Revolutionizing the Shop Floor - Taking the Paper Away 981868
Many manufacturing business practices and information systems are still designed around paper documents. These systems create and track paper documents that travel through the course of manufacturing, ending in the archive cabinets. Technology advancement and affordability enable the delivery of the paperless shop promised over twenty years ago. However, reengineering of business practices is required to take full advantage of the technology and eliminate the barriers created by paper. The reengineering effort should challenge traditional doctrines and encompass processes that extend beyond the boundaries of the shop floor, such as Quality Assurance and Process Planning. Besides eliminating paperwork, such process reengineering may include improvements to the user interface, streamlining of processes for natural and continual flows, elimination of non-value added steps, empowerment of the workforce, consolidation of processes, and improvement of quality. Companies do not re-implement their business systems often, and should not miss the opportunity for quantum leaps in performance from eliminating the paper on the shop.