Digitalization of work instructions

In an industrial environment undergoing digital transformation, the digitalization of work instructions is essential to allow companies to motivate their teams, improve safety at work and especially boost operational excellence.

However, the digitization of work instructions should be considered as a necessary investment that is beneficial to the company.

It should be noted that digitalization does not mean the transformation of paper documents into PDF documents. It is rather the creation of dynamic digital instructions. Let’s find out!

What is the meaning of digitalizing work instructions?

To begin with, digitalizing work instructions involves writing, storing, distributing and updating them in a digital format instead of on a paper.

In traditional factories, it is customary to keep work instructions in binders in the office of the production manager. Whenever an operator or a technician needs to consult them, they have to leave their station and go to the office of the production or maintenance manager, rummage the documents and find what they need. In this way, production downtime multiplies causing great losses to companies.

Industry 4.0 is a connected factory where all stakeholders are interconnected with each other and with the internal server that contains all the industrial documents they will need.

The digitalization of work instructions helps to facilitate the work of operators, granting them an immediate access to all the documents they need to perform their tasks properly. Therefore, we eliminate the risks related to production loss and non-compliance.  This facilitates the training of operators and makes knowledge transfer more interactive.

It is not enough to transfer them into PDF but to use dynamic media. It’s not just about scanning paper documents and transforming them into PDF. The transition to digital format allows more flexibility in the creation and management of industrial documentation. So, why settle for a rudimentary format?

The creation of a dynamic format helps to integrate the operator in the process of continuous improvement of work instructions. He would feel more involved and could help the company to achieve operational excellence. In fact, the creation and storage of work instructions in a dynamic format facilitates their updating, which avoids the application of old directives that could cause production downtime and non-compliance.

What are the costs of digitalization?

Financial costs

Of course, the digitalization of work instructions comes with a cost. In fact, it should be considered as an investment, taking into account the profits that will result from it. First of all, you should invest in digital work instructions software. It helps to create dynamic work instructions that are easy to understand and apply. It also allows to store them for any eventual update and finally share them with all operators or technicians who will need them. In this way, those who occupy decision-making and organizational positions will have a more global and real time vision on the consultation of work instructions.

In order to allow operators and technicians to consult digital work instructions, it is essential to equip them with connected objects such as tablets, PCs, smart glasses…

Investment in these devices helps operators to be autonomous in carrying out their tasks.

Human costs

In addition to creating and updating digital work instructions, time should be devoted to train staff to use them. This is because stakeholders are different in terms of educational or even intellectual levels. You should take this into consideration and try to create digital work instructions that could be assimilated by everyone. Then, time should be spent in training the various stakeholders until they become totally autonomous.

What are the profits of this?

Profits in terms of quality and productivity

The digitalization of work instructions means the creation of clearer and more efficient instructions. In fact, the paper format has several disadvantages. One of which is the fact that paper can easily be altered especially in an industrial environment. Moreover, when we think of paper format, we can only imagine textual instructions with a few explanatory diagrams that could further complicate understanding.

Thus, the transition to digital format means that work instructions will transition to a more dynamic and intuitive format which facilitates understanding and the application of such instructions.

In this way, the operator becomes more autonomous in carrying out his tasks. This reduces the machines’ downtime, displacements and settings’ errors. Eventually, there is a clear improvement in quality and productivity.

Financial profits

Improving quality and productivity is a sure sign of improved profitability. In fact, with digital and dynamic work instructions, the risk of errors and non-compliance is reduced. Therefore, with less returns, the company can save a lot of money and earn more.

Human benefits

Going digital is the watchword of this century. If the company is willing to attract young talents, this is the way to do it. Young technicians and engineers would not be fascinated by a company whose management is rudimentary. The introduction of new technologies, virtual reality and augmented reality lure young talents who are more comfortable with these work tools.

Invest in digital work instructions software

Picomto is digital work instructions software. It is an investment in finance as well as in human resources and time. However, you should know that switching to digital and dynamic work instructions, the company will make its investment profitable through gains in quality, productivity and saving time and resources.