A Cornerstone of Lean Manufacturing
Has your company begun its journey toward lean manufacturing? Have you realized that your paper-based system of planning and executing work orders is too time consuming and cumbersome?
Perhaps you walked away from a recent kaizen event seeing that the entire process is a heap of nonvalue-added activity.
You know that a competitive advantage requires shorter lead times. You must make smaller orders and just-in-time the rule, not the exception.
But are you suffering from:
- An inability to see if machines are loaded correctly?
- Promise dates that are—at best—a guess?
- Spending more time on paperwork than making parts?
- Manual, difficult to maintain white boards?
- Large, costly and wasteful paper packets?
- Difficulty communicating changes?
ShopVue can help.
Online Work Orders, Touch Screens Everywhere
Customers can install ShopVue on large touchscreen terminals conveniently located at work centers throughout the factory. On each terminal, ShopVue displays a list of orders that have been dispatched to each of the machines covered by that terminal. This prioritized list lets the employee know when they are expected to start each order and how long it should take. ShopVue can either automatically sequence the orders by first in/first out or planners can adjust the order using an interactive Gantt chart tool called the Graphical Sequencer. The ability to fine tune sequences is often important at gateway operations or on critical machines.
Unlike most ERP systems, ShopVue makes it easy for workers to access the information they need to complete an order. With just a touch or two, employees can view part drawings, set and run instructions, lists of materials, or comments left by supervisors or fellow workers on the previous shift.
ShopVue also makes it easy for employees to report their activity. For example, a worker simply touches Run to begin an order and then touches special buttons to indicate partial quantities (like a pallet being completed), report scrap, or start another order (which automatically finishes the first one). As the worker reports this activity, Shopvue updates shop floor metrics, WIP status, and your ERP in real-time.
Benefits of Paperless Dispatch
- Improved work flow
- Elimination of “cherry-picking”
- Greater accountability
- Ease of spotting problems early
- Reduced lead times
- Daily schedule attainment
- Reduced cost
- Increase in competitive advantage
Q. I want my employees to use just one system—to have everything at their fingertips. How does ShopVue tie it all together?
A. ShopVue utilizes one of several off-the-shelf interfaces to download work orders and materials required at each operation from your ERP. ShopVue automatically links to required drawings, assembly instructions and other documents located on various file servers and can display them to workers, often as PDFs. Finally, planners and supervisors input other information such as target setup times and comments directly in ShopVue.
Q. How does the system know what a specific employee should do?
A. ShopVue assigns both employees and orders to machines (or other resources like work centers or assembly areas). This way, when employees log into ShopVue, they immediately see the machines and orders for which they are responsible. ShopVue can allow supervisors to preplan employee assignments (stationing) or allow employees to use machines ad hoc. ShopVue uses the order routes setup in your ERP unless a supervisor overrides them using the Graphical Sequencer.
Q. Must the employee build parts in the sequence in which they are assigned?
A. No. Like all ShopVue validations, this setting is user-configurable. You can configure ShopVue to require a hard validation (i.e., ShopVue will not allow employees to build parts out of sequence), a soft warning (ShopVue will ask the employee if he or she really wants to do that) or require that a supervisor approve the transaction before the employee continues. In the event an employee or supervisor overrides the sequence, ShopVue records the event so managers can speak to anybody that abuses this flexibility.
Q. What are some examples of foolproofing?
A. ShopVue may require an employee to scan a part’s bar code to verify that he or she physically has the same part dispatched on the screen. This may prevent the employee from starting a run with the wrong materials. When an employee reports an operation is complete, ShopVue will check piece count. ShopVue will validate that the employee reported all of the pieces that came from the previous operation as either good or scrap.
Q. My employees sign a traveler when they complete each operation. How is this done in a paperless factory?
A. ShopVue requires that employees badge in prior to beginning work on any order. You may also configure ShopVue to require they enter a PIN. ShopVue logs this information to ensure that the history of which employee worked on which operation (and when) is readily available.
Q. My ERP can collect a lot of this same data. What’s the biggest reason that this “manufacturing execution system” is different?
A. Most ERP systems are designed for trained clerical staff. ShopVue is designed for factory workers. Most tasks within ShopVue take just seconds and the system’s built-in foolproofing eliminates virtually all mistakes.