A Connected Operator is a factory worker fully integrated into the manufacturing environment using connective devices. Machines in modern manufacturing facilities are more complex than ever before, making it very challenging for operators to manually capture all the relevant data they need to record.
The good news is that modern manufacturing machines and tools come with systems that can easily be integrated with mobile devices. This enables operators to monitor the machines and tools in their docket from their mobile phones or tablets. Technology advancements in cellular, cloud computing, and mobile computing have made it easier and cheaper for companies to ensure that all their operators are connected.
Benefits of having connected operators
Easy access to knowledge and relevant documents
Connected workers can effortlessly access essential documents such as machine manuals right from their mobile devices. Besides manuals, connected operators can also easily access other valuable documents with information, such as the latest SOPs and safety guidelines, that could make it easier for them to make vital decisions regarding how they do their work.
Without such documents, decision-making in particular situations could be slowed down, which can affect production. Having easy access to relevant information about equipment and manufacturing processes is even more important for new workers who don’t have plenty of experience in manufacturing.
Seamless incident sharing
Connected operators can also easily share crucial incidents in the manufacturing facility with their colleagues. For instance, if one of the machines in the facility has an issue, the operator can inform all the concerned stakeholders about the current situation. Seamless sharing of incidents also allows everyone concerned to adjust their daily operations based on the current state of the manufacturing facility.
More accurate and detailed data collection
As we shared earlier, operators in every shift are usually required to record certain information that may include the state of the equipment and any major changes that may occur during their shift. With digital devices, workers can easily record this information in real-time using hand-free tools like voice assistants.
Recording this information in real-time minimizes the chances of errors that usually arise when the operator has to wait for a more convenient moment to write down the required information in a book. Some of the data from machines and other tools is recorded automatically, which eliminates the possibility of human errors.
Manufacturing data is more usable.
Data gathered by connected workers is analyzed by manufacturing platforms to generate actionable manufacturing dashboards. Robust manufacturing platforms display these metrics in interactive, meaningful ways manufacturers can use to improve their operation’s speed, efficiency and uptime.
Seamless transition between shifts
When an operator is connected, they can still see what is happening in the manufacturing facility even when they are not on duty. So, before the operator gets into their shift, they will already know the state of the equipment and tools they are going to operate. This information helps them to plan their shifts ahead of time without having to be physically briefed by the operator they are replacing.