin Filters discovered fragmentation is an issue that must be handled. Also like many, they originally installed defragmentation system site-wide scheduled to run at night. This method proved ineffective. “Scheduled defragmentation was a headache to manage, it interrupted users and those left with fragmentation to deal with sub-par system performance,” Carel says.
Lean and efficient manufacturing methods are vital in today’s cutthroat market. When implementing them, however, don’t overlook computer performance and the primary barrier, file fragmentation.

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