Is paper work an inseparable part of manufacturing?
Advanced manufacturing processes have always involved paper work traveling with the work order. However, manually logging production information and tracking route cards or printed reports is time consuming, prone to errors and is costly when dealing with vast amounts of data.
Question is: in the era of cloud computing and mobile aps, is it possible to digitize the factory allowing you to become much more efficient, centralize your data and run data queries and analytics?
It’s time to ditch the paper!
The digital revolution (aka Industry 4.0) is already here as more and more manufacturers use industrial IoT sensors to continuously gather and feed manufacturing information replacing much of the manual reporting. Additionally, when operators do require to log information, they use computers and mobile devices instead of papers to keep the information accurate and centralized.
So how do I do I(o)T?
New software solutions that involve both sophisticated software and IIoT-based sensors to store, track, and manage production progress and vital quality data will make tedious manual handling a thing of the past. Use technology that incorporates all relevant information, creating real time visibility as well as allowing to run analytics and reporting.
You can use this technology to create a ‘Digital Thread’, an integrated stream of digital data from the raw material to the finished part that makes information from the entire life cycle of the part’s manufacturing process accessible at any given time.
This would include information of raw materials, exposure times as well as full genealogy for each manufactured part. The digital thread means you are always ready for an audit, and can easily track back any part’s history should a defect occur during manufacturing.
Once you have a complete digital view, you will be able to make optimized decisions and bring your factory “into the future”.