Author: Paul Van Metre

I haven't talked with a single shop that loves having job travelers, but so many of them can’t imagine running their shop without them. It’s hard for them to imagine a different way because they’ve done it for so many years, or they believe that trying to eliminate travelers will not be well received by their employees. In the meantime, enormous costs are being incurred every day because of their paper travelers. These costs are not obvious and aren’t on top of people's minds.

What functions do job travelers serve? Let's clarify what I mean by a “job traveler”.

4 Functions of Job Travelers

  1. It contains crucial information about the job. Important information including customer, PN, due date, the material needed, routing steps, and work centers the job will travel through. Often called the job router, it is THE identifying document showing what the parts are out in the shop. The parts have to be traceable at all times so the traveler must be with the parts at all times.
  2. It has fields and barcodes. The fields for people to sign off the work they've done, the number of parts they've made or processed, or track time. Sometimes the barcodes need to be scanned, so people can look at the last scanned status of the job from within the ERP system.
  3. The job router is often accompanied by several sheets of paper used for other purposes such as work instructions and inspection forms (see Fig 1). These are to help explain to workers what they are supposed to do to make the part, and what features to inspect to ensure the quality of the parts is good.
  4. It usually has a drawing accompanying it as well. This is typically the drawing that the customer sent with their order. This identifies the part to be made, and the criteria for gaging acceptance, along with perhaps some referenced related documents.

Most ERP systems create a job router based on the information that is in effect at the time the order is processed. That information is a snapshot in time and the printed router becomes the controlling item that moves around the facility and triggers people to do things and tells them what to do. The router identifies what material to buy, what rev of the drawing to build the part too. It will also be the document where signatures or quality stamps will be recorded, creating an audit trail of who did what to ensure the part was made properly. There is no doubt that the information contained on the router is vitally important and every shop (at least QMS certified shops) needs to capture and retain that information.

The fact that all this crucial information is conveyed and recorded on a piece of paper in so many shops in 2021 is mind-boggling. To try to make the point, imagine this: You want to see how the big game of your favorite team is going, so you walk to the corner market to buy a newspaper? Of course not! By the time your newspaper publishes the score, the game will have been long finished.
Why then do shops keep insisting that paper job travelers are so important to their business? There are huge numbers of liabilities inherent in paper travelers. Let's just list a few:

7 Liabilities of Paper Travelers

1. The information on the traveler is highly likely to change. More in some businesses than others, but it happens all the time. When information changes, people need to chase down the traveler and replace it or mark it up with the latest information. If that doesn't happen, people can and will make mistakes and parts can be scrapped, late, made wrong, or any number of other bad outcomes.

2. Paper travelers slow down the process. People in planning, purchasing, quality, and programming don't know that they need to work on something until it lands on their desk. What if it gets stuck at the bottom of a pile? Material or tools aren't ordered, programs aren't created and work doesn't progress on-time. It can lead to late jobs, expedite situations, and worse. Or what if they need to work from home because of a pandemic?

3. Travelers get lost. All...The...Time! This causes all sorts of waste like waiting, motion, transportation, overprocessing, scrap, and more. Probably all 7 wastes identified by the Toyota Production System. It has ramifications for the current job in the process, and also for future jobs of the same part number. Crucial notes that shop workers scribbled on the back of drawings or scraps of paper get lost which means the next time the parts are made, that information is lost and needs to be recreated. It's a snowball effect of waste. See fig 2.

4. Jobs often need to get split up into multiple batches. Hot jobs need to have partials sent ahead of the rest of the job. Parts need to be re-worked and catch up to the main work order later. What do you do with the job router? Photocopy it? What about all those supporting documents like work instructions and inspection sheets? There are no great answers.

5. Penmanship and legibility can be big factors on paper documents. Someone jots down a note, a quantity, an inspection result, and someone else misinterprets the information. This can cause many problems.

6. Traceability is suspect when relying on people to enter their initials for signing off crucial steps. Even unique rubber stamps can be “borrowed” by someone else who signs off on work not done by the person in question.

