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Solving Shop Floor Documentation Problems with StartProto

A blog post-inspired look at harmonizing the approach to document control using StartProto manufacturing software.

Solving Shop Floor Documentation Problems with StartProto

In a recent blog post by Jeffrey Fay, he highlighted the challenges faced by manufacturers regarding shop floor documentation. This is a critical aspect of shop floor management. In the complex realm of job shops, the significance of Shop Floor control, especially tool sheets and setup information, is paramount. It's akin to the backbone of the manufacturing process. A misstep here can lead to operational disarray and potential waste.

From experiences across diverse manufacturing setups, it's clear that while organizational structures vary – some have distinct Engineering and Programming departments, others combine them – the demand for precise manufacturing documentation control is universally felt.

A local shop, employing 100-150 people, faced a glaring issue: their shop floor documentation was in disarray. Tool sheets lacked uniformity, and setup information was passed down more as hearsay than documented fact. The existing system, where operators updated tool sheets without consulting engineers or programmers, was a hotbed for outdated and mismatched data.

So, who should oversee this vital manufacturing documentation? The consensus leans towards the Engineering and/or Programming departments. However, this solution often meets resistance, prompting the question: how do other manufacturers find the right balance?

Enter StartProto, a revolutionary tool in the world of ERP for manufacturing.

The Problem Landscape:

  • Inaccurate Shop Floor Control Information: Mistakes in tool sheets or setup information can disrupt the manufacturing process.
  • Variability in Company Structures: Different setups can lead to inconsistencies in ERP software processes.
  • Need for Accurate Document Control: Amidst these variations, the need for precise manufacturing documentation control is unanimous.
  • Inconsistent Documentation: Many manufacturers, like the one Jeffrey highlighted, lack standardized documentation.
  • Unclear Responsibility for Documentation: Who should be responsible for maintaining and updating shop floor documentation in ERP software?
  • Lack of Communication: Updates on the shop floor often don't reach the engineers or programmers.
  • Mismatched Documentation: A challenge where documented procedures don't reflect actual shop floor activities.

How StartProto Addresses These Challenges in ERP for Manufacturing:

  1. Direct Feedback Loop to MRP/ERP Systems: StartProto connects the shop floor with essential ERP systems. This ensures immediate integration of feedback, reducing inaccuracies.
  2. Streamlined Workflow Facilitation: StartProto standardizes the manufacturing process regardless of company structure.
  3. Empowering Operators with Real-time Insights: Operators can attach images and comments directly to the part/order in the ERP software, transforming tribal knowledge into documented insights.
  4. Holistic System from Draft to Production: StartProto ensures all documentation, from priority sheets to NC files, is managed cohesively.
  5. Addressing Mismatched Documentation: StartProto flags revisions, ensuring everyone is aligned.
  6. Harnessing Operator Knowledge: StartProto taps into the wealth of information from operators, enriching manufacturing documentation.

In conclusion, while shop floor documentation challenges are many, ERP for manufacturing solutions like StartProto are leading the way for a streamlined and efficient process. By integrating real-time feedback and ensuring seamless communication, StartProto is redefining the standards for shop floor documentation in ERP software. Manufacturers, it's time to step into the future!

Greg Finnegan

Growth Lead