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Learn how manufacturers combat the manufacturing skilled labor shortage and close skills gaps with an Augmented Connected Workforce (ACWF).

An Augmented Connected Workforce (ACWF) offers manufacturing and other industrial organizations a powerful solution to combat the ever-worsening skilled labor shortage and skills gap. According to a report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, an estimated 2.1 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled by 2030 and the cost of those missing jobs could potentially total $1 trillion in 2030 alone.

augmented connected workforce acwf manufacturing

By integrating advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), connected worker platforms, and other emerging solutions manufacturers can enhance the capabilities of their existing workforce and bridge skill gaps. Connected worker tools offer real-time monitoring of your frontline workforce, ensuring seamless operations. Moreover, connectivity enables remote collaboration, allowing experts to assist frontline workers from anywhere in the world. This interconnected ecosystem empowers workers with the tools they need to succeed and attracts new talent by showcasing a commitment to innovation and technology-driven growth.

Through an ACWF, manufacturers can effectively combat the manufacturing skilled labor shortage and close the skills gap while driving productivity, innovation, and remaining competitive. Read more about ACWF in manufacturing below:

Implementing an ACWF in Manufacturing

A critical element of transitioning from a traditional workforce to an Augmented Connected Workforce (ACWF) is implementing and adopting new technologies and processes. Here are a few steps that can help with the adoption of ACWF technologies and smooth transitions in industrial settings:

  • Step 1: Assess Current Processes – Organizations must understand existing workflows and identify areas where AI, connected worker platforms, and other ACWF technology can replace paper-based and manual processes to enhance efficiency and productivity.
  • Step 2: Invest in Technology – Procure  AI-driven analytics platforms, mobile technology, and wearable technology to enable real-time data collection and remote collaboration.
  • Step 3: Training and Onboarding – Provide comprehensive training programs to familiarize workers with new technologies and workflows. Emphasize the importance of safety protocols and data privacy.
  • Step 4: Pilot Programs – Start with small-scale pilot programs to test the effectiveness of the implemented technologies in real-world manufacturing environments. Target high-value use cases that can benefit from a transition from paper to digital.
  • Step 5: Continuous Improvement – Gather feedback from workers and supervisors during pilot programs and adapt implementation initiatives based on their input. Continuously optimize processes and technologies for maximum effectiveness.

By following these steps, manufacturers can smooth the transition from a traditional manufacturing workforce to an ACWF, empowering their frontline workers with improved capabilities, skills, and overall operational excellence.

Supporting Learning in the Flow of Work

Augmented Connected Workforce (ACWF) technologies allow for increased frontline support and for new processes around learning and training to strategically upskill and reskill, reduce time to competency for new workers, and to combat the skilled labor shortage in manufacturing and more. Connected worker tools, such as wearable devices and IoT sensors, enable real-time monitoring of worker performance and environmental conditions, ensuring safety and efficiency on the factory floor.

pyramid of learning

An ACWF also allows for improved workflow learning capabilities giving frontline workers access to expert guidance, remote assistance and collaboration, microlearning, and other learning in the flow of work options regardless of the worker’s location.

ACWF tools further enhance frontline activities through:

  • Digital work instructions and guidance: Smart, connected worker platforms provide digital work instructions, procedures, and visual guidance easily accessible to workers on mobile devices.
  • Digital mentors and training: Some ACWFs incorporate “digital mentors” – GenAI-powered industrial assistants that can provide step-by-step guidance to workers, especially new hires.
  • Knowledge capture and sharing: Connected frontline worker applications capture data and insights from frontline workers, which can then be analyzed by AI software and used to improve processes, update work instructions, and share knowledge across the organization
  • Performance monitoring and feedback: ACWF solutions provide visibility into worker performance, allowing managers to identify areas where additional training or support is needed.

augmented connected workforce in manufacturing

In summary, ACWF initiatives empower frontline workers with the digital tools, knowledge, and support they need to learn and improve their skills directly within their daily workflows, rather than relying solely on formal training programs. This helps close skills gaps and drive continuous improvement.

