Gone are the days when high variety manufacturing workshops relied solely on paper-based instructions to manage many process variables. In the age of digital transformation, technology has equipped workshop managers with the tools to drive productivity and improve manufacturing efficiency.
It’s likely your work instructions have more pages than a novel. How productive do you think it would be if each worker ends up having to flick through a Game of Thrones-sized booklet just to get the instructions they need? Let’s be honest, it’s not helpful. Instead, it slows down production, reduces operational efficiency and frustrates workers, leading to more headaches and more mistakes. And that’s not even factoring the cost of printing it all!
In the age of Industry 4.0 – and a push towards green manufacturing – digitizing your instructions in PDF form and displaying it on screen might seem like the obvious answer – but is it really helpful?
Understanding where paper instructions fall flat
Instead of searching through a paper booklet, your workers are now scrolling through the same instructions, but on a screen. Changes or updates might be easier to implement, but workers are still battling through instructions for results instead of working with their instructions to improve their efficiency. Utilizing PDFs on screen might be a step in the right direction, but the technology improving your production line is leaps ahead already.
For most of the world, reading left to right and top to bottom is ingrained into us from an early age. Work instructions may be laid out with this in mind, there are hundreds of factors that can change how people engage with what’s written in front of them, particularly if there are many process variables at play.
Just look at this:
A lot of reading is instinctual, and simply, paper instructions don’t play into that instinct – they push against it. ‘Paper on screen’ might allow you to use more color to draw your attention to important parts of documents, but that’s only the beginning of the necessary changes to improve the way your workers engage with operator guidance.
The not just paper on glass approach
Decades ago, navigating to an unfamiliar destination meant unfolding a paper map, a process prone to errors. Now, with GPS, you choose a destination, and your route is guided seamlessly. This concept extends to Industry 4.0: NoMuda VisualFactory offers dynamic instructions – elevating worker confidence and minimizing errors on the production line.
Just as GPS revolutionized navigation, our approach transforms manufacturing guidance.
By using NoMuda VisualFactory, you’re taking that leap into digital manufacturing. Software like this is at the heart of the implementation of lean manufacturing principles that will help you to achieve manufacturing efficiency on your shop floor, particularly if you have a highly variable process.
Mistakes might seem like an inevitability on a shop floor, but even a small mistake can cost money and time. On any shop floor, health and safety will hugely inform how equipment is managed – the most complicated part of any workshop is the people working within it.
Mistakes can be costly, and could damage products and equipment alike, but more importantly, mistakes can be dangerous to your workers. Simply, displaying instructions on a screen doesn’t remove the possibility of errors, you would likely end up with the same issues that would happen with paper-based instructions.
We have to fundamentally rethink how we serve workers on shop floor instructions.
In an increasingly interconnected world, remote support is becoming more prevalent. Digitized operator guidance allows experts to provide real-time assistance to operators from anywhere in the world, minimizing downtime and maximizing manufacturing efficiency.
Digital manufacturing is here, and adopting its principles will reduce your paper use, decrease avoidable mistakes, increase safety and operational efficiency, all whilst supporting the push towards a green manufacturing future.
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