Manufacturing and supply chains experienced a great shift over the past three years from a focus on capacity only to being agile enough to respond to, sometimes volatile, market dynamics. Being intelligently integrated within the factory as well as to the larger supply chain helped companies survive, stay competitive and even thrive. This integration includes your standard work instruction dashboards.
By moving away from manual processes using a mix of paper, spreadsheets and siloed systems, manufacturers were able to improve efficiencies, adapt to the market changes faster and serve their customers better. One of the digital tools leveraged was cloud-based manufacturing execution systems (MES). These SaaS solutions connect your business systems to shop floor equipment, sensors, software and more that enable execution, quality production insights, plant maintenance notifications and integration with an ERP.
Today, we’re going to look at the power of integrated dashboards for standard work instructions (SWI) that become part of a larger network of information. This “hive mind” enables greater visibility through enhanced communication for analysis, execution and planning in real time. The digital consoles help focus your teams on their part of the work order process while providing your company with real-time work in progress status metrics.
The Flexibility of Digital Standard Work Instruction Dashboards
Standard work instructions provide simple, step-by-step tasks that are required to produce something. This information is available in multiple formats from paper to devices at each station. By converting these instructions into a digital format, you enable a unified view of information from multiple production sources. The data can empower frontline workers to make data-driven decisions and power automation.
There are multiple ways to generate these connected consoles. SAP has a production operator dashboard (POD) that “is a primary interface between the shop floor operator and the application containing the manufacturing data.” These digital PODs deliver the appropriate information to your floor workers at the right time, so your production lines keep running smoothly.
For the purpose of this blog, we will use SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud to illustrate how the execution process works with a cloud MES. The dashboards are role-based, where the access, layout and functions vary by who is logged in – an engineer’s POD would look different than a QA’s POD. The below images show what the operator screens may look like. The first is an overall administrative access view. The second and third images are an assembly POD with one showing the work instructions for discrete manufacturing.
SAP DMC Admin View of Available Options
SAP DMC Assembly POD – Discrete Manufacturing Example
SAP DMC Work Instructions Example
For process manufacturing, there are different dashboards available. Below are two samples of those screens: order and quality management.
SAP DMC Process Order POD Example
SAP DMC Quality Management POD Example
These execution dashboards enable you to perform resource orchestration by dispatching and sequencing operations to compress the manufacturing lifecycle as well as provide real-time production performance tracking. For process manufacturing, the order PODs support the order-based execution of process orders with single batches.
The migration to paperless production is easier because the PODs provide all the information that an operator will need to perform the task or series of tasks at each station through intuitive user interfaces. There is the flexibility to adapt each station depending on the current needs. You can also react quickly to events as they happen to rebalance and optimize resources to keep production on schedule.
Production Alerts and Automations
Another benefit is the ability to trigger alerts and automations. Smart factories use automation to streamline the process of an average production order and empower workers to collaborate to improve efficiency. A cloud MES allows you to build in automated processes.
For routing flow, when one station’s tasks are complete and approved, the next station is notified to begin work. This routing can also include inspection operations that have nonconformance handling capabilities. The images below show the progression from an inspection POD.
SAP DMC Inspection POD Example
SAP DMC Repair POD Example
An example of an alert notification without automation is, say, if a worker’s labor certification expires or they do not have one, an error message will pop up and the person is unable to continue the process until the information is updated.
For a walkthrough of a work order, please watch our webinar, Boost Factory Execution by Migrating to a Cloud-Based MES.
Leverage a Cloud MES to Improve Your Manufacturing
The digitalization of standard work instruction dashboards is part of enabling your smart factory that allows you to better manage changes in supply and demand. The real-time data helps increase operational efficiency, reduce costs and expand output. Below are some of the benefits.
- Accessibility: Start projects quicker without hardware & installation delays
- Flexibility: To scale up & down as & when required, easily test new technologies such as AI & ML
- Innovation: By taking advantage of quarterly updates, rather than yearly, but using life cycle management to control updates
- Integration: Utilize open APIs to enable legacy software on local servers and equipment to connect over the internet to cloud MES functions & data
Still not sure? Learn why the innovative automotive company selected SAP DMC, a cloud MES platform, as part of their digital transformation in the Federal Mogul Powertrain Otomotiv A.Ş. case study.
If you would like more information tailored to your needs, schedule a meeting with one of our experts.