7. If a job traveler package makes it through the shop unscathed, it then needs to be filed or scanned. If filed, managing a year's worth of old travelers is a huge headache and expense. Filing cabinets fill up, rooms fill up, storage units fill up. Some customers require job records to be held for 10, 20, or 30 years to retain that audit trail of who made what, out of what, and inspected it with what. Having to go look up records for an audit can be a monumental undertaking. If they can't be found, that's a major liability for a shop facing a customer or ISO/AS audit!

These are just a few of the liabilities inherent with paper travelers. We've identified that the information contained on the router and traveler is crucial. So then our goal is to retain and enhance the good parts of those documents and mitigate the liabilities of having paper versions of that information. We are advocates for 100% paperless, digital-only versions of the information contained on that paper.

5 Benefits of Going Paperless with Digital Shop Routers:

  1. The information on a digital router is always up to date. When the customer order is changed with a new quantity, delivery date, drawing revision, the router, schedule, etc. are instantly and automatically changed. Workers ONLY have access to the latest information when they view it on a device.
  2. Digital routers speed up the process. Everyone who needs to know about something they need to do on a job can be instantly notified when a job is created. They can parallel process their part of things and get it done much faster than with paper. Hot jobs can't get stuck at the bottom of a pile. Instead, they are filtered and prioritized on digital dashboards and lists which are always up to date. The speed of the workflow and risk of jobs getting forgotten is vastly improved.
  3. A digital traveler can't get lost. An identifying job tag should be attached or affixed to the material, parts, and WIP so that it can't easily be separated from the parts by a gust of wind or an honest mistake of setting a paper traveler in the wrong spot. If tags get damaged they can be recreated easily.
  4. It's easy to split a job with a digital router. Just make a new tag or print a new label. All the other corresponding work instructions and inspection reports are always online for anyone to find.
  5. Everything is in one place. There are not multiple different places to look for things with potentially conflicting information.


The biggest obstacle to going paperless is the fear of change. It’s human nature to resist change, especially when it’s such a dramatic change. People are uncertain about how it will work, and how their job will change. We’ve seen that time and time again when employees are first introduced to a paperless environment. Almost without fail, the clear and obvious benefits start to reveal themselves quickly and people realize how much they’ve suffered from the waste they didn’t realize for so many years.

The second biggest obstacle to going paperless is the actual technology used to make the transition. Until recently there hasn’t been a practical way to easily manage the data needed to run a dynamic job shop environment, with less labor investment, without paper.

How ProShop Can Help!

With ProShop ERP, we’ve been running paperless and highly effective job shops for over 20 years. We have helped hundreds of other manufacturing companies become more efficient, save cost, save trees, take their company through a true digital transformation, and reach the pinnacle of going paperless. We’d encourage you to watch the accompanying video and reach out to us if this sounds like an interesting consideration for your shop.

Author: Paul Van Metre

“But Paul, it’s too expensive to put a computer at each of my work centers! I just can’t afford that. Right now my employees track their time with a shared computer we already have out in the shop.”

I hear this objection all the time when discussing what’s involved with going paperless and using ProShop. They are typically using just paper only, or another paper-traveler-based ERP and they have a couple of shared terminals in the shop to track time and log parts on their jobs. On the face of it, it’s a legitimate concern. If you spend $350 on a computer and mounting hardware for 15 CNC machines, that’s over $5K! That’s a good chunk of change. But let’s dig into the real numbers and see if it is actually that expensive

I’ll start by giving credit to Gary Connor for his awesome article on the "ROI of Lean". His article was inspiring to me for being such a succinct and easy-to-understand approach to calculating the ROI of removing waste from an organization. I highly recommend you read it first.

Many shops have a paper-based ERP system, with shared terminals placed throughout the shop where employees can go scan into and out of a job, log the number of parts they made, etc. It’s a straightforward process and one they’ve done for years, so they are comfortable with it. But, as Gary points out, if they crunch the numbers of the cost of this activity, they may think differently about it.

