Written by: Thomas Schneck for DocuWare
In manufacturing, one small misstep early can lead to big obstacles later. To curb problems, manufacturers rely on a variety of quality control systems, product and inventory tracking, and compliance regulations.
Automation and manufacturing usually go hand-in-hand. Automation improves speed and accuracy while also limiting exposure to risk. Document management is a big part of your manufacturing process that should be automated. Centralized, digital document management for manufacturers saves time and reduces the risk of error.
For many manufacturers, the above safeguards are paper-based processes. To reduce manufacturing errors, your safeguards should be digitized. By bringing a digital document management solution into your manufacturing operation, you’re able to improve efficiency and accuracy in your operations while also saving resources and time.
Here are three areas where digital documentation helps manufacturers:
1) Compliance: U.S. law requires that employees have access to a Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for any potentially hazardous substance at their workplace. A manufacturer with many chemicals may need to maintain and regularly update hundreds of MSDS records.
Imagine making those updates in a paperless world by having all of your MSDS data available on a digital console positioned next to any equipment where hazardous substances are used. Whenever compliance regulations require you to update an MSDS and distribute the information, you’ll do so quickly, accurately and without spending extra resources on printing costs.
2) Quality Control Paperwork: In manufacturing, quality control often involves a supervisor walking around the shop floor doing spot checks and filling out paper forms. This can lead to documentation errors, bottlenecks in information flow and communication problems.
With a paper-based quality control process, information isn’t disseminated effectively. Frequently, documentation is stored in a filing cabinet, making it hard for the team to analyze and extract metrics.
When you digitize these quality control forms, the right people gain instant access, providing faster insight into trends, metrics and other information.
Replacing the pencil and clipboard with a tablet device and stylus is the first step toward digitizing your quality control process.
3) Product Documentation: Discrete manufacturers regularly use documentation such as a bill of materials, which accounts for all the raw materials needed to manufacture a product at every stage of the manufacturing process. Depending on the complexity of the finished product, these bills of material can be lengthy, and several versions may need to travel with a product as it moves through assembly.
Moreover, a finished product may also require work order documentation or a bill of entry and other shipping documents. All of this paperwork must be managed through every state of the manufacturing process.
For example, if shipping documentation is only attached to a finished product and a defective part moved through the assembly line, it’s difficult to trace the part back to a specific bin in your inventory without full transparency into the complete manufacturing process.
Digital document management improves this process by centralizing information and making it instantly accessible from within your system. Rather than tediously trying to work backward to locate the defective parts, you simply pull all of the digital documentation associated with the product to immediately pinpoint your problem.
It’s time to make your document management as efficient as your manufacturing process. To find out how KeeFORCE can help you with this process, give us a call today at (270) 366-0553 or visit keeforce.combusiness-process-automation/.