Information Automation

Some of the most valuable automation successes in many shops do not relate to automatically identifying and moving workpieces, but instead, involve just getting the right piece of paper to the right person at the right time. This “information automation” is critical to the efficiency of any production floor. Ever

Related Topics:

Some of the most valuable automation successes in many shops do not relate to automatically identifying and moving workpieces, but instead, involve just getting the right piece of paper to the right person at the right time.

This “information automation” is critical to the efficiency of any production floor. Every operator needs to know precisely what he or she should do next in order to be of the most value to the overall process. Many shops labor mightily just to create a traveler or binder system. These systems assign procedures to every desk and work station so that the right data and documents get to where they are needed automatically, and employees on the shop floor don’t have to seek advice because of an unclear instruction.

This kind of automation is the most frustrating to put in place. While it is easy to see work in process on the shop floor that can benefit from hardware automation, it is not so easy to see where the back up of information is taking place.

However, one shop that did go to the trouble of achieving more disciplined information flow tidily summarized why the streamlined system was so important. When an employee would interrupt another employee to ask a question, who in turn interrupted a third employee, a lot of productive time was quickly lost. “When someone gets confused,” said one of the shop owners, “we lose about four man-hours.”

Related Content

Commitment to STE(A)M

Collaborative efforts among business, government and education can help to ignite more effective learning opportunities that contribute to the more qualified workforce that manufacturing is striving to develop.