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Paper to Electronic Work Instructions

Why move from paper based work instructions to electronic work instructions?

Streamliner exists because we found a number of problems with using a paper based system of work instructions in a manufacturing environment, so we designed the software to create and view work instructions digitally. Previously we created our work instructions on a computer and then printed them out for use by our operators. In this article we discuss some of the advantages of going digital and using dedicated work instructions software.

Always up to date

One of the reasons companies are choosing to use electronic work instructions is that they have the big benefit of always being live, this means that staff in the factory are always on the most to date version of the work instructions. This saves time when updating work instructions because you no longer need to collect and dispose of all old versions. It also removes the risk associated with paper based work instructions in which an old version could have been missed or photocopied.

Usability of work instructions

There are some obvious limitations to issuing work instructions on paper, such as not being able to make use of video or zoom in on pictures to take a closer look. Using dedicated software for work instructions can add a few useful communication methods to your toolbox and make them more visual. This enables you to communicate what you need to more clearly and simply.

Your operators are the people using the work instructions and as such represent a great resource to boost the continual improvement of the quality and usability of your work instructions. It is a resource that we wanted to be able to tap into, so we created some features in our software designed to improve feedback and discussion with the team.

Mobility of editors and trainers

Paper work instructions are great for being able to take anywhere, but when something is spotted that needs changing typically this can only done at a desktop PC. When we set about creating Streamliner we designed it to be able to create, update and view work instructions on the go. This means that you are able to walk the process with a tablet and create the instructions, including photos and videos, on the move. These can even be submitted to the team for review without needing to return to your desk. It also handles the formatting so you don't have to.

Printed work instructions allow training to be conducted at the work station. However training records will often then require entry into a digital system. With our electronic work instructions you can conduct training and create a digital record of it at the work station. Streamliner will also require that the operator log in to their own account to confirm that they have received the training.

Reducing errors

Paper based work instructions have been the default for many years. Whilst this system is manageable in a small manufacturing environment it requires a lot more resource to maintain in bigger factories. In addition version control with paper based work instructions is more prone to errors. This can lead to the production of faulty products and the potential for a non-conformity in an audit. Using electronic work instruction software means that your operators are always on the most up-to-date version which in turn reduces errors.

We hope you found this article interesting, if you have any comments we would love to hear them so please do get in touch.

Streamliner features

Create on the go

Create on the go icon

Add your instructions on a mobile device as you go, using the device's camera to add photos and videos directly into your instructions.

Clearer communication

Clearer communication icon

Communicate more effectively with your operators using pictures and videos, in turn this will improve quality and reduce errors.

Keep it simple

Keep it simple icon

The system has been designed with simplicity in mind; in a world of clutter it helps your operators to focus on what is important.

Training management

Training management icon

Manage training across all departments and documents in one place, you can easily spot the training gaps and ensure training is up-to-date.

Increase feedback

Increase feedback icon

Your operators can request a change to the instructions which helps you continually improve your processes and quality whilst increasing user buy-in.

Automate approvals

Automate approvals icon

Simply submit the instructions for approval and the system will handle the rest for you - save time and energy by automating your approval process.

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