Adopting a Paperless Manufacturing Environment

October 7, 2015

Managing product development effectively in today’s manufacturing organization is not an easy task.

Constantly shrinking profit margins and pressure from the market to bring products faster require manufacturers to adopt optimized production approaches, such as just in time and lean manufacturing.

Disruptions in many manufacturing processes, such as machine breakdown or shortages in material supply as such could turn out to be extremely costly.

Manufacturing organizations are thus required to adopt advanced technologies that can provide real-time manufacturing environment and leverage manufacturing techniques, to ensure that products are built on time and as per the demands from consumers.

Just like the diminishing usage of paper in many of our daily life activities, such as newspaper and books, the manufacturing sector is also shifting to modern information driven environment that is governed electronically.

A clear reason for adopting digital platform is that the information can be easily, accurately and effectively collected, aggregated, distributed and used in global enterprises, which leads to operational excellence through better communication and decision making.

Adopting a paperless manufacturing environment as such is inevitable today. Modern manufacturing centric technologies, such as CAD, CAE, CAM, ERP, PLM and Electronic Work Instruction Systems (EWI) have become essential for companies, eliminating the use of paper gradually.

Why Working with Paper is Expensive Today?

A Research from Dassault Systemes reveals some of the shocking truths associated with paper based manufacturing approach that makes the production process expensive.

It has been found that more than 70% of today’s businesses would fail within three weeks if they loose paper based records, due to unforeseen events such as flood or fire.

Almost 15% of organization’s revenue is spent creating, managing and distributing paper documents. At a rate of $30 per hour, knowledge workers waste $4,500 per year working with paper.

Facts like these reflect why it is important now to move to a paperless manufacturing environment, especially when the competition is stiffening and product prices are expected to be cost-effective.

Benefits of Paperless Manufacturing Environment

Going paperless for product development offers an array of benefits today, where manufacturing firms are globalizing their product development process and the shop floor requirements are becoming dynamic, requiring information sharing across number of stakeholders. Listed here are five most important benefits of adopting digital manufacturing approach.

Better Efficiency and Productivity

With paperless, efficiency of the organization improves significantly, since the work flow remains smooth and all the activities can be tracked digitally from the database, rather than finding details from a stack of documents.

Right from raw material purchase to final production, every activity can be tracked through PLM technology, which further improves organization’s overall productivity.

Promote Collaboration

Modern manufacturing process often involves multiple supply vendors and consultants that work together from remote locations. With digital information developed using 3D CAD modeling, information can be easily transferred across the all the stakeholders and their inputs can be easily implemented irrespective of their geographical location.

As such collaborative environment is more feasible, helping establish better communication with faster product development.

Elimination of Barriers to Innovation

Since there are more possibilities to collaborate closely through digital approach, significant amount of momentum can be gained for innovation.

Most importantly, the version control feature, i.e. the ability to revise the information easily helps in creating a favorable environment to try out different concepts, without worrying about wastage and time consumption.

Better Security and Compliance

Unlike paper, information stored digitally can be securely stored for a long time without worrying about its loss or damage. Also, there is a possibility to share information based on roles and responsibilities of the employees, ensuring that the information is visible to only the desired person.

Lower Operational Cost

As mentioned about the expenses with a paper based manufacturing approach, the cost on wastage can be minimized, while also ensuring that the data is available when needed; despite any occurrence of events such as flood or fire, through regular data backup at remote servers.

Mon, 09/28/2015 – 9:38am by Gaurang Trivedi, Engineerning Consultant, TrueCADD

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