By: Kathryn Gerardino-Elagio
At a time when everything tends to be digitised in the world of industrial manufacturing, work instructions does not escape this transformation. This year has pushed the implementation of digitisation due to the impacts of COVID-19 on different industries. The potential upside of digitisation is huge in terms of capturing competitive advantage, especially for the industrial manufacturing sector. However, the shift brings with it the potential of growing pains as organisations revamp technology, process, and procedures in new ways.
Many processes and the manufacturing of products are still based on the expert knowledge of individual employees. But what to do if they leave the company, are sick or on vacation? Jürgen Kohler, Business Development Manager - EU at Visual Knowledge Share Ltd (VKS) presented the topic, Digitisation of work instructions and checklists, during METAV web sessions in June 2020. International Metalworking News for Asia (IMNA) sent some questions to Jürgen, which he answered enthusiastically.
Jürgen Kohler, Business Development Manager
VKS is an electronic work instruction solution provider, developed to help manufacturers improve profitability through improvements in quality, productivity and efficiency. It makes the creation, deployment and management of work instructions simple and efficient, while providing an integrated platform for data collection and live productivity monitoring.
According to Jürgen, work instructions are often drawn up in paper form with a high expenditure of time, carried into production and no longer used and updated there. But digital work instructions can be created quickly, updated easily and can ensure being used by employees.
In his webinar, Jürgen explained the advantages and benefits of digitised work instructions and checklists, fast and easy creation of digital work instructions and checklists, including capturing of product and process data with the help of work instructions, as well as an application overview of the company.
Digitisation, a powerful tool
The financial impact of COVID-19 is increasing, many manufacturing companies are struggling all over the world, but what is missing in their manufacturing process?
“What is missing depends and specific on each manufacturing company itself. As many governments worldwide have recognised, digitisation is a powerful tool to efficiently manage and overcome the struggles manufacturing organisations are facing in these exceptional times, he said.
Jürgen added, “The 4th industrial revolution was already ongoing prior to COVID-19, however the situation right now moves digitisation even more in the spotlight of the manufacturing world. The awareness will increase software and digital solutions help organisations to quickly adapt to today’s challenges in a lot of areas of the manufacturing environment.”
Adopting digitised work instructions and checklists
Jürgen explained that manufacturing businesses must adopt digitised work instructions and checklists in order to speed up their recovery plans post COVID-19. The primary role of work instructions and quality checklist help user to carry out his work quickly in a non-penalising time. Time-saving is important here, as well as more efficiency and less time spent transcribing data.
“Especially in the current situation, adopting digital work instructions and checklists is extremely helpful. Using VKS will provide you the benefits mentioned in the METAV web sessions such as productivity increase, defect reduction, traceability, flexibility, training time reduction and standardisation therefore it does not only speed up recovery post COVID-19, it also brings long term value to your operations,” he stated.
Jürgen rationalised, “As a simple example we’re seeing right now organisations are having higher fluctuation and changing their production to manufacture different products based on moving demands. How do you transfer the knowledge? How do you train new employees? How do you make sure to provide the right quality? The answer is digital work instructions and checklists.”
VKS is expanding continuously, shared Jürgen. “Besides our headquarters in Montreal, Canada, we have three offices in the US, Scotland and Germany. Operating in different time zones makes us able to serve markets worldwide. VKS is already used successfully in Asia today,” he added.
The company is very dedicated to its customers, Jürgen beamed. “At VKS, customers have their own customer success manager supporting with training, integration, maintaining and upgrading the platform at the highest level of service. VKS is also offering a 24/7 support line,” he mentioned.
Creating resilient manufacturing supply chains
“Transparency and flexibility are keywords for a resilient supply chain,” disclosed Jürgen. “VKS is also aware of the importance of supply chain in today’s organisations. Therefore, VKS has built its new product “VKS Digital Ecosystem” to empower your supply chain and strengthen the collaboration with your suppliers in many ways,” he pointed.
Covid-19 has exposed the strength and the weakness of each company. It came as a surprise. The industrial manufacturing supply chain is undergoing almost unparalleled levels of change. The older measures, productivity, quality, and service still apply, of course, but we now see the presence of digital transformation poised to change everything. Digitisation of work instructions and checklists is there, let’s implement it!
Jürgen Kohler has 15 years’ experience in the metal environment. He was involved in technical education, machine operating, assembly, work scheduling, project leading, sales and production planning.
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