Thanks to information technology advances in recent years, we are hearing more and more about industry 4.0.  However, few entrepreneurs really know what it is. The most important thing to remember is that the transition to industry 4.0 boosts your productivity and greatly improves the quality of your products.

Digitization and digitalization are two fundamental notions in the concept of this industry of the future. However, it is important to differentiate between these two terms. In fact, digitizing your work instructions does not necessarily mean digitalizing.

What is “digitizing your work instructions”?

First of all, it should be noted that digitization is primarily about creating from an original paper document, a digital copy that will be accessible and exploitable online. Presenting itself as a first step to digital transformation, the primary purpose of document digitization is to optimize document management by facilitating research work and access to different users.

Today, digitizing documents is the most recommended solution for all companies that have to juggle many documents (contracts, bills, purchase orders, account statements, various publications…)

In industry 4.0, digitization is one of its main applications. In fact, a company that plans to switch to digital transformation has to think about eliminating paper. In addition, in a smart and digital factory, it is essential to digitize its documents such as work instructions in order to save time and money. Digitization also helps reduce errors caused by erroneous or outdated data.

Why opting for digitization?

Using digital files instead of paper documents allows to:

  • Offer companies a substantial gain in productivity.
  • Enjoy easy access to information at any time regardless of the terminal used (computer, tablet, smartphone).
  • Free up space and avoid clutter created by paper documents
  • Reduce management costs in terms of purchasing paper and other printing consumables and optimizing work spaces

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What is “digitalizing your work instruction”?

Digitalizing your company is one of the primary objectives for a good development strategy.  It should also be noted that digitalization above all is about rethinking the entire organization of a company both in terms of human exchanges (collaborative work) and in terms of tools and documents. Indeed, it is the whole process that aims to make the company digital.

Giving operators a digitalized access allows them to access digital instructions right from their workstations. By using a tablet, for example, each operator is able to scan a QR code on the equipment to instantly open work instructions as well as several relevant information.

Having visual work instructions allows improving efficiency by standardizing best practices. As a result, the operator no longer needs to flip through his working document because now he has access to the right information at the right time. Therefore, he is guided in the sequence of his actions and thus reducing the risk of error and oblivion. This also allows him to focus on the quality of his operation. It is possible to say that one of the advantages of digitalizing work instructions is to reduce errors and downtime in the workshop. It also allows to improve the quality of the products and to do well right the first time.


It should be noted that the objective of the factory of the future is to go paperless. This means that it opts for the dematerialization of documents, digitization and digitalization. Indeed, seeking to improve processes and tasks, this new industry is moving towards the omission of documents.

For a long time, production workshops were managed with a lot of paper documents. This caused several ecological and economic problems. In addition, the paper formats of work instructions create difficulties in terms of organization of space, with the need to reserve spaces for archiving.

In addition to this, it constitutes a huge waste of time for the operator looking for specific information over a given period. With industry 4.0, the big challenge remains documentary traceability. This mainly refers to the dissemination of the right version of the document to simplify access to information for operators.  Paper is replaced by tablets which allow very quick access to the desired documentation.

When we talk about industrial digital transformation, two terms come to the fore: digitization and digitalization. However, it is important to make the difference between these two concepts. The digitization of documents to be made available to operators ensures easy access for operators and guarantees cost savings (paper).

As for digitalization, it does not only facilitate access to information for employees and saving money but also offers understandable work instructions in various formats (videos, pictures…). It is very useful. It is also updated in real time and made available to workshops’ managers.

What is the role of data in all of this?

To start with, it is important to define the concept of data in industry. It is all information entered by operators or technicians or produced by machines in a factory. It should be noted that data collection is essential for any industry wishing to deal with competition. In fact, once collected, data will be the subject of a comprehensive study to help make the right decisions. Data collection is mainly carried out at the level of maintenance, production and quality service.

Digital work instructions make it easier for the operator to collect and use data to fuel continuous improvement processes.

However, data protection should be taken into consideration. Indeed, when implementing a digital strategy, it is important to ensure data security. Neglecting this step exposes any industry to several risks such as cybercrime, computer hacking or industrial espionage.

Picomto, a solution to digitalize your work instructions

Picomto is considered as an innovative solution for the digitalization of work instructions while respecting industrial regulations (ISO 9001, FDA, GMP…). Contact us to know how we can help you build a stonger company.

Digitization or digitalization of work instructions.

In industry 4.0, it is essential to think about digitizing and digitalizing work instructions to improve productivity within the workshop.