Let’s use a typical example of a shop with 18 machinists - 15 on days, and 3 on nights. (These numbers came directly from a Coastal Machine, a ProShop client who recently went fully paperless in the shop.) A low volume, high mix job shop. On average, each day, the employee has to go to the shared PC three times with an average of 2 jobs per day, once at the beginning of the day/job, and once at the end of the first job, where they also log into the second job, and then lastly once at the end of the shift. The process of walking from the CNC machine to the computer, doing the work at the terminal, and walking back only takes 3 minutes. (They say this is a very conservative number! We all know that those trips across the shop will invariably include stops to talk with someone, grab a coffee, or something else - and it could easily be 5-10 minutes before they get back to their machine!)

So those 18 machinists, running 5 days a week, with 3 round trips to the computer to track time/parts per day, multiplied by 3 minutes per trip, that’s 810 minutes per week, 13.5 hours per week, or 702 hours per year. At $30/hour per employee, you’re paying them a total of $21,060 per year just to walk back and forth to track time. And at $125/hour for machine time, that is $87,750 of lost revenue per year! So you’d be able to pay back the cost of the computers in about 3 weeks!

And this is just a drop in the bucket compared to the real cost of having machinists leave their machines to look for tooling, fixtures, job travelers, etc. By providing all necessary items, kitted, and prepped at a machine, along with digital visual work instructions, and digital inspection forms, it’s very possible to cut 50% or more out of a typical setup time. You can read a blog post about that here, and watch a webinar about it, and download a PDF guide here.

So in summary, the real cost of paper-based workflows, and shared computers is the mostly hidden cost of lost revenue and paying your employees to walk around your shop. You want them to keep your spindles turning as often as possible and making chips! Small investments to achieve that goal will always have a very positive ROI.

Author: Paul Van Metre

When people hear the term "paperless," they typically associate the elimination of this office resource as an act that helps the environment. And while this is true, adopting a paperless manufacturing solution can do so much more. In addition to promoting a more sustainable business, going paperless can decrease operating costs, enhance productivity and help a shop floor work smarter (and not necessarily harder).

In fact, of all the ways that manufacturing companies might look to cut costs, there’s often one easy, untapped avenue staring them right between the eyes: go paperless. That’s right, by going paperless, shops can eliminate a decent portion of their overhead costs, enhance their productivity and even help out the environment and meet any sustainability goals that they’ve established in the meantime. While this may seem like a difficult challenge, the concept of a paperless manufacturing system is fairly simple to implement. Rather than relying on paper, manufacturers just need to switch up their operations to rely on captured data, cloud computing, and other paperless manufacturing tools that enhance collaboration and productivity. Yes, there’s an upfront cost with implementing paperless manufacturing systems, but the payoff is more than worth it in the long run.

In this post, we’ll go into further detail about the benefits of upgrading your shop floor with the right paperless manufacturing software and why it pays to establish a true paperless manufacturing environment. Here’s a look at 16 reasons why you should be taking the steps to do this today:

17 Reasons to Upgrade to Paperless Manufacturing

Want to know how taking your operations paperless can work in your favor? Here are 17 reasons:

1. Reduce Machine Down Time & Improve Scheduling

How well do you know the status of your jobs? Are you able to transition seamlessly between departments when operations are completed or are your machines sitting idle for extended periods of time between runs? If you have orders to produce, it's essential to optimize them in a way where they can be produced with maximum efficiency. When you’re not making chips, you’re missing out on revenue— and this happens more often than you'd like to think on a shop floor. Going paperless and adopting the right digital solution with shop floor scheduling can streamline workflow, and ensure you order enough tooling on time for each job so that the efficiency of your machines on the shop floor is maximized. This equates to less downtime and more productivity.

2. Improve Lead Times & Win More Jobs

In business, time is money. Just as your manufacturing business strives to meet production deadlines so your customers can achieve fast time to market, it’s imperative to quote jobs fast and accurately when you’re trying to earn business with new or existing customers. That’s another big benefit of going paperless, as it allows you to quote jobs in a more timely manner and then send proposals and estimates over to prospective customers with greater urgency. Instead of focusing on just one or two quotes at a time, going paperless enables you to focus on multiple quotes at once due to a more streamlined platform. Ultimately, going paperless should enable you to earn more work, which will essentially make your shop more profitable. Think of the right software as the key to improving lead times, and winning more work.