Future-proofing Manufacturing Operations with an ACWF

Adopting an Augmented Connected Workforce (ACWF) approach centered around augmenting frontline workers with mobile technology, immersive training, collaborative decision-making, and continuous improvement, allows manufacturers to future-proof their operations and gain a sustainable competitive advantage. This concept empowers employees with powerful tools that augment and enhance their capabilities, productivity, and overall business processes by accessing critical information and fostering collaboration

AI-powered software can analyze vast amounts of data to optimize production processes and predict workforce development needs. At the same time, connected frontline worker solutions enable the integration of mobile and wearable technologies and provide real-time data insights, aiding in optimizing factory operations and adapting to evolving industry trends.

For an Augmented Connected Workforce, integrating AI and connected worker technologies serves as a vital strategy for manufacturers navigating the skilled labor crisis. Augmentir encourages organizations to embrace ACWF transformations and expedites adoption through a comprehensive connected worker platform leveraging the combined benefits of connected worker and AI technologies.

With Augmentir, frontline workers can access critical information, real-time data and insights, and expert advice and guidance all in the flow of work preventing lost time and improving both efficiency and productivity. Schedule a live demo to learn more about how an Augmented Connected Workforce future-proofs manufacturing operations and enhances frontline activities.

 

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The evolution of connected worker software, how industrial transformation leaders are meeting modern challenges with a generation of tools.

Beginning in mid-2022 and now increasing in 2023, there is a significant trend of companies moving away from earlier investments in connected worker software tools to Augmentir’s Connected Worker Platform.

Early adopters and pioneers of V1.0 connected worker tools and technology deserve respect for leading the charge into Industry 4.0 and the concept of a connected workforce. However, we also admire those leaders who realized there are more transformations and improvements to make – such as value in the data from your connected workers and incorporating AI-driven solutions to make sense of that data. These innovative leaders dared to adapt, continue innovating, and replace the connected worker software systems that were not solving enough of the challenges faced by the modern workplace.

darwin in manufacturing

By combining AI-powered software and smart connected worker solutions, manufacturers are able to get next-level results and improve frontline worker productivity, engagement, and safety.

Following in the Footsteps of Industrial Transformation Leaders

According to LNS Research (a leading analyst firm in defining the connected worker space), the business case for connected worker software continues to grow, and solutions that incorporate emerging technologies like AI are leading the way. In fact, LNS states that Industrial Transformation Leaders (IX Leaders) are two times more likely to use AI-enabled advanced analytics capabilities. These leading manufacturers are supporting their frontline operations with AI-based technology for training and skills development, real-time worker performance support, and providing dynamic and personalized content.

Here at Augmentir, we have seen quite a few companies that fall into the category of the courageous, understanding that they needed to continue adapting for their business to thrive.

We have been honored to be recently chosen by several global leaders as their connected worker V2.0 solution, including:

  • one of the largest paint manufacturers in the world
  • one of the largest agricultural companies in the world
  • one of the largest food manufacturers in the world
  • one of the largest manufacturers of batteries in the world

All of these world leaders recognized that their current connected worker software solutions had become insufficient and that they needed a smarter, more complete solution to help them overcome their frontline workforce challenges and current business obstacles.

Here are three key takeaways you can use from these companies that went back to select a new connected worker solution:

  1. Don’t be afraid to make a change that will have a positive impact on your business, even if you are the one who made the initial decision.
  2. If you have experience choosing early connected worker tools, build on that experience. You are ideally situated to identify gaps in processes and improvement needs; and know best which tools to use to address the overall operational needs of the business.
  3. Use your prior experiences to build processes for re-evaluating connected worker solutions from the perspective of already experiencing one fully deployed.

In one example, a global manufacturer invested in an early connected work tool and had been using the tech for nearly 4 years. However, once they decided they needed a new solution, they then went back to evaluate the market for the right tool. They made a list of selection criteria they knew they wanted from this new solution, from that they looked at approximately fifteen (15) connected worker vendors, and from there they narrowed down to the three (3) they ended up testing. They even included having a couple of integrations in their POC as they knew that an integration into their ERP, Quality Management, and Asset Management systems was something they needed, and they had poor experiences previously with vendors overcommitting.

