Nothing is more important than creating a high quality product. Fall short of the uniform quality your customers have come to expect and it can be a huge hit for your brand’s reputation. The largest factor behind unplanned downtime and defective products is no longer machine error but operator error.
Research shows that up to 85% of production errors, recalls, and machine downtime in manufacturing are caused by human mistakes on the factory floor. In this article we are going to take a deep dive into how you can improve the quality of your product by improving the quality of inspection.
Reducing human error means giving your front line operators the advanced instructions they need to simplify complicated machine maintenance and make sure equipment stays up and running and outputting high quality products. Before we look at methods to reduce operator error let’s look at the major trends that threaten the efficiency of your workforce.
Facing A Skilled Worker Crisis
Manufacturing is currently in a unique crisis situation caused by several factors working in tandem. More than half of senior workers in skilled worker categories are going into retirement. The machines your teams maintain have become more complicated and manufacturers are creating more varied products on the same production line that all need to built to meet a demanding standard. It’s impossible to keep all the details in their heads or in three ring binders even for the most experienced operators.
On top of that manufacturers have to deal with increasing supply chain disruptions, rising commodity prices, sustainability concerns and an intensely competitive marketplace which all puts more pressure on your workforce to perform their best. The new generation of inexperienced workers must somehow become more efficient than the more experienced workers they are replacing.
These market pressures will only intensify in the future. The only solution is to provide complex work instruction to make operating the machines so simple and intuitive that years of experience are no longer necessary to meet your company’s demanding standards. This increased efficiency is impossible with immature static paper based processes that the majority of companies currently use to train workers and control standardized work execution. Let’s take a look at the problem with paper based processes for training and work execution.
The Problem With Paper Based Processes
Paper based processes:
- Use training methods that rely on written instructions that are difficult to understand
- Offer inexperienced workers very little support to work unsupervised
- Demand low verification of task completion which endangers your equipment
- Offer poor quality standardization tools which creates deviations from standard and defective products
- Gives management low quality operational visibility
This is where Connected Worker or Front Line Worker Platforms come in to raise the quality of machine maintenance and protect the quality of your product by giving your workers the advanced instructions they need to do their best work. Mass adoption of Connected Worker Platforms are allowing the sector to grow at a CAGR of 19% year over year. But what is a Front Line Worker Platform anyway?
The Rise Of Front Line Worker Platforms
A Connected or Front Line Worker platform is a digital suite of tools that integrate human workers into their environments using the devices they naturally use in the flow of work (laptops, tablets, mobile phones and Smart Glasses.)
Front line workers are connected to visual, highly contextual training, easy to use standardized work instructions and instant access to remote assistance from subject matter experts when the unforeseen occurs.
This means your workers are connected to the right instructions, the right tools or the right people for the job at hand, increasing the quality of human touch points at each stage of job execution.
How Atheer can help you meet the challenges of Complex Work Environments
In this section we are going to look at the ways Atheer’s AR powered Front Line Worker Platform can ensure the quality of your product through:
- Improving machine uptime by raising the quality of machine inspection
- Elevate standardized work execution with visually, easy to understand instructions
- Increase verification for quality audits with photographic and video evidence
- Offer Extended Enterprise solutions to track and eliminate defects across your supply chain
- Improve operational visibility through real time reporting
Book a demo to discover all Atheer can do for your business!
Increased Quality of Inspection Leads To More Machine Uptime
Paper based inspection relies on what a human operator can see and then translate into words. Atheer offers its partners the ability to build highly standardized digital workflows for inspections where evidence like photographs or videos are demanded for step completion.
This type of data capture is crucial for determining the health of complicated equipment as it degrades over time. With paper based processes it’s black and white, either the machine is working or it isn’t. A Front Line Worker platform can capture the severity of issues in a way that can’t be conveyed with words alone. This allows operators to accurately convey issues to management.
Using Atheer’s advanced photo editing feature operators can even highlight problems areas on images they capture in the field and rapidly escalate them for immediate resolution.
When problems are discovered that can’t be easily explained your operators can be instantly connected to remote expert. The increased quality of inspection helps keep your machines up and running, reduces unplanned downtime and keeps your production line producing high quality products.
2. Enhanced Standardization Creates Uniform High Quality Products
Workers are provided with intuitive highly visual instructions that are simple to understand no matter your operator’s experience or education level. These step by step instructions can contain videos, pictures, diagrams showing exactly how to complete the job for each step to take the guesswork out of job execution. Work execution is standardized so that steps can’t be skipped and important details won’t be missed.
Even the most inexperienced worker can complete the steps on time and to spec. The work can be checked by supervisors before it’s closed or after it becomes an automatically generated report when the job is completed. This enhanced standardization and visibility allows management to capture deviations at the source. It also allows management to offer support to workers lagging behind and struggling to meet company standards as all actions performed in Atheer are captured and time stamped.
3. Improved Verification For Quality Audits
Workers are assigned digital workflows that have all the steps for quality audits to make sure products are constructed to meet your standards and don’t contain defects. Photographic or video evidence can be collected to verify each step of the audit has been properly completed. When the jobs are completed they are immediately available for review to get an extra set of eyes on them. This way you can be certain no defects escape notice before your product leaves the factory.
4. Extended Enterprise Quality Audits
Atheer plays well with extended enterprise systems so the same audit workflows that take place in your factories, mining sites or refineries can then be extended across your entire supply chain.
This means that you can discover defects when they occur across your supply chain and eliminate them before they reach the marketplace and cause damage to your brand.
5. Schedule And Easily Track All Recurring Jobs
Recurring maintenance jobs can be automated and assigned to the right workers with the right instructions. Atheer makes it easy to track all preventive maintenance jobs and make sure they’ve been completed to eliminate skipped PM.
6. Harness Expertise for Remote Audits
AR powered audits in remote locations can be aided by subject matter experts from anywhere in the world to eliminate travel time and reduce problem resolution time when experts aren’t available on the ground. Atheer’s remote assist saves you time, money and your organization’s expertise scalable.
7. Increased Operational Visibility For Preventive Maintenance
Atheer provides management with real time data and complete visibility in machine maintenance activities. The wealth of structured, real time job data can be integrated into ERP, MES or BI systems for immediate analysis with a generic, low maintenance API based integration and eliminate thousands of hours of dual data entry per process. This gives management the data they need to continuously improve their front line processes and ensure the quality of your product.
Atheer offers your front line teams the mature processes and advanced instructions they need to face the escalating challenges of the marketplace of the future with confidence.
Our low code/no code platform is easy to implement. You can eliminate 1000s of hours of dual data entry in the hour it takes to digitize the process permanently.
Our system is device agnostic, simple to use and our team of qualified experts are here to support you every step of the way.
Book a demo today and discover how we can make your digital transformational seamless.