3. Lower the Cost of Quality Control

In the end, it’s going to be the quality of the product that you make on the shop floor, and the speed at which you deliver that retains customers and helps your manufacturing company earn new business. But what’s the best way to measure quality? Answer: With accurate data and information — and receiving it in a timely manner. Case in point: If there’s an issue with a part or with a shipment, you don’t want to be scrambling trying to figure out what went wrong and where it went wrong. No, you want the answer immediately so that you can come up with a solution to the problem. In a paperless operation, quality issues can be detected sooner — sometimes even automatically — so that out of tolerance parts don't get shipped. Issues are bound to happen, but it’s often how quickly they’re caught that can be the difference between a crisis averted, or a lost contract. In this regard, a paperless system can absolutely play a significant role in reducing the cost of quality control in a manufacturing operation.

4. Reduce Paper and Office Supply Costs

It’s said that the average company is spending anywhere from 1 to 3 percent of its entire annual revenue on printing costs. Furthermore, the average business spends upwards of $20 a month on filling, $1,500 a year on filing cabinets and the average filing cabinet takes up 9 square feet of space. While these office supply costs may seem like a drop in the bucket, consider the cost of printing ink, equipment maintenance, and machine downtime as well. When you consider all time and expenses, things add up. Like we noted in the intro, going paperless isn’t just good for the environment, it can also help increase your company’s bottom line — not to mention the space that any filing cabinets would take up within your facility.

5. Enhance Security and Compliance

We already mentioned how much money the typical business spends on filing costs each year when it comes to the organization and safe storage of paper. But as is the case with anything that’s physically stored, it’s also easier to access — and certainly, every business has confidential information and data that they don’t just want anyone to be able to access. In addition to not taking up any physical space, digital information is stored securely and can only be accessed via password. What's great about a paperless manufacturing system is that a company can control who has access to what information. While there’s always the threat of a data breach, storing confidential information in this manner is generally much more secure, less at risk from property damage, and more compliant with industry and government regulations that need to be met for legal purposes.

6. Track Progress and Performance More Accurately & Effectively

Paperless shop floors are great because they provide real-time data. And while we’ve already mentioned that benefit, one of the keys to being able to access this up-to-the-second data anytime you like is that it better enables companies to track progress and shop performance. With this data handy, businesses can more quickly adapt to changes or make adjustments to better ensure success. If a material shortage is detected, more can quickly be ordered with little to no business interruption. If changes come in, they can be processed and implemented immediately. Tapping into the right digital platform certainly beats sifting through stacks of paper to analyze performance and then making any necessary adjustments.

7. Keep More Complete and Accurate Records

Think about this for a second: You’re updating inventory or inputting data about a work order, or a shop process. What do you think is the better method for doing so? By hand on physical paper, where the process can be tedious and prone to human error? Or inputting numbers into a spreadsheet or software program, which is fast, reduces the chances of error, and is able to keep complete, time-stamped records on entire jobs updated and accurate in real-time? The answer is obvious — it’s another big win for a paperless environment.

8. Improve Communication and Encourage Better Teamwork

When jobs go bad, it's often the result of a communication mishap. And while digital solutions like email have helped enhance communication in manufacturing, a paperless manufacturing system that has a messaging feature built into it is beneficial for several reasons. One benefit is that all messages are attached to specific orders or part runs, so there's no toggling between digital platforms to acquire information. Software messaging features can also send automated alerts, push data updates and document approvals. In addition to keeping team members up to speed with each job, all communication is stored right there within the system.

9. Train New Employees Faster & Acclimate Existing Employees To New Departments More Effectively

If a paper-based office seems tedious, just imagine how much time is spent training transitioning employees or new hires to do their jobs correctly. Employee turnover is a reality of any shop doing business today, and when it comes to getting new hires up to speed or getting transitioning employees acclimated with their new role, any shop can benefit from a digital learning environment. While there’s a learning curve associated with anything, a digital ecosystem can help offer that simplified approach, which will translate to fewer man hours lost to training employees and workers that learn their new roles faster, each of which benefits the bottom line. A good digital solution will also offer training modules and instruction via video, photos, tests and other interactive means to reinforce learning and ensure rapid employee development.

