Machine or device producers and companies in the automotive and aerospace industry are typically qualified as assembly industries. With the help of tools and equipment, assembly lines and robots, people are building the products in the assembly industry.
Technicians ensure the optimal functioning of the assembly lines such as welding robots and paint lines. Quality inspectors take care of stage-gate control and product inspection at the end of the line.
In order to ensure that things are done “first time right,” thousands of Assembly Instructions are created to train people throughout the organization. Each of these documents provides a step-by-step description of how an assembly activity should be done. Unfortunately, documents are fine for reading at a desk, but hardly usable while working and constantly moving around the machine in the assembly workstation. There is also no execution trace to proof whether people have been following the instruction.
Quite often, assembly products are characterized by many different configuration options. This typically results in millions of unique product variations, with each of them produced in small quantities. The configuration and variation complexity pose a true challenge for both operators and inspectors.
In order to confirm that things have been done right, millions of checklists are required to inspect the many different configurations. Currently companies mostly work with generic checklists, listing many checks that are not applicable for a specific configuration. These checklists are still paper or Excel based and generate quite some non-value-added administration. Traditional inspection forms, whether paper-based or digital, are hard to use while doing a job that requires you to use both hands. Moreover, checklists are a passive registration of what’s good and what’s not. They don’t provide an adequate solution for how to escalate issues effectively and to ensure that they get solved.