Traditionally, torque wrenches are designed merely to fasten nuts and bolts. However, thanks to 21st-century advancements in digital technology, torque wrenches can go beyond their traditional fastening tasks.
In terms of technology, torque wrenches can be divided into two categories: analog and digital. The former refers to conventional torque wrenches that we have known for more than a century: a tool designed to fasten nuts and bolts.
Meanwhile, digital torque wrenches can serve a wide array of tasks beyond fastening. For example, some digital torque wrenches can save their torque readings’ history. This archived data can be processed directly by quality control officers or be stored for future audit purposes.
Higher-tier digital torque wrenches can wirelessly communicate with your PC, tablet, smartphone, and other industrial devices. This internet-of-things feature allows seamless data exchange between these devices.
Data exchangeability opens a wide range of opportunities for collaboration of different devices and teams within your entire production line. Thanks to this feature, one of the possible functionalities is providing digital work instructions to your workers.
In this article, we will briefly explain the basics surrounding digital work instructions, how they work in the field, and the benefits of integrating your digital torque wrench into a digital work instructions platform.
Introduction to Digital Work Instructions
What do you imagine upon hearing the term “work instructions”? A booklet that’s hundreds of pages long? Texts so small and cramped that you have to squint your eyes to see? While they’re indeed crucial, skimming through conventional paper instruction manuals is typically not something that your workers are looking forward to.
Fortunately, these hurdles can be solved by switching to digital work instructions. Using dedicated software, you can create work instructions that are accessible through different devices such as a PC, smartphone, or tablet. This eliminates the need for any paper-based work instructions. Switching to digital work instructions will bring an abundance of benefits, which we will cover more extensively in this article.
What’s the Correlation Between Digital Torque Wrench and Digital Work Instructions?
A digital torque wrench can be linked with a digital work instructions platform. This integration can be supported by a cable or a wireless network, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or RFID. To complete this process, you would need your digital torque wrench, a PC/smartphone/tablet, and a digital work instructions software. Check out our complete guide on integrating your digital torque wrench with a digital work instructions platform here.
Such digital work instructions software can come from the wrench manufacturer, such as Curatas Wrench Control from Crane Electronics. Additionally, there are digital work instructions platforms that are hardware-agnostic, meaning that they can link with wrenches from any brand.
What Are the Benefits of Integrating Your Digital Torque Wrench Into a Digital Work Instructions Software?
Both hardware-specific and -agnostic digital work instructions software have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Regardless, both are powerful tools that will greatly help your entire production line. Here are some of the benefits of integrating your digital torque wrench with a digital work instructions platform:
Quick, Simply, and Easy to Make Work Instructions
Formulating a set of digital work instructions for your workers is a walk in the park. Most software have a drag-and-drop nature, making it effortless to draft one. No graphic design or coding skills are necessary at all to draft an easily understood set of digital work instructions.
Back in the day, your team needed to spend hundreds of man-hours in writing, proofreading, and printing instruction booklets that are tens – if not hundreds of pages long. Digital work instructions platforms are here to remove all of these hurdles.
Straightforward and No-Nonsense Instructions
Digital work instructions are straightforward in nature. They emphasize visual elements, such as images, arrowed schematics, color coding, and videos. This is a major improvement from conventional text-heavy instruction manuals.
Scientifically, it has been proven that the human brain processes image-based information faster than text-based information. With clearer work instructions and aided with intuitive visual cues, your workers will be less prone to errors.
Moreover, less time will be spent on employee training. Digital work instructions’ emphasis on straightforwardness and visual cues means that most commands are already self-explanatory.
Real-Time Monitoring of Your Assembly Lines
Besides allowing you to draft work instructions, a good deal of software also allow you to monitor whether your workers have followed these instructions. If properly linked, your digital torque wrenches can feed their reading data to your computer.
Thus, you will immediately be notified if a particular production process has been skipped or done improperly. This real-time data capture feature is a remarkable upgrade for your quality control system.
Going 100% Paperless
As the name implies, using digital work instructions means going 100% paperless. Your company can save on previously existing printing costs. It might seem trivial, but this cost-cutting measure can go a long way. Research in the US found that an employee on average prints 8,874 pages/year, costing an average of USD 725/year.
Obviously, going paperless is also an environmentally responsible decision.
Scientific Research Proves Digital Work Instructions’ Effectiveness
Numerous studies have shown digital work instructions’ effectiveness compared to their conventional counterparts. A good example can be seen in RWTH Aachen’s behavioral study on digital work instructions.
According to its findings, people tend to understand commands given on digital instructions faster than paper-based ones. Moreover, the same study also found that digital instructions users are less likely to commit mistakes than those who receive paper-based instructions.
Hence, it has been scientifically proven that digital work instructions are more effective than conventional paper-based ones.
Case Study: Atlas Copco’s Success Story
Azumuta has been trusted by countless companies, both in Belgium and internationally, to optimize their production activities. One prime example is Atlas Copco, a Swedish multinational producer of industrial tools.
Atlas Copco uses Azumuta for its operation in its Wilrijk plant, especially in providing digital training materials and instructions for its employees. Azumuta’s very own Digital Work Instructions feature is used to guide Atlas Copco’s employees, complete with photos, videos, and written instructions. Even employees with little to no technical background can be trained using this tool, as this article (in Dutch) demonstrates.
This digitalization process has saved Atlas Copco precious man-hours. What’s more, it has reduced data entry error possibilities significantly, thanks to our data-sharing feature that allows cross-department crosschecks.
Pair Your Digital Torque Wrench With Azumuta Today
In this modern era, linking your hardware manufacturing tools with digital technology is paramount. With Azumuta, your digital torque wrench can do more than simply fasten nuts and bolts. Your digital torque wrench can be integrated with our Digital Work Instructions module.
In this easy-to-use feature, you can effortlessly draft easily understood work instructions. Thanks to its drag-and-drop feature, you can include pictures, symbols, pointers, and any other helpful visual cues, all with the push of a button.
In addition, Azumuta allows you to monitor your assembly line in real-time. All the measurements sourced from your digital torque wrench will be fed directly to your computer and tablet.
Not only that, Azumuta will automatically notify you should there be any measurement discrepancy detected by your digital torque wrench. That way, you can immediately know whether your instructions have been properly followed by your shop floor workers. This is a feature that any quality controller will certainly appreciate.