Pro Tip

We suggest anyone evaluating a technology use this same approach – include integrations as part of your Proof-of-Concept to ensure that you are not getting hypothetical answers to hypothetical questions, and that the solution meets your true business needs.

What our customers tell us

Here is what customers are telling us they are looking for in a V2.0 connected worker solution, and the reasons they changed to Augmentir’s Connected Worker Platform:

  1. Ease of Use: Augmentir prioritizes a user-friendly experience. Its intuitive interface and workflow builder makes it easy for employees to adopt and use the tool effectively. This can result in faster onboarding and increased overall productivity.
  2. Augmented, Personalized Work Instructions: Augmentir provides a workflow and content creation environment that allows you to digitize standardized work instructions, and adjust content and in-line training to suit the needs of individual workers.  This optimizes performance and speeds up onboarding time for new employees.
  3. Upskilling and Reskilling: Augmentir’s ability to deliver formal skills and learning in the flow of work means a worker can stay current in their needs, continue to grow in their role, and build a structured career path within their company. This approach appears to be driving increased retention and job satisfaction.
  4. Workforce Optimization: Augmentir’s ability to assess in real time who is available to work on any given day and then balance the skill level best suited for a task with the available workforce offers optimal productivity based upon what you have to work with on any given day.
  5. Digitizing Complex Workflows: Most solutions on the market allow you to digitize simple workflows. With Augmentir, manufacturers can build complex workflows that satisfy use cases that are unique to their business, and extend those workflows to support greater integration into their business processes.
  6. Industrial Collaboration: Augmentir enables remote collaboration among workers and experts. This functionality is particularly useful when experts are not physically present at the job site. Remote experts can guide workers through AR annotations and audio/video communication, fostering knowledge sharing and faster problem resolution.
  7. Continuous Improvement: Augmentir focuses on driving continuous improvement within organizations. It leverages AI to analyze data from worker interactions and identifies areas for improvement. This data-driven approach allows companies to optimize processes, increase productivity, and reduce costs over time.
  8. Integration and Scalability: Augmentir offers integration capabilities with existing enterprise systems, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) or manufacturing execution systems (MES). This ensures seamless data exchange and workflow integration. Additionally, Augmentir is designed to scale with the organization’s needs, accommodating both small teams and large enterprises.
  9. Analytics and Insights: Augmentir provides robust analytics and reporting features driven by AI-powered solutions and focuses on AI as a core component of Connected Worker V2.0. This allows managers and supervisors to gain valuable insights into worker performance, task completion times, and areas that may require additional training or support. Data-driven analytics can aid in identifying bottlenecks, optimizing processes, and making informed business decisions.
  10. Customization and Flexibility: Augmentir allows organizations to customize their work instructions and workflows to fit their specific needs. This flexibility enables the tool to adapt to different industries, processes, and work environments.

 

If you are interested in learning for yourself why companies are choosing to change to Augmentir over their current connected worker solution – reach out to book a demo.

 

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Connected frontline operations platforms are helping manufacturers reduce downtime and provide a foundation for a holistic preventive maintenance strategy.

First time quality plans, or first time right plans, are a manufacturing approach that ensures all processes on the production floor are performed properly the first time, every time. A FTQ plan is a document that outlines which standards, practices, and resources are needed to execute those procedures to create high-quality products.

A quality plan is a must to guarantee zero-defect goods and prevent the need for any rework or scrapping of parts. If a manufacturer’s goods do not meet internal, industry, or consumer standards, then it’s more than likely that they won’t sell.

first time quality

Every product development project should have a quality plan in place. Read on to learn how to create a first time quality plan document:

What to include in a first time quality plan

A FTQ plan, when executed correctly, can help you reach 100% FTQ, which means zero defective products. As a result, it boosts consumer trust in your product and your company’s credibility. It’s a good way to cover all bases to ensure nothing is left out, from product goals and objectives to testing requirements and distribution.

A FTQ plan may contain the following:

  • Goals and objectives, including item specifications, cycle time, materials, cost, etc.
  • A list of procedures
  • Worker expectations and responsibilities
  • What industry standards should be applied
  • A method for measuring quality
  • Testing requirements
  • Updates to procedures

3 steps for creating a FTQ plan

Developing a quality proposal is a great starting point for making sure that products are made right the first time around.

