When it comes to manufacturing, few things are more important than quality management. And while it might seem odd, a key component in ensuring high quality in manufacturing is actually the way documents are managed and controlled. Documents that contain evidence that quality has been maintained throughout the automation in manufacturing process, from when the raw materials arrived to when the final product leaves the logistics bay. Indeed, documentation is the unsung hero of the manufacturing industry, helping ensure all employees are producing high quality product and are aware of their responsibilities and goals. But how?
Right from the moment a customer sends an order with a product spec, the role of documents in the manufacturing process begins. At this stage, that document is used to calculate and order raw materials, and the quality of those materials is determined by quality control documents. When the material is passed to the production floor, the operators work on it using the SOP and Work instructions – which are again key documents (not to mention the documents related to operator training, machine manuals, recipes and routing, which all come into play during the operation). Then come the quality related documents, where data of the production is recorded at various points during the process, both for compliance and quality control/improvement purposes. Finally the end product is inspected again as per the spec and internal quality documents, before being passed to the logistics department, which will finally ship the product, again using the shipping documents.
How Does Automation Help This?
Traditionally in all manufacturing businesses, each and every document in the process would be formulated, proof-read, approved, implemented, recorded, analysed and compiled manually. That’s an awful lot of manual processes and a very labour intensive way to work, but necessary to ensure quality and precision at every step in a process where the smallest error could mean disaster. But with document automation, all of the heavy lifting is done for you. Documents that come into the business digitally are automatically detected, read and routed according to a set of pre-defined rules your business has set. This means it can be analysed to see if it meets your set criteria, and if it does, it is then sent to the next stage in the process. If it doesn’t, it can be sent for manual approval, saving huge amounts of time and energy all around. And because these standards have been programmed in, they are going to be met consistently by all documents that pass, and not rely on the sometimes flawed judgement of the people handling them. This effectively eliminated human error mistakes in the document process an ensures a much higher level of quality throughout.
Documents can then be stored in a centralised database for easy retrieval in the future, if needed. The in-built tagging system allows documents to be found easily while eliminating the risk of replication errors, since all documents can only be accessed from this single repository, and not duplicated across multiple users. This goes a long way towards improving consistency in both the manufacturing process and the business as a whole.
Of course, there are many more benefits to content management for the manufacturing industry. To be competitive, manufacturers must continually innovate to boost productivity and improve quality. At Tipac, we work with manufacturing firms of all shapes and sizes to provide a comprehensive document management solution that seamlessly automates all aspects of the paperwork process. For more information, get in touch with one of our experts and arrange your free demo.