In this article you will learn 7 important area’s to examine when considering a digital work instruction platform.
1. Industrial Scalability
There has never been a higher demand for technology scalability and standardization. Increasingly workstations can not operate in silos, nor does management want to have a scattered set of digital roadmap initiatives implemented across the factory.
Ideally you run digital work instructions at several workstations across the factory or at multiple sites. Scalability is also a means to determine potential roll-out success.
Consumer choice has increased steadily over the last decade. We have seen features that allow each buyer to customize to his or her preference. Whether you are buying a new car, a motor bike or a dish washer the options can be overwhelming. As a result processes have become more complex and manufactures need to deal with smaller batches and more variants.
Needless to say, creating and maintaining paper-based work instructions have never been so much perceived as tough and time consuming.
Test the user interface and investigate how much effort it will take you to build and manage your instruction sets.
3. Operator convenience and acceptance
Acceptance of new technologies are a given for successful roll-outs. No matter how cool the new digital work instruction tool is, people actually need to adopt it.
Evaluate whether there is a possibility to implement the operator skill matrix. This way, more seasoned workers won’t be bothered by too detailed instructions. At the contrary, less experienced operators will see instructions amplified with pictures, video’s,..
Check if operators have the ability to instantly give feedback, edit or rate instructions according to their experience
4. Future proofness
No one wants to invest in a digital work instruction platform, only to discover a short while later that it has become outdated.
Investigate whether platform has a roadmap outlook or is looking into emerging technologies (eg. Augmented Reality, Apps,…)
5. Hardware integration capability
Typically assembly operations require the usage of several devices or machinery like torque tools, barcode scanner, label printers or even a cobot or robot.
Evaluate whether the platform is hardware agnostic, meaning it works with any brand any tool. Ask about concrete examples of their past implementations and experience.
6. Software integration capability
Every manufacturing company has their own set of business systems to manage various aspects of their operations. In 95% of the cases, digital work instructions platform should easily integrate and communicate with existing systems in place.
Ask providers how about their experience to link your existing business systems like ERP, MES, PLC, I/O..
7. Data capture and analysis
It has been said that the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil but data. Significantly important is how data is collected from digital work instruction platform and which insights you can get out of real-time data.
Examine how easy and straightforward it is to get insights into performance of your operations through dashboard and real-time KPI viewing of main parameters: takt time, number of errors, torque results, machine health, …