Paperless Manufacturing

Many machinists, production managers, and other shop floor workers wish they had paperless manufacturing. It feels like an impossible pipe dream to them.

It may be trendy to do so, but we wish to quote organizational expert Marie Kondo. Her insight is wonderful when thinking of taking on the daunting task of going paperless.

“People cannot change their habits without first changing their way of thinking,” Marie says in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. “Clutter is caused by a failure to return things to where they belong. Therefore, storage should reduce the effort needed to put things away – not the effort needed to get them out.”

Other than the need to be organized, there are far more important reasons to go paperless. Digital revision control, being prepared for audits and keeping track of crucial documentation also weigh heavy on our daily processes.

Yes, the task of going paperless can take time. But it is not an impossible task. Shop Floor Automations has even successfully gone paperless!

There is also a terrific article written by Eli Plaskett of Modern Machine Shop on this topic. His December 2018 piece “Turning the Page on the Paper Workplace” details a few steps to achieve this goal.

First, analyze how to give your workforce digital access to files as appropriate.
Invest in a scanner – for existing paperwork and whatever paperwork comes in the hereafter, scan immediately. Train employees to get into the habit of scanning.

Then, install tablets, network computers or digital station work devices. The next step is to train the workers fully on how to use the system. Show them the ways the system works for their benefit to save time.

Set up simple instructions such as photographing a setup. If you use ERP Software (which integrates with quite a few of our solutions), it can often have tools to enable photos attached with set up instructions or photos via an ERP smartphone app.

SFA has many solutions to help you cut your dependency on paper. We have USB hardware that can store programs in flash drives, and we highly recommend investing in PDM.

Ready to start the conversation? Call (877) 611-5825 or fill out our contact form