The steps below explain how to successfully create first time quality plans and strategies that give your manufacturing operations a competitive edge.

Step 1: Conduct an initial audit

Creating a FTQ document begins with an initial audit of the suppliers a manufacturer will use. An audit is the perfect way to gauge whether a supplier matches your product expectations and meets your quality standards.

An audit may check:

  • Materials
  • Equipment/machinery
  • Procedures
  • How well staff is following processes

Step 2: Determine if suppliers meet product specifications

Next, it’s vital to check whether a contractor can produce items that meet your standards and specifications. It’s also important to establish a partnership and a solid communication process with your supplier so that nothing falls through the cracks.

Step 3: Implement quality inspections

Lastly, a well-formulated plan includes quality inspections of each production run and product before distribution. This is usually completed by quality inspectors on the shop floor.

Inspection criteria typically includes:

  • Order and shipment sizes
  • Packaging and appearance
  • Product performance

Once the inspection is done, a report should be created and submitted to the quality manager before any products are shipped. This report also serves to measure quality metrics and places for improvement.

First time quality with Augmentir

Augmentir is a connected worker solution that allows industrial companies to digitize and optimize all frontline processes that are part of their quality management strategy. Augmentir’s complete suite of connected worker functionality is built on top of Augmentir’s patented Smart AI foundation, which helps identify patterns and areas for continuous improvement.

manufacturing kpi first time right

 

Connected frontline operations platforms are helping manufacturers reduce downtime and provide a foundation for a holistic preventive maintenance strategy.

Downtime in manufacturing refers to a period of time when a production line or machine is not in operation due to maintenance, repairs, or other issues. This can result in a loss of productivity, increased costs, and missed production targets, and it is estimated that in the US alone it costs manufacturers around $1 trillion dollars per year. Not surprisingly, the biggest factors that contribute to unplanned downtime are human error and improper maintenance.

To minimize downtime, manufacturers are turning to digital technology to transform their frontline operations and provide a foundation for a holistic preventive maintenance strategy.

reduce downtime in manufacturing

Reducing downtime with a Connected Frontline Operations Platform

Manufacturers often implement Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) as part of a more comprehensive preventive maintenance approach. TPM is a strategy commonly used in manufacturing and production operations to improve the effectiveness and reliability of equipment, which in turn can increase productivity and reduce downtime.

Total productive maintenance strives to reduce workplace losses by placing the responsibility of basic maintenance upkeep on the primary equipment user: the machine operator. This preventive practice consists of “8 pillars” to help improve equipment reliability and elevate worker productivity:

Autonomous Maintenance as pillar of TPM

At the front of this framework is Autonomous Maintenance. Autonomous maintenance is a technique used in TPM that involves giving operators and other frontline employees the responsibility and authority to take care of their own equipment and work areas (e.g cleaning, safety checks, etc.). This can improve employee engagement by giving them a sense of ownership over their work and equipment, as well as a greater understanding of how their actions can impact productivity and quality. Additionally, involving employees in the maintenance process can lead to improved communication and teamwork, which can further enhance engagement.

This is where frontline operations platforms come into play.

Connected frontline operations platforms are digital software tools that can help standardize and improve the way operators perform maintenance tasks. They are used to improve communication, training, collaboration, guidance, and support for the operators.

Reduce machine downtime with Augmentir’s Connected Worker Solution

See how Augmentir can help you implement an effective autonomous maintenance program and optimize your frontline operations.

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downtime dashboard

Your connected workforce – a key to reducing downtime

Factory workers can have a significant impact on downtime in manufacturing. Whether it’s due to mistakes made by operators, non-optimal scheduling, or lack of communication, your workforce is at the center of your frontline operations. Factory workers can impact downtime in a variety of ways:

