There are plenty of reasons why you should adopt digital work instructions. So here are the top 8 benefits you will get from adopting digital work instructions for manufacturing.
Manufacturing is becoming increasingly hard to manage due to complex technologies and large production facilities with thousands of assets working together. The need for a centralized system designed to simplify the management of assets, workers, and processes has never been higher.
Industry 4.0 in manufacturing is pushing the limits of traditional techniques, so companies started adopting Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) to increase efficiency and production.
MES systems with digital work instructions are the best choice as they reduce errors that happen throughout the entire facility. Let's how digital work instructions improve manufacturing in more detail.
Digital Work Instructions Explained
In short, digital work instructions close the gap between operators and assets. They are designed to ensure that the operators always have access to accurate information that allows them to complete their job with minimal errors.
Traditional methods required operators to read through lengthy instruction manuals, PDFs, or other materials to get the job done. Digital Work instructions simplify that process through an interactive dashboard that makes it easier for the operators to understand what they must do to complete the project.
When combined with an MES, a digital instruction module offers detailed step-by-step instructions in an easily readable format. Most of these instructions include photos, 3D models, and all documentation. These instructions are much more flexible than paper because they are updated regularly to help streamline the operation even further.
Moreover, all operators will use the exact instructions, which decreases the number of defects and results in less waste. Lastly, they have access to detailed reports to read managers' comments or tag managers to ensure that potential issues are dealt with in real-time.
That's one of the ways how industry 4.0 in manufacturing keeps reimagining production and increasing efficiency.
Benefits of Adopting Digital Work Instructions
There are plenty of reasons why you should adopt digital work instructions. But, of course, the most apparent one is the shift from traditional operations to industry 4.0 in manufacturing. Industries have become fast-paced and more competitive than ever, so manufacturers have to adopt new technologies to stay ahead of the competition.
Once they move their operations into a digital environment, the next step is digital work instructions. Here are some benefits you will get from adopting digital work instructions:
1. Increased Productivity
As mentioned above, digital work instructions provide a significant boost in productivity. Instead of reading through heaps of paper PDFs, your employees get access to a user-friendly interface that allows them to complete their work much faster.
They will get detailed work instructions passed down by experienced team members, and all they have to do to complete projects is follow the instructions. Think of it as an internal knowledge base that turns an average employee into an expert.
2. Significant Time-Saver and Efficiency Booster
If your operators need a lot of time to read through instructions to complete their work, their efficiency begins to drop. If they miss a few important details, they could slow down production and experience more errors. That can lead to poor product quality and expensive mistakes.
However, once you provide your employees with access to a set of comprehensive instructions, they won't have to understand the entire process to increase efficiency. They will follow visual instructions and focus on completing tasks rather than interpreting the instructions.
In other words, they will be able to start production right away, which leads to a significant increase in inefficiency. The instructions stay the same, saving your operators a lot of time and energy in the long run. Another important benefit you get from moving to industry 4.0 is manufacturing.
3. A Way to Distribute Essential Process Knowledge
You know how hard it is to find skilled employees when hiring new staff as a manufacturer. Replacing an experienced worker with a new one is always a problem because you lose productivity until the new worker develops the right skills.
The skill gap is becoming a serious problem everywhere, so many manufacturers have to employ summer students and inexperienced employees. In such an environment, digital work instructions are a real-life-saver.
Instead of taking the long route to employee training, you can use digital work instructions to distribute key information. That way, whenever your experienced workers retire, your replacement employees replace them without any major issues.
The production can go on, and you can use the same method any time in the future. Keep updating your instructions regularly to ensure that production is done according to the best practices.
4. Easy To Understand
Unline paper and complicated PDF instructions, digital work instructions are easy to understand and use. Moreover, since everything is digital, your operators don't have to worry about losing or damaging paper documents. Digital work instruction platforms are designed by manufacturers who understand the pitfalls of using paper instructions.
Industry 4.0 in manufacturing brings all kinds of advancements and introduces technologies designed to simplify processes. Digital work instructions are an excellent example of how modern technologies help optimize performance across the entire operation.
5. Data Capturing and Traceability in Real-Time
Digital work instructions allow KPI tracking and statistical process control using real-time data. That way, every operator and manager will have access to essential information at all times.
Moreover, they will know what materials are used, who provided the instructions, and how much time is needed to complete the project. The data is reliable, and it is the backbone of industry 4.0 in manufacturing.
6. Improved Quality Control and Fewer Defects
Your operators will have access to the best instructions at all times. That means they will be able to complete tasks with fewer errors, which will reduce the number of defects and waste. The software collects and analyzes quality data improving the instructions in the future.
When your operators interact with the instructions, they won't move to the next step in production until they complete the previous step correctly. The goal of these instructions is to ensure product quality and establish consistency.
There is almost no room for errors during production with real-time monitoring features. Fewer defects result in increased customer satisfaction which then leads to improved sales. It's as simple as that.
7. Built-in Data Protection
Industry 4.0 in manufacturing does come with certain security risks as all devices and assets are connected to a single online system. Digital work instruction software can be installed on-premise or using a secure cloud, ensuring that your data is safe from prying eyes.
8. Automatic Translation to Multiple Languages
If you run your operation in multiple countries, translating all documents and instructions into different languages can be a huge problem. However, digital work instruction platforms usually include an automatic translate feature to translate text into over 20 languages.
That allows enterprises to use the same set of instructions across all facilities, no matter where they are. Therefore, the platform acts as a central knowledge base internationally. Moreover, the translation is done with a single click, allowing you to focus on other essential business activities.
It should be evident that digital work instructions go hand in hand with the current digital transformation. They complement industry 4.0 in manufacturing by simplifying instructions to increase production and efficiency. So if you're trying to improve your employee's productivity and reduce errors, digital work instructions will feel like a godsend.