Yes, creating work instructions is a long and grueling task to fulfill; however, great instructions are absolute game-changers that can significantly benefit your company’s production. Manufacturing work instructions guide you and your business towards consistent improvement. That’s why work instructions are considered the cornerstone of every manufacturing company.
In this article, we will introduce what manufacturing work instructions are and why you should entice people within your company to use them.
What are Manufacturing Work Instructions?
A manufacturing work instruction is a document that details how a process should be performed. The difference to other documents such as drawings or procedures is that it uses simple language and contains less technical detail.
Work instructions are used throughout the plant, so EVERYONE knows what they have to do. This makes it easier for operators to follow their work instructions, thus ensuring quality and safety standards are upheld. It also helps them reach the required output, saving time and money.
Manufacturing work instructions should be simple and easy to understand, using pictures or diagrams if possible. The procedures that they document should also be written in a logical sequence with all important information included.
If you or your workers refer to a work instruction while performing a task, everyone within the company should be able to carry it out their job without referring elsewhere. For the work instruction to be effective, everyone must follow them when performing tasks for consistency throughout the plant.
How are Work Instructions Created?
When creating work instructions, it’s essential to have a quality plan. The plan gives an overview of how things will be done. The work instruction is then used to document the specific details of each process.
Work instructions are created by using the following steps:
- Identify an area for improvement, create a plan and take action
- Collect data through inspection or testing
- Analyze collected information, identify issues, and develop solutions4) Implement solution from step 2 and follow up on the result.
- Standardize to ensure the same mistake is not made again
- Control by monitoring results to ensure standardization stays in place
The steps above need to be followed to ensure consistency throughout.
Are Manufacturing Work Instructions Really Important?
YES! Manufacturing Work Instructions provide the standard way to do a task and should be used by everyone involved. They make sure that:
- Everyone is doing the same thing in the same way (consistency)
- Mistakes are caught quickly before they become an issue (everyone follows the rules)
- Processes are efficient and effective (no time wasted)
- Accuracy of the process is maintained, increasing quality and production output
- Employee satisfaction remains high (Operators feel comfortable with what they need to know to do their job).
Manufacturing work instructions ensure an efficient and smooth operation through documentation. The more time spent on them, the more streamlined everything will run, saving time and money in the long run. In addition, they are also easy to change and should be considered. So, tweak whenever necessary.
Manufacturing work instructions should therefore be made easily available throughout the plant. For example, they can be printed out and stuck onto machines to easily refer to machines.
How to Convince Your Boss to Spend Time on Work Instructions
If you’re an employee who wants to spend time writing work instructions, it’s essential to make sure you convince your boss about it. With that said, here are two important points that might help you make your case:
- Work instructions are key to reducing variation among employee work, allowing for consistent quality throughout.
- With work instructions, an employee can walk into a new area and start working on the task without being trained on how to do it first. This is important because the time lost in training is expensive. Work instructions provide education for employees, which will help them grow with the company.
- Work instructions are also valuable for auditing purposes. They can help ensure that standards are being followed, keeping the plant compliant with industry regulations and standards.
- Work instructions are essential to the company. When employees can start working on tasks without being trained, it allows for less downtime, which ultimately saves time and money.
- Work instructions also educate employees, keeping them up-to-date with current industry standards. You can also use them to check during audits, ensuring that standards are maintained throughout the plant.
What to Include In Your Work Instructions
Manufacturing Work Instructions should include:
- The task to be performed (identify what is going to be done)
- The standard for doing it (how it is going to be done)
- Location of the task (where it will be performed)
- The role and responsibility of each person involved in performing the task
- Tools needed for doing the task.
- Parts, instruments, or equipment need to be used to complete the process.
- Process parameters(conditions, settings)
- Emergency information for when things go wrong (Second-in-command, plant shutdown procedure.)
- Critical Safety Information (Gas detectors, fire extinguishers.)
Manufacturing Work Instructions should also include diagrams if needed. The Engineering department should be able to help create these.
How to Make Work Instructions Work
The following are four key points to ensure that work instructions do their job:
- Work instructions should be written by the person closest to the task to ensure accuracy. They will have more information on how it’s done and in what order, making or breaking the process.
- Ensure that everyone in your plant follows the same standards. No exceptions!
- Make sure that work instructions are updated regularly and kept in a safe place (e.g., near the machine).
- Ensure that there is an ‘owner’ for each part of the operation who can answer any questions regarding it and offer training to new employees if needed. Also, make sure that they are in a safe place (e.g., near the machine).
- Work instructions should be formatted to be easy to read and understand. Each step in the process should be presented in short bullet points containing key information only.
Why Use DataMyte Digital Clipboard?
Whether you’re a company owner looking to improve employee efficiency and cohesiveness, or an employee who got the green light from their boss to create work instructions, it’s important to use the right tool to hasten the process. Make no mistake about it — creating manufacturing work instructions is tedious. That’s why you should use the DataMyte Digital Clipboard to simplify it.
DataMyte Digital Clipboard helps make data input as quick and efficient as possible. At its core, this productivity platform gives you all the resources and tools you need to create work instructions more efficiently than you ever did before. A few of the features include:
- Easy-to-use platform.
- Drag-and-drop functionality makes data input easier than ever.
- Innovative Clipboard workflow and checklist features.
- Automatically create work instructions with pictures, diagrams, and more!
- Clear and concise UI.
- Mobile app available for both Android and iOS users.
- 24/7 customer support.
The DataMyte Digital Clipboard is designed by plant workers for plant workers. We understand that it’s difficult to create work instructions, making our service the perfect solution. Keep up with modern industry standards by using DataMyte Digital Clipboard today! Visit our website to learn more.