  1. Improper operation or maintenance: If factory workers are not properly trained on how to operate and maintain equipment, they may inadvertently cause downtime by making mistakes or not following proper procedures. Modern connected worker tools, like Augmentir’s connected worker solution, are increasingly being used to streamline training and digitize skills tracking to help ensure that the right people with the right skills are on the job.
  2. Safety incidents: Workers who do not follow proper safety procedures can cause accidents that lead to downtime while equipment is repaired or replaced. By digitizing safety procedures, manufacturers can ensure that workers perform the proper steps, and follow the proper protocols before performing a maintenance routine.
  3. Human error: Workers may make mistakes that lead to downtime, such as not properly setting up equipment or not noticing when a machine needs maintenance. Properly training employees on how to maintain and operate equipment can help to minimize downtime due to human error
  4. Quality issues: Workers may produce products that do not meet quality standards, which can lead to downtime while the products are reworked or scrapped.
  5. Lack of proper communication: Having clear and effective communication channels can help to quickly identify and address any issues that arise. Frontline communication tools like Augmentir can help improve communication and digitally record issues to better understand root causes. By identifying the underlying causes of downtime, manufacturers can take steps to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future.
  6. High turnover rate: High turnover rate can lead to a lack of experienced workers and can cause downtime while new employees are trained. While it’s difficult to completely prevent a high turnover rate, you can take measures to both expedite training for new hires, as well as create a more engaged, more empowered workforce. For example, Augmentir’s connected worker solution helps to accelerate new hire training and onboarding, and provides a skills management framework that helps to ensure that workers are excelling at their jobs.

It is important to note that factory workers are a crucial part of the manufacturing process and their role is vital for the success of the business. However, by providing workers with proper training, safety procedures, and communication channels, downtime in manufacturing due to human error can be reduced. Additionally, involving workers in the decision-making process and continuous improvement initiatives, can help to increase their ownership and responsibility towards the equipment, processes, and the whole factory’s performance.

Interested in learning more?

Augmentir is a connected worker solution that allows industrial companies to digitize and optimize all frontline processes that are part of their TPM strategy. The complete suite of tools are built on top of Augmentir’s patented Smart AI foundation, which helps identify patterns and areas for continuous improvement.

manufacturing kpi first time right

 

Connected frontline operations platforms are helping manufacturers reduce downtime and provide a foundation for a holistic preventive maintenance strategy.

Your supply chain turns raw materials into finished products that meet customer expectations. It takes a whole network of people, from suppliers and manufacturers to distributors and partners, working together to produce the best quality products on the market. But how is it possible to build a “world class” supply chain?

According to Harvard Business Review, recent events such as the Covid-19 pandemic have exposed supply chain vulnerabilities and prompted a reevaluation of global approaches to improve resilience. Fortunately, the idea of a supply chain being world-class goes hand in hand with world class manufacturing, and there is a set of guiding principles to follow. Following them will help you successfully operate and manage a manufacturing firm that can remain competitive in the global marketplace.

world class supply chain

In this article, you’ll learn the five steps for building a world class supply chain and how Augmentir can help you transform the process:

  • 5 steps for making your supply chain world class
    • Step 1: Define clear objectives
    • Step 2: Gather necessary data
    • Step 3: Choose a supply chain management system
    • Step 4: Conduct supply chain network analysis
    • Step 5: Refine and improve
  • Elements of world class supply chain management and how Augmentir can help

5 steps for making your supply chain world class

Making your supply chain world class is about meeting or even exceeding customer expectations and delivering top-notch performance every time.

Step 1: Define clear objectives

Start by identifying overarching goals that will create consumer satisfaction. To help define those goals, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much inventory needs to be stored, and where should it be?
  • Which modes of transportation would best balance out cost versus customer service objectives?
  • Which warehouses should administer which products to people?
  • How many warehouses are needed and what is the role of each?
  • What are the best routes to get products to customers the fastest?

Step 2: Gather necessary data

It’s important to gather the appropriate data to ensure that you’re meeting company-specific goals. For example, you may track data so you can keep an eye on product demand, transportation rates, lead times, and warehouse and inventory expenses.

Step 3: Embrace technology and digitalization

Leverage technology to automate manual tasks, improve visibility, and enhance decision-making. It’s crucial to pick software that addresses all of your production criteria and facilitates your unique business model. Adopt advanced supply chain management systems (SCM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, connected worker software, and warehouse management systems (WMS). Explore emerging technologies like blockchain, AI, and robotics to further optimize operations.

