Paperless Manufacturing – Is It Right For You?

Organize Your Shop Floor

More often, today, the term “paperless” has been used in manufacturing.  The potential strengths appear to glow and shine to those looking to reduce overhead costs of printing documents to send out to the shop floor, including labor and paper.   The real question is whether this particular theme of efficiency is being viewed as an unnecessary added value or is there some valid merit where manufacturers truly see this as a highly important benefit. 

In addition to the benefits of going paperless, there is the potential for increased efficiencies on the shop floor, reduced cost to store paper copies, and environmental benefits.  Having everything you need at your fingertips to manage an order on the shop floor can be great.  You’ll always be looking at the latest specifications, rev levels, and more.   When employees clock out of their jobs and report labor against a specific job and clock in and out for attendance there are no pieces of paper that have to make it to the office for processing, thus reducing time and effort to report needed information to management.  Accuracy typically increases in these situations.

At first glance, this would seem like the perfect model which any company should utilize.  But, is it as simple as that?  What is your comfort factor in eliminating paper?  Is it right for you?  How long does a transition take?  All good questions.  As we all know people are naturally resistant to change, so going paperless could have some push back from the troops.

The world is becoming more and more technology savvy and with that paperless environments are becoming more commonplace and the manufacturing sector appears to be transitioning toward paperless practices, but I don’t think we are there quite yet.  What do you think?

Posted by Joe Di Zazzo, President & CEO, ProfitKey International
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2 Responses to Paperless Manufacturing – Is It Right For You?

  1. We continue to look at going to a paperless enviroment but run into roadblocks due to the cost of implementing. How can we economically get the information to our operators?

  2. profitkey says:

    Hi Michael,

    Good to hear from you and great question. I posed this question to Alan, our IT guru, as he has a great deal of experience here. His thoughts were this:

    “MES, a terminal server and thin clients. Autoview used to do all the different file formats, and with MES there is not really any need for paper, it can all be seen electronically.”

    If this doesn’t answer your question and/or you need more of a clarification we can certainly go into more details, at your convenience.

    Best,
    Jason

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