Work instructions (WI) in the past and present are typically printed on paper and many times do not represent the current processes on the plant floor. It seems that these aids were more of a formality, used to provide training or answer questions as needed about proper processes and techniques. However, with increasing product variation and consumer demand for higher quality, accurate and real-time work instructions are no longer a formality but an important necessity. Furthermore, paperless work instructions can offer much more capability than paper saving. But where to begin? How to choose the right software to start your digital transformation? A few key features and functionalities of WI software that should be considered in the decision-making process are highlighted below.
Industry 4.0 is changing manufacturing environments with the use of increased automation and real-time data to maximize productivity and reduce costs. While more companies automate routine tasks, operators are still necessary and better at many non-routine tasks. In order to leverage lean operations and competiveness, manufacturers need to invest in technology that expands the capabilities of machines and workers beyond what they could accomplish working alone.