It’s often said that “variety is the spice of life,” but, when it comes to manufacturing, process variance is a downfall.
To be successful, manufacturers must keep production at or above target levels.
At the same time, they need to continuously monitor and evaluate production plans, adapting them to better meet cost, quality, flexibility, delivery and other objectives.
The better able manufacturers are to balance these objectives and make changes on the fly, the more efficient and profitable their operations become.
Manufacturing production management software with enforceable workflows helps to achieve this balance. Let’s look at three key ways:
1. Enforceable workflows help to close the information gap while facilitating continuous improvement.
Think about it. Enforceable workflows break down organizational information silos to unite people with systems.
They encourage and facilitate greater collaboration, standardization and enforcement of best practices, helping manufacturers to improve productivity and distinguish their company from the competition.
And, because quality processes become integral to production activities, allowing process data to be viewed in context of orders, products, suppliers and materials, plants can learn more.
The more plants know, the more they can do with that knowledge.
2. Enforceable workflows help to achieve and demonstrate regulatory compliance.
Standardized workflows and business processes built on industry best practices error-proof manufacturing processes.
They help to prevent issues and mistakes from happening.
They perform quality checks and initiate corrective action plans and quality reports automatically.
So, when there is a deviation, they alert appropriate personnel and commence additional quality checks, corrective actions and quality reports.
Corrective action plans may include no-fault forward systems to prevent release of below-quality products, and hold and quarantine capabilities that keep non-conformant products in a facility instead of in the hands of customers.
Finally, enforceable workflows automatically create records that detail processes, material, equipment, tools, operators and test results, complete with timestamps and electronic signatures.
This makes it easier to demonstrate regulatory compliance.
3. Enforceable workflows help to retain and transfer knowledge.
As retirees exit the workforce, intellectual property often walks out with them.
Quite often, this occurs faster than new workers can be hired and trained.
Enforceable workflows drive out variability through automated setup, work instructions and integrated quality processes.
We understand the value that manufacturing production management software with enforceable workflows provides firsthand.
Using it in our own plants at Rockwell Automation helped us to achieve tangible results: