Understanding your manufacturing ecosystem is one thing—documenting it is another. Both are equally important when it comes to plant automation and future growth for your facility. Putting together thorough documentation for any system can be a daunting task, let alone putting it together for custom assemblies and machinery. However, documentation issues will make things difficult if you have any current or future plans to upgrade your system—you need to know exactly what you’re starting with in order to make improvements.
The Benefits of Thorough Documentation
Your resources will be crucial to upgrade, amend, and repair your equipment in the future. Developing (and maintaining) a central documentation archive for all necessary resources will prove invaluable down the road. If you’re working with integrators, you can establish a proper protocol for creating and receiving documentation, whether that’s in a digital CAD format or a paper system.
Having extensive documentation of your manufacturing processes can go a long way in helping those who aren’t involved in daily operations make informed decisions. It can also help you and others understand how decisions in one part of your plant will or could affect other parts of your overall process. Keep in mind that if you’re starting an upgrade project but don’t have your documentation straight, you’ll likely run into an expensive surprise. In addition to having thorough overall documentation, each individual process needs its own documentation because each one is different. This will allow you to understand quickly how the plant operates altogether, essentially helping you “connect the dots” of data being received from the plant floor.
This new understanding will help you optimize your plant, make better decisions, as well as understand potential improvements and how they might affect your processes.
Setting Your Plant Up for Future Success
Improving the way you manage your manufacturing process will result in higher return on investment for you, as well as help you get the capital funds you need for improvement. This can go a long way in helping you explain to business managers how the improvements you propose will affect the plant, not just the process alone.
Information, derived from hard data, is essential for good management decision making. Not only does it help you execute improvements, but it also allows those improvements to be measured and reported for maximum optimization.
Thoroughly documenting your manufacturing process will help you come out ahead when it comes to plant automation. Like all growth, it takes work and careful planning—but it’s worthwhile to get started now and set your plant up for continued automation and future success.
So, What’s Next?
If your documentation is up to date, and you know exactly what’s going on in your facility. That’s great! If you aren’t sure, you need to take the time to check. If you find that everything is good, make sure the proper procedures are in place so it stays that way.
If you aren’t sure whether or not your documentation is up to snuff, or you know that it isn’t, get in touch with Revere today. Together, we can bring your documentation up to speed!