2. Changes in work instructions
In a highly flexible environment where RPL is active, it is not a surprise that work instructions can change rather quickly. This is because the adjustment of work instructions can originate in three ways:
- RPL itself can decide to change its work instructions due to changes in the production process, additional safety measures, new materials, etc.
- The decision to produce a new variant of an existing product or introduce an entirely new product can lead to the need for new work instructions.
- Client demands and other parameters can change. In the pharmaceutical sector changes occur frequently, which results in high pressure on keeping the work instructions up-to-date.
The frequency of changes in work instructions was a significant challenge for RPL as keeping track of all changes and making sure that every separate instruction was up to date was immensely time-consuming. For example, a small change in a certain instruction step meant that all instructions that used this step needed to be changed. For general steps, this could easily lead to the need to update work instruction documentation for more than 50 different work stations. In the dynamic environment in which RPL operates, mitigating this challenge was a key goal in order to increase agility by easily tracking and updating changes to instructions.
How did Azumuta help to increase work instruction flexibility?
At Azumuta, we strive to structure work instructions as efficiently as possible. The variant functionality, amongst others, allows us to provide an exceptional level of flexibility in terms of adapting work instructions. For example, changes to general steps that are used in several product variations now only need to be changed in one location, while in the past a small change could lead to the need for adjusting multiple work instructions. With Azumuta, short-term changes could now be made quickly, digitally, and become available to operators immediately. This agile way of working enables RPL to adapt very quickly to changes while still maintaining an exceptional level of quality, resulting in a competitive advantage.
3. Distribution of work instructions
In addition to the management of the work instructions, the distribution of these instructions to the shop floor also represented an important aspect that cost a lot of time for the production leaders. Before Azumuta, RPL had an effective system for this distribution but still, the production leaders felt that it took a lot of time to get the right paperwork instruction to the right location and to the right operator. Moreover, as previously mentioned, these instructions were not always specific as it was not possible to provide completely custom work instructions for each product variation.
How did Azumuta help?
At Azumuta, we believe that the distribution of work instructions to the shop floor should be completely automated. Without any manual steps, we can push the correct work instruction, completely configured to the specific order, to the right operator at the applicable workstation. This decrease in complexity for the operator results in fewer errors and eventually an increase in productivity.
In conclusion, the introduction of Azumuta has significantly improved the work instruction management process for RPL in several ways. Firstly, the variant functionality has allowed for the efficient management of an enormous amount of product variations, while also being more precise in terms of the content that the operator sees on the shop floor. Secondly, the agile way of working has increased the flexibility in adapting to changes, resulting in a competitive advantage. Lastly, the distribution of work instructions has become fully automated, resulting in a decrease in complexity for the operator, fewer errors, and an increase in productivity.