Step 4: Conduct supply chain network analysis

Once you’ve picked the perfect supply chain software, it’s time to analyze how well your production processes are faring. Consider evaluating if there are any gaps in product development and how long it takes for goods to be delivered.

Step 5: Refine and continually improve

Carefully examining your supply chain network and processes is a great starting point for becoming world class. But if you don’t make steady strides toward improvement, you’re left at a standstill. Things are constantly evolving in the manufacturing industry, so it’s helpful to check some of the following: production capacity, price fluctuations in raw materials, and any new large customer orders (especially if they were added in a different location).

Encourage a culture of learning, innovation, and continuous improvement within the organization. Promote employee engagement, provide training and development opportunities, and empower employees to contribute ideas for process optimization and supply chain innovation.

Continuous improvement is a must. So revisit your processes regularly, whether that’s monthly, quarterly, or annually.

Elements of world class supply chain management and how Augmentir can help

Implementing a world class supply chain management system can change the way manufacturers handle daily operations.

A world class supply chain usually is:

  • Customer focused: Consumers should be at the forefront of all production activities to ensure that goods are being made and sold in a timely, cost-effective manner.
  • Adaptable to changes: The manufacturing industry is changing fast, so manufacturers have to be responsive to changing customer demands, market factors, and more.
  • Collaborative: An effective supply chain fosters strong relationships among manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and customers.
  • Highly efficient: Incorporating streamlined production processes, smart tech, and other resources is crucial to stand out among competitors.
  • Innovative: Constantly improving procedures drives growth and innovation.
  • Sustainable: Implementing sustainable techniques for cutting waste and maximizing productivity can lead to significant savings over time.

 

This is where Augmentir can help. We offer the world’s first AI-powered connected worker solution that advances how manufacturing firms handle day-to-day supply chain and other operations.

manufacturing kpi first time right

Our software lets you provide digital standard operating procedures for how to complete routine tasks and get the most out of worker output and productivity. We’ve helped frontline workers reduce training and rework time by 76%, and increase productivity levels by 36%.

With our software, you can build a world class supply chain that empowers workers across departments to make and deliver products of the highest quality. Request a live demo to learn more on how we’re the right fit for you!

The benefits of digital work instructions go far beyond simply standardizing work. The real benefit is in personalized guidance and support for today’s workers.

Digital work instructions are step-by-step directions on the best way to complete any task, from basic maintenance to fixing equipment. These digitized instructions are electronic versions of work procedures that are kept in a centralized system so workers can easily access them to work on tasks or to make timely decisions on projects. While the benefits of digital work instructions are numerous, the real benefit in manufacturing comes when digital work instructions can be personalized to the unique needs and skills of each worker.

So say goodbye to static documentation and hello to a new era of personalized digitization. If you’re interested in learning the real benefits of digital work instructions, read on about the following:

How digital work instructions are transforming manufacturing processes

Traditional instructions on paper can slow down a manufacturing operation. They can be lengthy, become quickly outdated, and are often full of mistakes. With paper-based reporting, for example, workers may forget to note the condition of equipment or update a faulty procedure.

Fortunately, digital instructions are an ideal solution. They offer visual demonstrations, how-to videos, and other resources for completing tasks. Most importantly, when digital work instructions are managed and delivered through a connected worker solution, they can be kept up-to-date to ensure compliance and product quality. According to Quality Magazine, not only do digital work instructions support overall enterprise productivity, but they also provide workers with an improved level of control over their work through enterprise data and automated insights.

benefits of digital work instructions

When you digitize your procedures, they can be accessed and kept up to date from wherever employees work. They can be enhanced with visual aids, contextual information, and augmented reality experiences to guide workers through complex jobs. Best of all, workers are less likely to make mistakes or miss steps when they can easily refer to clear and visually engaging information.

Digital work instructions are maintained via a connected worker solution, and delivered through mobile or wearable devices on the shop floor. These solutions can be coupled with AI-powered software to further help companies digitize production procedures.

This leads to greater worker productivity and output.

