Manufacturing in the midwest (more than agriculture), showing tractor assembly line

Managing Work Instructions in MV2

Digital shop travelers increase accuracy and speed while reducing errors and labor utilization

Work instructions or job travelers are how product information is routed through the shop floor. Job packets typically contain the BOMs and instructions to build the product. These travelers were classically printed or written by hand into documents that go with the work in process as it moves through the facility. That doesn’t have to be the case now. The MV2 Manufacturing Execution System (MES) can manage and distribute these packets digitally.

For the modern factory looking to get greater and greater throughput with a minimum of scrap or rework issues, going to digital job travelers is almost a requirement. The benefits are numerous: from increasing the speed of work instruction delivery, the management of job packet information to the reduction of traveler loss and the possibility of old process instructions existing in the wild.

Here, we’ve broken out how digital work instructions operate within the MV2 MES to achieve these goals.

Deeply integrated with production

The job traveler is deeply integrated into MV2’s shop floor management operations. Work instructions can be affixed to job numbers, Kanban loops or orders, and individual items within the system. Operators can search for work orders by the same order number or Kanban loop they’ve been assigned – and all through MV2’s shop floor touchscreens. When processes are scheduled, the work instructions are also assigned. This reduces the potential for incorrect instructions to be used, as work instructions go with jobs not through plastic packets or runners. It also allows for greater management of instructions and better alignment with inventory and orders.

Digitally managed from a central location

As the job packets are digital, they are housed with the production database. This not only keeps the process data with the instructions, MV2 provides one location where all work instructions can be updated and housed. When the work instructions are updated, they are updated across every location where they’re in use. The central location also creates the ability to control access to work instructions. That means managers can reduce errors or changes that aren’t approved by the firm. It also means the elimination of manpower needed to make sure all instructions on the floor are up to date.

Digital Work Instructions screens

Digital job packets are data rich and can use multiple file types

Paper travelers can carry a lot of important information in their plastic sleeves but going to digital work instructions provides even more helpful data for line workers. The MV2 manufacturing travelers can contain the more common process procedures, bills of materials (BOM) and routing information found in paper-based travelers. The MES can also provide a variety of materials to help workers perform their tasks properly. The MV2 work instruction packet can carry assembly drawings, interactive 3D versions of those drawings, external links and even audio and video of the assembly, test or training process. All these materials are available at the touch of the button from MV2’s workplace touch screens.

Automated routing

As MV2’s job travelers are connected to orders or processes specifically, that means these instructions digitally travel with work in process or materials as they move through the shop floor. When parts arrive and the job is started, the job packets and all the information they contain are there, too. There’s no need to make sure the traveler is affixed to the work in process pallet for the next team. There’s also no need to employ other workers to escort or check on the work instructions as it moves through the floor. It is done automatically by MV2.

These are just a small sample of what MV2 is capable of and how digital shop packets can used. If you’re thinking it’s time to reduce paper on the shop floor while getting more efficiency out of your operations, contact us today. Our highly experienced sales engineers can help explain what benefits your operations could receive by moving to a digital job traveler system.

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