What Is a Digital Factory and How Does It Make a Difference?

by David Salamanek

As technology evolves at exponential rates, and requirements become more complex than ever, innovative methods are required to address how businesses operate when creating goods and products.

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Manufacturing Today

In the field of manufacturing, we see new solutions to age-old problems of inventory management, planning and execution, production routing, scalability, sustainability, and much more. Luckily for all of us, we live in an ever-changing and improving world with automated solutions and applications driving most of these issues to the sidelines. With today’s software platforms, a company can bring a plant online and build complicated products from receiving inventory to shipping palates without the risk of staging materials or producing output in hopes that they are successful or move onto the next operation. This hyper-awareness of our business gives us peace of mind, but this does not happen automatically.

The Digital Factory

One of the most critical areas of predictive intelligence for a digital factory is in machining and producing precision parts. The production orders sent to the workstation, the data collected from the actual manufacturing work, and the analysis of performance can make all the difference in a healthy and efficient plant operation. Digital applications have transformed the procedures and functions of manufacturers and their workforce. Put simply, digital enables better workflow.

Benefit #1 – Using simple to navigate touch screen operations and instructions, the machinist can easily work through their day and complete more parts more effectively than through old paper processes and complicated software screens.

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Worker Sign Off

Collection of information from the worksite and procedure sign-offs are ever more important in the world today as proof of execution and anticipating delivery to the next operational step keep the factory flowing properly.

Benefit #2 – Pulling data collection into the application, the worker can sign off on what they’ve accomplished and make note of any anomalies, including taking pictures that inform the production planners of any issues in the design or workflow.

Quantify Scrapped Materials

Finally, putting scrap in a bin can be properly quantified and logged. The best practice for scrap in the past was a large heap. With digital applications like our Paperless Production, the information around scrap becomes just as valuable as saving the leftovers. A company can sum and sort this information, analyze lost productivity or failed production processes, and react quickly to changing plant issues.

Benefit #3 – With the simple entry of quantity and description at the work center, the production floor worker can identify what scrap and how much has been created. All steps are digitally traceable and carry with them the best industry practices as well as regulatory compliance to save time and money, reduce errors, and improve document security.

Real-Time Updates

With the right application, manufacturing workflows are supercharged with digital file review, touch-screen kiosk data collection, and proper finalize steps for completing jobs. Data collection on a machine allows workers to see their current jobs and report completion totals in real-time. Complex document packages are automatically assembled and distributed at key points in the production routing to suppliers and customers.

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The Results

In conclusion, a digital factory results in a fit and agile plant floor with the right information, at the right fingertips, at the right time. See how this works at www.digitalpaperfactory.com.

Learn More

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