The real benefits of digital work instructions

Digital work instructions provide countless advantages when implemented throughout your entire organization, including improved production processes, decreased downtime, greater operational competence and safety, as well as support for a centralized database of knowledge. On their own, they deliver standard work guidelines but fail to consider the unique skills of each worker, which is increasingly important in today’s evolving and labor-constrained workforce.  The typical one-size-fits-all approach to managing, guiding, and supporting employees won’t cut it in today’s market.

Businesses need a solution that helps them improve manufacturing processes and meet their workers where they are.

This is where AI-based solutions come in.

Using AI-based connected worker solutions, organizations can digitize and easily manage skills tracking and training programs and connect them with frontline operations. Embedded AI can dynamically optimize work processes to deliver training in the flow of work, tailored support, and more. Solutions that combine skills tracking capabilities with connected worker technology and on-the-job digital guidance can deliver significant additional value. Data from actual work performance can inform workforce development initiatives allowing you to target your training, reskilling, and upskilling efforts where they have the largest impact.

It can generate an abundance of valuable data to provide tailored training support and skills endorsements and identify workforce opportunities. These benefits extend beyond simply standardizing work to include:

1. A more motivated, more engaged workforce

An organization’s commitment to cultivating its team’s skills can influence their attitudes toward the job. A worker is likelier to perform better when valued and appreciated. Digitized skills tracking also ensures that workers are qualified to perform their job.

2. Mitigate risk and ensure safety

Solutions that include personalized work instructions that incorporate worker skills allow organizations to validate at the time of work assignment who has the skill level to safely perform a specific task. This helps to mitigate risk and ensure safety.

3. Intelligently assigning work

Ensure the right person is assigned to the right job. Manage work assignments based on skill level, endorsements, and actual job performance.

skills taxonomy

4. Closes the skills gap

Tracking skills is a great way to identify gaps between the skills employees already have and the skills they need. With this information, the company can arrange for additional training or other ways to invest in their employees. Keep in mind that as your manufacturing organization evolves and grows, so should your employee skillset.

6. Identify upskilling or reskilling opportunities

Use data from actual work performance, combined with an employee’s current skills and endorsements to inform your reskilling and upskilling decisions. Knowing where improvements need to be made can close any learning gaps and boost the overall success of a company. Optimizing your workforce can help improve productivity in every department, giving your company a competitive edge in today’s market.

 

Connected worker solutions that combine skills management with digital work instructions, collaboration, and knowledge management are uniquely suited to optimize today’s variable workforce. AI-generated insights are pulled from patterns identified across all work activity in real-time. These insights identify where new and experienced workers may benefit from either reskilling or upskilling.

This combination of smart digital technology can also leverage your training resources, such as instructional videos, written instructions, or access to remote experts, to deliver personalized guidance for the worker to perform their best. These tools intelligently work together to help you assign workers to procedures based on required skill levels.

FAQs about digital work instructions

What is the purpose of digital work instructions?

Digitized work instructions provide clear, step-by-step directions on how each manufacturing task should be performed. They are kept in a centralized database for real-time view of procedures, how-to videos, training opportunities, and more. Companies implement them in order to improve workers’ procedural knowledge, ensure standard work compliance, reduce mistakes, and raise production quality overall.

How can digital work instructions help manufacturers?

Digital work instructions help manufacturers create a more productive workforce that values detail, quality, and learning. Work instructions can be updated to fit best practices, reduce human error, and provide learning opportunities with visual cues like videos, pictures, augmented reality experiences, and more.

Which work instruction software is right for me?

Although there are different software programs out there, Augmentir is the world’s leading connected worker solution, and the only solution that uses AI to personalize instructions based on individual worker proficiency and skill levels.

How Augmentir’s digital solutions can help

Digitizing work instructions is a great start to address manufacturing issues, however, alone, it won’t help completely solve some of the biggest workforce challenges. It’s not enough to simply move from paper-based to digital work instructions.

We must go a step further, for example, Augmentir’s platform provides complete digital workflow authoring tools that allow you to not only quickly convert your paper-based processes to digital work instructions, but also use AI to dynamically personalize them to the needs of your individual workers.

  • Digital work instructions, augmented with visual aids, contextual information, and industrial collaboration tools, help intelligently guide workers through complex jobs
  • Complete workflows allow you to digitize complex business processes
  • Embedded AI dynamically optimizes work procedures and workflows to deliver in-situ training and support

 

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Connected frontline operations platforms are helping manufacturers reduce downtime and provide a foundation for a holistic preventive maintenance strategy.

