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What Are Digital Work Instructions?

Manufacturing execution systems (MES) help manufacturers manage workers, operations, and machinery in real-time with factory-friendly software. From Direct Machine Interface (DMI) to full production traceability, a comprehensive and extendable MES can help any manufacturer achieve key business objectives with high efficiency.

However, in a production environment, directing and instructing operators can sometimes be a challenging and complicated endeavor. Sequencing, assigning tasks, and sifting through data aren’t always straightforward at first glance, which can create greater complexity for shop-floor operators. 


Those complexities aren’t helped by mile-high paper instruction books or sprawling PDF documents. Although a traditional MES may offer a whole host of solutions that can boost any manufacturer’s bottom line, poorly documented processes can hinder productivity from the ground level, limiting the potential gains made by adopting a state-of-the-art solution.

How do Digital Work Instructions benefit manufacturers?

Digital Work Instructions can help ensure that operators have the information they need to complete their work with high accuracy and confidence. Rather than leaving workers to thumb through bound stacks of instruction manuals, Digital Work Instructions provide operators with an interactive and intuitive means of understanding how to complete their work. A Digital Instruction Module within an MES offers highly detailed, step-by-step explanations in an easy-to-comprehend format. Rather than requiring users to thumb through static images in a manual or PDF, Digital Work Instructions provide a wide range of photographs, interactive 3D models, and categorized tasks from a single set of documentation. 

Digital Work Instructions boost efficiency at the base manufacturing level. By ensuring that operators have access to proper, easy-to-comprehend documentation, MES systems with digital instructions can greatly reduce the number of mistakes that get made throughout the manufacturing process.  

Unlike paper manuals or static PDF documents, Digital Work Instructions can also be updated to the most recent version of process documentation. That means all operators will be operating from a set of identical instructions, further ensuring that products are built correctly with less waste or rework from the start. 

Comprehensive reporting, configurable task enforcement, and an automation-friendly API for PLM integrations also incorporate a layer of oversight into digital instructions, placing information in front of the right people at the right time and logging which employee completed a particular task at a particular time. 

ShopVue MES

The CAI ShopVue MES offers a comprehensive Digital Work Instructions Module for mid-to-enterprise size manufacturers. To see how Digital Work Instructions can help Operators achieve high quality and high productivity, request a product demo today!