The best reason to go digital in manufacturing is to achieve a business goal. Doing it for the sake of going paperless, digital or being innovative are worthy goals, but on their own, will not get your digital transformation very far and could backfire. True – paper savings from creating digital work instructions can be considerable. But on their own, they will not move the needle. So, what kind of business goals can you accomplish with manufacturing apps? Below we go over some of the business objectives we’ve seen our customers meet.
Increased Operator Productivity.
Smart Digital Work Instructions guide operators and make it easier for them to do their work faster, without making mistakes. Other manufacturing apps can increase operator engagement by providing real-time feedback on their work and introducing a healthy competition on the shop-floor. These results add up to reduce cycle times and increase overall productivity.
Real-time Continuous Improvement.
You can only improve as fast as you uncover waste. You can only discover inefficiencies as quickly as you collect data and make your operations visible. With smart work instructions and manufacturing apps, you no longer have to wait for data to be gathered, compiled and analyzed. Instead, you can integrate live, actionable data from your people, tools, and machines to continually improve your operations. Furthermore, when an issue is detected, you can perform fast root-cause analysis with live data and thus solve problems faster to minimize disruptions to your operations.
As a result of higher operator productivity and real-time continuous improvement of both the people and the machines involved in the operations, manufacturing apps enable process improvements that result in higher throughput.
Reduction of quality defects.
Experts have estimated that the average cost of poor quality (COPQ) in manufacturing is between 5-30% of gross sales. Manufacturing Apps reduce quality defects by introducing quality checkpoints along processes and give operators real-time feedback to ensure built-in quality. For example, you can add videos to digital work instructions to ensure the right procedure is performed. Additionally, you can connect your tools to provide operators with real-time feedback to prevent quality defects. For example, connect a torque driver to your manufacturing apps to ensure operators use the right amount of torque at the right angle.
Reduced Training Costs.
Manufacturing Apps let you standardize and automate your training through self-paced training, digital work instructions, and connected tools. This enables you to train new hires without a “training buddy” and have a clearer picture of your team’s skills. This not only reduces the cost of new hire training, but also that of cross-training and training for new product introductions.
Reduce Machine Changeover and Breakdown costs.
The losses associated with changeovers range from 5% to 25% of total available production hours. Interactive work instructions can help you minimize this time by guiding your team as they perform changeover and breakdowns. Moreover, given Manufacturing Apps collect data, you can use the data to find bottlenecks on the process and improve it over time. Lastly, you can ensure maintenance is done promptly to avoid disrupting your operations.
As a consequence of the reduction in quality defects, Manufacturing Apps also reduces the amount of scrap and rework. This saves both operator time and reduces material costs.
Ensure Regulatory Compliance.
Non-compliance fines cost manufacturers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. With Manufacturing Apps, you can create standard operating procedures (SOPs) that make it easier for your team to comply with the regulation. Furthermore, these apps can collect data that lets you have visibility around whether or not your team is following the regulation.
Lower IT development and maintenance costs.
Self-Serve Manufacturing Apps allow everyone on your team to create apps that interact with your existing systems without having to know how to code or do complex system integrations. This will enable you to have the best systems without having to hire expensive third-party integrators or maintaining large IT teams unrelated to your core business.
Faster time to value.
Traditional Manufacturing IT, such as MES, command significant upfront investments, take months to deploy and years to show ROI. Self-Serve Manufacturing Apps, are different. They directly empower end users to build the tools they need and improve them on their own. This results in an average time to value of weeks, rather than months or years.