Centerlining in manufacturing is a methodology that uses standardized process settings to assure that all shop floor operations are carried out consistently.

For example, in manufacturing, it pinpoints which machine settings are needed to execute a given process and ensures operators implement those settings to avoid any defects on the shop floor. This works to decrease product and procedure discrepancies by improving machine efficiency.

centerlining in manufacturing

The type of machine configurations that can be centerlined to create quality goods that meet customer expectations range from temperature, speed, and pressure settings to the proper alignment of guard rails. When applied to a procedure, centerlining can substantially increase the number of sellable items, secure uniform product quality, and decrease production costs.

In a nutshell, employing a successful centerlining process can help optimize plant operations and reduce mistakes in product creation.

Learn more about how centerlining can improve everyday operations, and how to centerline a manufacturing process to yield the best output, in the following sections:

Centerlining methodology

Centerlining works by using specific machine settings per product (pressure, speed, temperature, etc.) to ensure processes are carried out the same way during each assembly line run.

Using the right centerline settings also has a side benefit: it lets operators identify problems as they happen. If workers know which process variables are triggering production delays, they can better control them to boost product quality output.

This can be achieved by creating a statistical process control chart to see which variables are causing interruptions to the assembly line and make any needed changes to the process. Creating a chart can also help workers identify procedures that are affecting the development of goods to ensure continuous improvement.

Centerlining goes hand in hand with total productive maintenance (TPM), a method which utilizes equipment, machine operators, and supporting processes to boost the quality and safety of production protocols.

How manufacturing efficiency can be improved by centerlining

Standardizing the appropriate machine settings can make everyday operations run more smoothly. For example, centerlining the requirements for each product can streamline changeovers, allowing workers to quickly reset their equipment and not lose time when switching to a new product run. This can prevent costly mistakes and reduce waste throughout the shop floor.

It also guarantees that all processes are completed in the same manner. Consistency helps ensure quality, especially when operators are setting up equipment for a production run. Failing to configure the right settings can increase the time for product changeovers and cause product deficiencies.

How to centerline a manufacturing process

Centerlining in manufacturing is a great way to troubleshoot product and procedure variations, oversee operations, and carry out statistical analysis to boost quality assurance and control.

Learn how to centerline a process by following the four steps below.

Step 1: Determine key process variables

It’s crucial to spot process variables that have the greatest effect on product quality to minimize any defects. Potential variables can include pressure, temperature, density, mass, and more.

Step 2: Identify machine settings for each variable

Then, look at which centerline settings can be applied to each process to ensure the creation of quality goods. Again, you’ll want to determine what has worked well in the past and use a statistical process control chart to set variable limits.

Important things to consider are: when the process has worked, which setting was best suited for that procedure, and how the two worked in conjunction with one another.

Step 3: Assess variable impact on production process and product

After you’ve identified the appropriate machine settings, it’s time to monitor how each variable impacts the production process and final product creation. Start by analyzing which assembly line runs yielded the highest production rate, factoring in things like equipment idle time, scrapped parts, rework, etc., to gauge what works and what needs improvement.

It’s vital that you have accurate, clear data to analyze. We recommend digitizing your centerlining process and results to correctly quantify the performance of each variable.

Step 4: Ensure centerline settings are always applied

Lastly, make sure that all operators are aware of and educated on how to best implement a centerlining process so that the right settings are applied each time. Failure to do so can result in mistakes and product deficiencies down the line. It’s best to provide all the necessary resources, steps, and training from the get-go to avoid costly errors. Digital work instructions and connected worker tools are a great way to ensure that operators are properly equipped to perform centerlining procedures.

At this stage, your manufacturing firm should have the proper reporting techniques to evaluate product quality against centerline procedures.

Interested in learning more?

Augmentir is a connected worker solution that allows industrial companies to digitize and optimize all frontline processes that are part of their TPM strategy. The complete suite of tools are built on top of Augmentir’s patented Smart AI foundation, which helps identify patterns and areas for continuous improvement.

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