The Importance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Dec 7, 2020

At CECOR we make many sub-assemblies that are used later in the production process.  Each of the sub-assemblies has a drawing showing how the sub-assembly goes together and the materials that are required.  In our case, a drawing is our standard operating procedure (SOP).  When our production staff uses a drawing to complete a sub-assembly the same way each time, we become more and more efficient until we are able to make the product for the least amount of labor possible.  Like many manufactures, we track the time and materials used using an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to prove that the production staff is keeping our costs down.


You may be asking yourself, what does this have to do with sump cleaning?


Some say production work and cleaning a sump are two very different issues.  While we agree that they are different issues, both make the company money by reducing your cost of goods sold. In a sump cleaning scenario, you can improve your cleaning speed and reduce your cost if you have a SOP to guide the person cleaning the sump.  If you track the cleaning time of each sump, you can easily determine your improvement over time.  Each type of CNC machine will, more than likely, require a slightly different SOP.  Some sumps have easier access than other sumps; some can be easily and quickly removed, and others are cast into the machine itself. Most sumps are somewhere in the middle. 


Even though it will take time to put the SOPs for cleaning each sump together, the payoff includes fewer opportunities for issues caused by dirty metalworking fluid and saved money. Clean metalworking fluid gives you less downtime, less marring of parts, and fewer tool changes caused by dirty metalworking fluid.  You also have the bonus of happier employees because clean metalworking fluid does not stink or cause skin issues.


A simple SOP for cleaning a sump is a great way to make cleaning your coolant tank more efficient.


Things you may want to include in the SOP:

  1. Machine information
  2. Sump size
  3. How often to do a quick clean and/or a thorough clean
  4. List of tools used for cleaning the coolant tank
  5. Diagram of the coolant tank.
    1. If the tank is removable then how to remove the tank
    2. If the tank is not removable then the best access points for cleaning the sump
  6. Link to a short video showing how to use the sump cleaner on this type of sump


Recently we hired a new welder.  Because of our SOPs, the training time required to get a welder efficient in the CECOR processes has decreased.  The same applies to the person cleaning the sump.  When a person with the right training is given the appropriate information, they can become efficient at a task much faster.  As management, it is our job to give the production worker enough information to use their training and talents to get tasks they were hired to do, done efficiently. 


Want to hear more from us?

Please fill out the form on the right so we can help you. If you would rather call us, you can reach us at 800-356-9042 x210.