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Have you realized that your paper-based system of planning and executing work orders is too cumbersome? Has your company started its journey toward a paperless factory? 

 Or, do you need to, you’re challenged by:

  • An inability to see if machines are loaded correctly?
  • Promise dates that are—at best—a guess?
  • Spending more time on paperwork than making parts?
  • Manual, difficult-to-maintain whiteboards?
  • Large, costly, and wasteful paper packets?
  • Difficulty communicating changes?

ShopVue’s Paperless Dispatch module can help.

Online Work Orders, Touchscreens Everywhere

With Paperless Dispatch, customers can install ShopVue on large touchscreen terminals conveniently located at work centers throughout the factory. On each terminal, ShopVue displays a list of orders that have been dispatched to each of the machines covered by that terminal. This prioritized list lets the employee know when they are expected to start each order and how long each should take. ShopVue can either automatically sequence the orders by first in/first out or production planners can adjust the order using ShopVue’s interactive Gantt chart tool called the Graphical Sequencer. The ability to fine tune sequences is often important at gateway operations or on critical machines.

Unlike ERP systems, ShopVue makes it easy for workers to access the information they need to complete an order. With just a tap or two, employees can view part drawings, setup and run instructions, lists of materials, or comments left by supervisors or fellow workers on the previous shift.

ShopVue also makes it easy for employees to report their activity. For example, a worker simply touches Run to begin an order and then taps special buttons to indicate partial quantities (like a pallet being completed), report scrap, or start another order (which automatically finishes the first one). As the worker reports this activity, Shopvue updates shop floor metrics, WIP status, and your ERP in real-time.

Benefits of Paperless Dispatch

  • Improved workflow
  • Elimination of “cherry-picking”
  • Greater accountability
  • Ease of spotting problems early
  • Reduced lead times
  • Daily schedule attainment
  • Reduced cost
  • Increase in competitive advantage

Common Questions About Paperless Dispatch

Q. I want my employees to use just one system—to have everything at their fingertips. How does ShopVue tie it all together?

A. Using one of several off-the-shelf interfaces, ShopVue downloads from your ERP the work orders and materials required at each operation. ShopVue automatically links to required drawings, assembly instructions and other documents and can display them to workers, often as PDFs. Finally, planners and supervisors input other information such as target setup times and comments directly in ShopVue.

Q. How does the system know what a specific employee should do?

A. ShopVue assigns both employees and orders to machines (or other resources like work centers or assembly areas). This way, when employees log into ShopVue, they immediately see the machines and orders for which they are responsible. ShopVue can allow supervisors to preplan employee assignments (stationing) or allow employees to use machines ad hoc. ShopVue uses the order routes setup in your ERP unless a supervisor overrides them using the Graphical Sequencer.

Q. Must the employee build parts in the sequence in which they are assigned?

A. No. Like all ShopVue validations, this setting is user-configurable. You can configure ShopVue to require a hard validation (i.e., ShopVue will not allow employees to build parts out of sequence), a soft warning (ShopVue will ask the employee if he or she really wants to do that) or require that a supervisor approve the transaction before the employee continues. All events are auditable to ensure process adherence.  

Q. What are some examples of foolproofing?

A. ShopVue may require an employee to scan a part’s bar code to verify that he or she physically has the same part as dispatched on the screen. This may prevent the employee from starting a run with the wrong materials. When an employee reports an operation is complete, ShopVue will check piece count. ShopVue also will validate that the employee reported all of the pieces that came from the previous operation as either good or scrap.

Q. My employees sign a traveler when they complete each operation. How is this done in a paperless factory?

A. ShopVue requires that employees badge in or key in prior to beginning work on any order. ShopVue logs this information to capture when and which employee worked on an operation. 

Q. My ERP can collect a lot of this same data. What’s the biggest reason that this “manufacturing execution system” is different?

A. Unlike most ERP systems designed for use by trained clerical staff in an office environment, ShopVue is designed for ease-of-use by factory workers on the shop floor. Most tasks within ShopVue take just seconds and the system’s built-in foolproofing eliminates virtually all mistakes.