Where digital work instructions are used, improved efficiency, accuracy and accessibility of work processes can be expected. Companies and industries can enrich the know-how of their employees through digital assistance while saving costs on downtime, waiting time and errors. Today, digital work instructions are already feasible for many Industry 4.0 use cases – we have compiled the most important applications for you!
What are digital work instructions?
In industry, digital work instructions are used as electronic instructions. They describe workflows, processes and procedures in manufacturing, production and other areas. In doing so, they support task execution, efficiency and quality management. They provide employees with the necessary resources and information to perform their jobs successfully. In addition, digital work instructions ensure compliance with standards and regulations. All in all, there are a multitude of possibilities and fields of application for digital work instructions so that work processes can be made more time and cost efficient.
What are the implementation options for digital work instructions?
The instructions can be accessed and displayed via various digital platforms such as smartphones, tablets or augmented reality. Therefore, there are different implementation methods for digital support systems. They can be used depending on the requirements and resources of the company and can be tailored to the specific needs.
For example, digital work instructions can be integrated directly into existing enterprise software such as ERP or CRM systems. This gives employees direct access to instructions during their daily work, which can also work in real time. Web-based platforms are another way to create, store and manage digital work instructions. Employees can access the information they need on these platforms at any time.
Mobile apps thus create more flexibility, allowing employees to install the app on their smartphone or tablet and access instructions anytime, anywhere. Virtual reality and augmented reality in production offer innovative possibilities, just like apps: For example, augmented reality allows employees to see step-by-step instructions directly in their work environment while performing a task. This is a mixed reality approach.
When selecting the appropriate implementation method for digital work instructions, organizations should consider factors such as the size and structure of the organization, the existing IT infrastructure, the type of work instructions, and employee preferences. But also the desired goal should not be lost sight of.
What are the benefits of digital work instructions?
Digital work instructions offer many advantages for industry over traditional or even still paper-based operating and procedural instructions. We have rounded up the three biggest factors in favor of using the digital approach:
1. Easy access and updating:
Instructions can be stored centrally and accessed by employees anytime, anywhere. They can also be easily updated and adapted to changes in the work process. The use and effectiveness of the instructions can be monitored and analyzed to make continuous improvements and adjustments.
2. Compliance and auditing:
Digital work instructions and assistance systems can help ensure compliance with regulations and standards. For example, you can automatically verify that all required steps and documentation are in place. Among other things, this also facilitates preparation for audits and inspections and saves time in an automated manner.
3. Error reduction:
Providing clear, easy-to-understand, and consistent instructions can reduce human error and workplace accidents. Digital work instructions can include multimedia content such as images, videos, and animations that enhance understanding of tasks. Experts can also be called in quickly and easily as needed, for example via video chat.
10 application examples of digital work instructions for production and logistics
But what does this mean for Industry 4.0? Here come 10 practice examples of how digital work instructions help save costs and increase efficiency in everyday work:
1. Assembly instructions:
Digital support systems can provide detailed step-by-step instructions for assembling products or machines. Correct assembly can also be ensured with pictures, videos or 3D models.
2. Machine operation:
Digital step-by-step instructions, short guides or checklists can be used for commissioning, maintenance and proper operation of the machines.
3. Warehouse management:
Digital work instructions can provide information on storage locations, minimum stock levels and replenishment strategies for more efficient warehouse management.
4. Inventory management:
Digital instructions can be used to convey how employees manage inventories and materials in production and logistics. They also provide information on inventory, reordering and stock rotation.
5. Packing and shipping:
Digital work instructions can provide information on how to pack and ship products correctly. They can also provide information about packaging materials, shipping labels, and delivery methods. This ensures that products reach customers safely and on time.
6. Troubleshooting and maintenance:
Digital work instructions can guide troubleshooting for production or logistics problems. They may also include maintenance schedules and instructions for performing maintenance on machinery and equipment.
7. Work safety:
Safety-critical tasks and processes are precisely executed by employees through digital assistance. In the process, employees can access information about protective equipment and emergency measures. Doctors or paramedics can also be digitally connected for first aid.
8. Quality control:
Work instructions can digitally communicate clearly defined quality standards and inspection criteria to employees and verify compliance.
9. Process documentation:
The processes and procedures in production and logistics can be documented and standardized. This can help increase efficiency and reduce the risk of errors or inconsistencies in workflow.
10. Training and training materials:
Digital work instructions can also be used as training for new employees or for the continuing education of existing employees. At the same time, the instructions can be easily updated and extended.
How the industry can benefit from digital work instructions
In summary, the industry can benefit significantly from the use of digital work instructions. This modern technology offers many advantages for companies, employees and customers alike. It helps both in the area of efficiency and safety increase, as well as for quality assurance.
Digital work instructions enable seamless integration of people, machines and processes. In this way, they create the basis for future-proof Industry 4.0 applications in everyday work. They are an important step for the transformation to modern and efficient business processes. Companies that use digital work instructions can increase their competitiveness and survive on the market in the long term.
Further information on digital work instructions
Digital work instructions can also be beneficial in critical use cases. For this, however, it is important that the real-time transmission of data is ensured. This can be done through a highly available mobile network. As a result, digital work instructions are transmitted at the right time using real-time communication, even in critical use cases. A possible solution for this needed optimal performance and security of such a network can be a mobile private network based on 5G technology.
5G mobile private networks are local, private networks. They are based on the 5G mobile communications standard and have been specially developed for use on company premises and industrial facilities. They provide ubiquitous, mobile infrastructure with low latency, high bandwidth and increased reliability, making them ideal for digital work instructions.
Benefits of 5G monile private networks for digital work instructions
1. Faster data transmission:
5G networks offer higher data rates than previous 4G networks, which means work instructions can be transmitted and updated in real time. This allows employees to stay up to date and respond immediately to changes.
2. Low latency:
The extremely low latency of 5G networks enables near-instant communication between devices and systems. This is especially important for AR and VR applications that require fast responses and are used for digital work instructions.
3. Improved reliability:
5G mobile private networks offer higher reliability than traditional networks and are not as susceptible to disruption as Wi-Fi networks, meaning they are less likely to experience outages or connectivity issues. This ensures that digital work instructions are available at all times and without interruptions.
5G networks make it possible to connect a large number of devices simultaneously without compromising network quality. This is especially important when many employees need to access digital work instructions simultaneously.
5. Integration of IoT devices:
5G mobile private networks support the seamless integration of IoT (Internet of Things) devices, such as sensors, controllers and smart machines. This enables companies to optimize their production processes and make digital work instructions more efficient.
Overall, 5G mobile private networks for digital work instructions can help increase business efficiency and productivity. They offer faster data transmission, low latency and improved reliability. At the same time, they make it possible to use innovative technologies such as AR, VR, and IoT devices to deliver accurate and up-to-date instructions to employees.