Work Instructions in Industry 4.0
Last week the Growth team of SwipeGuide exhibited at Hannover Messe in the Young Tech Enterprises section in the Hall 17 together with hundreds of robots and other startups.
Our main goal of exhibiting at the biggest manufacturing fair in the world was to show the application of our instruction software in the industrial environment. We displayed some of our current use cases, including two of the biggest food & beverage producers in the world. We learned a lot more about the future of manufacturing to determine our next steps for feature development.
These are our findings from Hannover Messe 2018:
The Paperless Smart Factory
One of the most frequently heard buzzwords at the Hannover Messe was “Smart Factory”. The idea is that on the basis of IoT (internet of things) and digitization all devices and employees in the factory environment can be connected to each other and thereby improve operational efficiency, flexibility, and safety in the manufacturing environment.
Digital instructions on the shop floor is a perfect addition to the smart digital factory and our work instruction software got a lot of attention at the Hannover Messe thanks to this. The paperless factory, where work instructions are shared with employees on mobile screens and wearables shared via QR codes or NFC, is without a doubt the future of manufacturing.
The Augmented Worker
Smart glasses and wearables could be seen everywhere at Hannover Messe – also at our SwipeGuide stand in Hall 17 where we had a pair of Epson M300 smart glasses projecting work instructions for a Belgian brewery. Visitors at our booth were very enthusiastic and could immediately see the added value of projecting instructions in smart glasses in order for employees to have two hands free when performing tasks on the shop floor.
Remote monitoring of sensors and real-time support are some of the next steps we envision for our work instruction software together with motion-activated kinematic controlling of instructions. We’re currently looking for companies interested in a Proof of Concept (PoC) with us in the area of wearables in manufacturing work instructions. Let us know if you’re interested!
Another feature we are currently working on is providing editors with instruction writing tips and best practices with the help of a machine learning algorithm. The AI-powered Intelligent Instructions feature makes it as easy as possible for anyone to create good instructions and share them with their end users across channels, devices and screens as quickly as possible.
Based on what we saw at Hannover Messe we are sure that this feature will add a lot of value to the people creating work instructions with the SwipeGuide work instruction software. The Intelligent Instructions feature will be launched in the second half of 2018.
Avoiding Machine Damage
Predictive maintenance is another term we heard more than once at the fair. One of the features we’re currently working on is integrating SwipeGuide instructions directly to the screens of the machines. This will make service and maintenance of machines easier – and more predictable. Naturally, this will minimize downtime and the risk of machine damage and save a lot of costs.
Process automation is the obvious next step in Industry 4.0. There was a lot of talk about the fully digitized factory environment, where machines do the work and humans merely control the process. However, this will also need instructions for eg. cleaning and maintenance of the machines. In order to be as future-proof as possible, we are currently exploring the domain of instruction in fully automated manufacturing environments with our work instruction software.
Hannover Messe was an extremely interesting opportunity for us to explore the instruction needs and problems in industrial settings and exhibit our work instruction software. We’re confident that our work instruction software can help digitize the manufacturing process and improve both efficiency and safety in manufacturing facilities across the globe.
Thanks Thompres for the smart glasses!