Key element of industrial documentation, the operating mode is the basic support that allows operators to be guided in the performance of the tasks inherent to their respective jobs. It is therefore vital for the company that these documents are not only perfectly clear and legible, but also free of any errors that would lead to non-conformities in the execution of operations.

Updating paper work instructions: a waste of time and energy

As the environment in which the company operates is evolving and getting dynamic, so must the way it operates and produces. Work instructions cannot remain frozen in time, because they must adapt to the arrival of new factors: new standards, new tools, new processes, new demands, etc. In addition, errors or sources of inefficiency and non-compliance may be detected in these work instructions once they are applied in the field.

There are therefore regular changes to be made to these operating procedures, which means that they must be updated each time. However, this is obviously a serious problem when dealing with traditional paper-based media.

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This means that all copies of the old versions (those that are not up to date) of the work instructions must be removed from circulation to ensure that no employee still uses them to do their job. The next step is to reprint the media, then to ensure that all operators have the updated documents after validation by the various actors concerned (production manager, quality manager, operators who may also be involved in these updates…). All this mobilizes resources (material and human), energy and time.

It is therefore impossible to update paper documents without there being a certain amount of waste, not to mention the environmental consequences, since paper is a recyclable material but represents a considerable amount of potential waste.

Difficulty in managing and securing documents

As corporate documentation must be archived, it is easy to imagine the volume of documents to be stored and managed as they accumulate. They require a dedicated space, with significant material resources (cupboards, filing cabinets, wear and tear protection, etc.) and organizational resources.

Updating work instructions also poses a security and confidentiality issue. Security problem exists, since any paper support is likely to be altered or even destroyed in the event of an accident, mishandling or disaster (fire, flood…). As far as confidentiality is concerned, there are concerns about possible data leaks to competitors, as paper documents can be hidden and misused.

Problems to which the fact of going digital brings solutions. When properly secured, digitized operating procedures are less vulnerable to this risk of disclosure. Moreover, work instructions, stored and accessible on digital media, cannot be lost or destroyed in the same way as paper documents. Dematerialization also makes it easier to make new, modified and updated documents available. These are automatically and quickly transmitted to the terminals used by operators in the field.

Picomto is the European leading digital work instructions software. Contact us to know more.

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