8 ways electronic work instructions are transforming the shop floor

-Review the  article – “8 ways electronic work instructions are transforming the shop floor” from this week’s reading assignment. It discusses the importance of work instructions and how these instructions have improved a company that runs a shop floor environment.
-Assume that you are a manager for the company in this article. Considering the methods that have been used in the past and that are currently being used as mentioned in the article, explain what you feel the pros and cons are to electronic work instructions.
-Using outside references, what other work instructions might you introduce to the work place? You should include a minimum of two additional techniques not mentioned in this article.
-Generate a solid analysis on why these methods would be helpful. Your analysis should be supported by research.
-Write between 3 pages using Microsoft Word in APA style
-Use font size 12 and 1” margins.
-Include cover page and reference page (at least 3 references)
Today, electronic work instructions software
is instrumental to the shop floor. And
market leaders are investing in the integration
of electronic work instructions (EWIs)
with 3D visualization and simulation software,
so operators aren’t just following
along with instructions, they’re able to view
animations of each step and sometimes even
improve things right on the spot.
Here’s what you need to know about
the past, present, and future of electronic
work instructions in manufacturing operations
management, as well as discuss eight
ways they’re transforming the shop floor.
From paper-based to next-generation
It’s vital that you have clear and
repeatable instructions for every manufacturing
process. Traditionally, shopfloor
workers would hang laminated
pieces of paper on the wall with diagrams
and explanations of each step.
The shortcomings of this are obvious,
particularly when an engineering change
order (ECO) was required and those
changes needed to be sent to engineering,
revamped, sent back to manufacturing,
reprinted, relaminated, and so on. If
we’re talking about a global operation,
this becomes even more of a challenge.
The more complex something you’re
building is, generally the more complex
those instructions have to be, and
a paper-based approach can be limiting.
But computer technology on the shop
floor wasn’t always as easily accessible
and widespread as it is today.
Since document control software has
become widely adopted, however, EWIs
have made their way into the manufacturing
environment. EWIs have improved
the way supervisors and operators build
products, and the way they interact with
engineers and maintenance personnel.
The technology enables a centralized,
standardized, and automated document
management system, and can be found on
most modern manufacturing shop floors.
In addition to improving communication
and collaboration on the shop floor,
streamlining EWIs mitigates many of the
traditional risks associated with changing
a work order. In the past, an engineering
change may have been ordered, but never
completed or at least never communicated
to the appropriate personnel once
completed. With automated workflows,
notifications can be triggered to ensure
the process is completed and the appropriate
personnel are notified. Workflows
can also ensure that the right instructions
are being followed on time and in the
context of the manufacturing process.
As the use of simulation and 3D visualization
software becomes more prevalent,
moving from engineering onto the shop
floor, EWIs are becoming an even more
effective tool. By integrating EWIs with
this technology, an operator can watch each
step of a process played out via animations.
In some cases, operators and supervisors
are trained to actually make changes and
improvements to these processes in real
time rather than waiting for an ECO.
With the continuous advancement
of technology, we expect to see further
integration between plant and process
design, 3D visualization, simulation software,
workflow software, manufacturing
execution systems, and electronic work
instruction software.
The role of EWIs
Increasingly, modern manufacturing
operations management (MOM) platforms
offer EWIs as an application within
a broader portfolio of applications that
integrate via the same software platform.
8 ways electronic work instructions
are transforming the shop floor
By Mike Roberts, LNS Research
PLE1311_INFOCUS_V5msFINAL.indd 16 11/14/13 10:50 AM
Standardization on the MOM platform
facilitates the sharing of information and
workflows, and is often a driver of greater
collaboration capabilities in globally
distributed manufacturing environments
and even between functional units.
Eight benefits of EWIs
Moving from paper-based work
instructions to EWIs, there are many
benefits. When accounting for the
centralization, standardization, and
automation capabilities offered by
today’s MOM software platforms, those
benefits increase dramatically. Below are
eight ways EWIs are improving shop-floor
operations and making manufacturers
more effective:
1. Reduced downtime: Because communication
is easier with an electronic
routing and delivery system, less time is
required to take maintenance actions or
make engineering change orders.
2. Stronger communication: A centralized
document management system
enables greater ability to share documents
within the manufacturing environment,
across facilities, and between
functional units. Stronger communication
creates fewer errors.
3. Closed-loop manufacturing and
quality processes: With a centralized
platform, EWI/ECO content and data
can be more easily shared with corrective
and preventive action management
and audit management processes.
4. Closed-loop manufacturing and
engineering processes: With a centralized
platform, EWI/ECO content and data
can be more easily shared with the failure
more and effects analysis processes.
5. Reduced waste/scrap: The ability
to communicate and collaborate with
engineering more effectively helps to
improve first-time quality and reduce
waste in the manufacturing environment.
6. Easier communication of regulatory
changes: Because many industries
face dynamic regulatory environments,
EWIs help to quickly communicate
changes required for shop-floor processes
and validate that personnel have been
made aware of and are following them.
7. Faster new product introduction
process: Streamlining communication
and collaboration between manufacturing
and engineering reduces the time required
to develop, test, and build new products.
8. Reduced risk and improved efficiency:
With automatic notifications
triggered for both shop-floor and engineering
workers, the likelihood of a
non-conformance or compliance issue
is much lower. P
Mike Roberts is a research associate
at LNS Research.
As part of the 2014 Global Automation
& Manufacturing Summit,
Control Engineering and Plant
Engineering are looking for manufacturers
who want to share their success
stories with a global manufacturing audience.
They are issuing a Call for Presentations
for the 2014 Summit.
Control Engineering and Plant Engineering,
in partnership with Hannover
Fairs USA, will present the 2014 Global
Automation & Manufacturing Summit on
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, at the Industrial
Automation North America Show, part of
IMTS 2014 in Chicago.
Building off the success of the inaugural
2012 event, the 2014 Global
Automation & Manufacturing Summit
will feature success stories from manufacturing
around the country.
Submissions for presentation can
include Word documents, videos, PowerPoint
presentations and any other content
you think will be helpful in evaluating
your plant for inclusion in the 2014
Go to www.plantengineering.com/
summit for the form to submit to your
proposal today. Proposal submissions
are due by Dec. 20, 2013.
Tell your plant’s success story at 2014 event
PLE1311_INFOCUS_V5msFINAL.indd 17 11/14/13 10:50 AM
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