Transitioning to digital work instructions is about much more than simply going paperless. Gone are the days of missing pages, coffee-smudged instructions, and that one rogue outdated assembly process that keeps turning up every so often. Welcome to the age of digital work instructions. In addition to saving trees and reducing paper cuts, they can be an invaluable asset when it comes to streamlining and optimizing every step of your manufacturing process.
Getting an unskilled workforce quickly up and running is one of the biggest obstacles to driving wasted time and effort out of high-mix, low-volume (HMLV) manufacturing and assembly. To reach his zero-defect goal, President and CEO Steve Zimmerman realized his company would have to make it virtually foolproof for any employee to follow instructions for any job that might enter their workstation.
Visual Knowledge Share Ltd. (VKS) produces a multilingual, web-based application for securely creating and sharing digital work insructions. The solution also has the ability to capture process quality and productivity data, while seamlessly connecting with related software, machines and tools such as wireless calipers from Mahr Inc. for smart factory integration.
In 2012, CMP Advanced Mechanical Solutions, a leader in the design and manufacture of sheet metal enclosures, mechanical assemblies, and machined systems, burst onto the Industry 4.0 scene with its avant-garde use of the visual work instruction software VKS. This software allowed the company to create detailed digital guidebooks aimed at training and guiding shop floor operators.
VKS’s article on the value of the software to shop-floor workers was published in the May 2018 edition of Smart Manufacturing. Learn about the benefits digital work instructions provide to quality, productivity, and efficiency. The article also discusses the direction VKS intends to go with regards to Industry 4.0. To read the full article.
Operating in a high-mix, low-volume environment, effectively navigating the manufacturing process can be complex and difficult. But there are reliable solutions to help steer manufacturers toward the most efficient processes. One of these is the company Visual Knowledge Share (VKS). According to electronics contract manufacturer Scott Electronics, VKS is its "manufacturing GPS."
“Revolutions” typically denote powerful social movements where existing processes and forms of leadership are replaced in favor of something more desirable. Revolutions mean change – and oftentimes, change brings with it challenges, risk and sacrifice. But change also paves the way for an exciting new future.
VKS’s article “Visual Work Instructions: GPS of Manufacturing” was published in the September 2017 edition of U.S. Tech. Scott Electronics implemented VKS across their facility and helped them standardize their best practices, leading them to compare using digital work instructions to GPS. To read the full article.
Throughout human history, we’ve experienced technological advancements that pushed the boundaries of the possible. So far we’ve been able to visit the moon, transplant artificial organs to human beings, invent the internet… Though change might look frightening at first sight, it is essential, from a business standpoint, to embrace it and see it as an opportunity for improvement.
More manufacturers are using electronic work instructions, such as VKS, to improve productivity and streamline their operations. In this podcast, Alan Rooks, Editor in Chief of Manufacturing Engineering magazine, talks with Shannon Bennett, Implementation & Sales Engineer at Visual Knowledge Share Ltd., about the need for electronic work instructions in manufacturing, the development of VKS, the types of manufacturers that use it and the benefits those manufacturers see in their operations.
Thick packets of work instructions, job travelers, tooling lists and part drawings are a common sight in most shops. Everyone from the receptionist to the head engineer participates in printing this small forest’s worth of paper, while operators and quality control people struggle to make heads and tails of it all. Then along comes an engineering revision or customer change request and everyone runs around like chickens with their heads cut off, swapping paperwork and redlining drawings. There has to be a better way.
In the past few years, we have started to see the proliferation of systems that help machine operators better understand what they are working on through visual representations – for instance, several fabricating companies now have controls that allow you to see what you are bending on-screen as you bend a part.
“The operator’s station, whether it was machining, welding, bending, or assembly was always full of part drawings and instructions,” explained Engineering Manager Marco Guzman. “They would constantly be flipping pages while working to make sure they were at the right step in the process and that the quality was where we needed it to be.”
After only 10 minutes of walking The ASSEMBLY Show floor on opening day [October 29], I no longer felt the chill of a cold October morning in Chicagoland. The reason was not that the show floor hall was warm. Rather it was that my thoughts had turned to Jamaica after coming across the Jamaica Promotions Corp. (JAMPRO) booth.
This is MP&P’s second year celebrating the best and brightest up-and-comers in Canada’s metalworking industry with our Top 20 Under 40 honours. This year, we received entries from right across the country. Honourees include business owners, apprentice machinists, welders, fabricating specialists, and researchers — among others. All of the people included here have a broad skill set and a commitment to making this industry the best that it can be.
About three years ago, CMP realized that it had the development muscle and the information technology architecture to begin working on software that would allow it to share work instructions with its shop floor via computers. Since then the virtual work instructions have moved beyond simply replicating word directions to now including pictures and video. The job details, called up when an employee scans a bar code, are delivered over the Internet.
In its most basic form, Visual Knowledge Share is a computer touchscreen and bar code scanner installed at a workstation. As a part for processing arrives at the station, an employee scans the attached barcode and instructions for the work— including text, video, and schematics— pop up on the screen.
Ever wondered what visual work instructions are? Do you spend your company’s time and money training new employees over and over again to make the same product? RAB Lighting, a leading LED lighting manufacturer, has benefitted significantly by using VKS. In this article, RAB explains how it implemented VKS and what the #1 work instruction solution in the market has been doing to sustain RAB’s lean processes.
What is VKS, and how did it get started? Visual Knowledge Share (VKS) is a cloud-based software company that was commercialized three years ago. The software VKS was created about five years ago by a sheet metal fabrication company that wanted to streamline the manufacture of its high-mix, low-volume parts.
Today's most sophisticated instructional program for industry, Visual Knowledge Share (VKS), approaches the complex manufacturing floor as a body of knowledge, and utilizes audio/video, work-synchronized screen presentations, cell-to-cell documention, traceability and productivity tools, all as part of an information-sharing and production-enhancing environment of teaching, learning, and doing.