Have you heard of a paperless job shop MRP/ERP system? This is one of the silver bullets on the job shop floor. Imagine not needing to print routers or travelers for every job going through the shop floor. Imagine bringing up the job documents, including design documents and blue prints, on a computer next to a machine. Since newer technology has made this possible, it has been used in job shops everywhere.
Paperless MRP/ERP systems are not 100% paperless, in many situations. If you have parts sitting on the floor or on pallets, you still need to know the actual part number in order to know the type and quantity of parts you are making. Paperless systems do not require barcodes to be printed on pieces of paper. However, one way to track jobs is to have barcodes available for scanning as work is performed to track who, what, and when. In order to go paperless, you need a Kiosk system where jobs can easily be viewed, along with labor collection.
Here is an outline of how a job shop can function, when paperless, on the shop floor:
- Job is released (no paper printed).
- Employee goes to a Kiosk station and looks up the assigned machine.
- Employee (based on a great scheduling system) views a list of jobs to be performed.
- Employee picks the job at the top of the list.
- Employee views blueprints, comments and bill of material required.
- Employee works on the job.
- Employee finishes job.
- A Move Ticket is created, which contains the part number, quantity, due date, next operation step, and other information needed.
- Employee moves the job to the next machine or rack.
The Kanban example is even more “paperless”. Kanban is a way of manufacturing, using a simple and straightforward process. For example, imagine that there are two separate buckets sitting on a shelf; each are full of the same part – Part X. The first bucket is green and contains a certain quantity of Part X; the second bucket is red and contains its own quantity of Part X. Parts are continually consumed from the green bucket, as they are needed. Once the green bucket runs out of Part X, then the red bucket is the only bucket containing Part X. The green bucket running out of Part X signals the manufacturing team that it is time to make more of Part X (based on minimums, reorder points, forecast, etc.). When Part X begins to be used from the red bucket, a paperless ERP system will automatically create a new work order for that part. This allows manufacturing to create the parts required to refill the empty green bucket.
The automation occurs when the employee clocks out of the work order. Once the job is done and the employee closes the work order in the Kiosk system, it will automatically create a new work order for the next production run. After these parts have been manufactured, they are put on the shelf. As a result, there are now two full red and green buckets with Part X inside them on the that same shelf. This is an endless process that keeps repeating itself as parts are consumed and, in turn, manufactured.
This example is 100% paperless, and it still gives all the production information required for inventory control and analysis.
MIE Solutions provides your company with the tools necessary to go paperless.