10. Get Jobs Into Production Faster

It’s important to plan the work and then work the plan when it comes to producing a single work order or a batch of work orders on the shop floor, and going paperless can help you do this more efficiently and effectively. Forget about manual planning and searching stacks of paper for the right documents. With a paperless shop floor, you can find what you’re looking for easily in the database. It allows you to better streamline planning and green-light work orders for production sooner. A good digital solution can also track work orders to better enable planning and product delivery.

11. Reduce Set-Up Times By Calibrating Machines Faster

Today’s digital software doesn’t just provide the blueprint for how to manage product orders, it can also help streamline the production of said orders. Much of the software available today can actually integrate with CNC machines, helping improving machine setup times by integrating tool management and calibration of the machines. Additionally, software modules are able to help with tracking equipment status in real-time, managing and tracking maintenance, and helping shop floor employees work more proactively.

12. Reduce Scrap Parts & Improve Profitability

Much like how going paperless can help lower costs associated with quality control, it can also be a major improvement to overall quality control in a manufacturing setting. Because of the influx of data that is collected, automation is a major benefit of any digital environment. And what’s nice about real-time data collection is that errors or issues can be caught and then preventative and corrective action reports can be automatically put in place. In the end, any manufacturing company can reduce product recalls, scrap parts and improve shop profitability.

13. Improve Shop-Wide Accountability

Mistakes are bound to happen in any business environment, but it goes without saying that addressing and learning from these mistakes is imperative to moving any company forward. That’s one other big benefit of moving away from paper and toward a digitized system — it can easily tell management who made changes to what and when they did it. The time stamps can be a great teaching tool for newer or inexperienced workers on what they should do and what they should not do. For more experienced workers, the archiving ability of digital software can help hold them accountable by automatically issuing NCR's (non-conformance reports), CAR's (corrective action reports), and PAR's (preventative action reports) to ensure that employees are performing their jobs adequately.

14. Become More Eco-Friendly and Improve Public Image

A greater number of companies are publishing short- and long-term sustainability goals, largely due to the public’s demand to acquire products from and do business with more environmentally-conscious companies. In fact, more than half of all consumers report their desire for the manufacturing industry and individual manufacturers to act in more environmentally-responsible ways. In this regard, going paperless can truly be a win-win-win scenario. You win by saving money and increasing productivity. You win by doing good for the environment. And, last but not least, you win by improving your public image as a result.

15. Pinpoint Manufacturing Bottlenecks Faster

This benefit ties into the whole aspect of lowering the cost of manufacturing and improving overall quality control. Like we noted in previous points on those benefits when you’re working in a digital environment, there are so many data points being recorded at a time. This data can be more easily managed to identify small issues before they become major ones. There are a lot of things that need to happen before an order goes into the manufacturing phase of product development. Built-in dashboards help monitor manufacturing activity and drive decision-making on the shop floor. One great feature to note is an "inspection" dashboard that paperless manufacturing software solutions offer, which permits shops to more promptly take action when any issues are identified.

16. Reduce Tribal Knowledge

Tribal knowledge is identified as any information that’s not commonly known. In a company, there may be a certain unwritten way of doing things that all employees are expected to abide by – yet no real roadmap of how to get there and how to do it. A good digital solution can help provide a training ecosystem for new hires, current employees and anyone else who is involved in the process. Visual work instructions including text, photos, and videos help employees to hit set-up and run goals and helps to reduce tribal knowledge on the shop floor. And if anyone needs assistance beyond what a fellow team member can offer, there’s always the group messaging system to get help from management.

17. Use your Paperless System as a Sales Tool

Your customers understand the risks and waste associated with a paper based system. They’ve seen it in other shops and have been on the receiving end of those problems. A paperless management system with robust business processes will wow the auditors and procurement teams at your customers. Showing them how you can easily manage their changes, flowdowns, and new revisions will provide them with a high level of confidence in your ability to be a high performing supplier. That confidence will result in more orders and revenue for your shop. A certain win for the paperless shop floor. 

Upgrade Your Shop Floor To ProShop Paperless Manufacturing

During the 17 years we spent running our own CNC machine shop, we've taken the mistakes we’ve made, and the challenges we faced and built our own software to solve those problems for our shop and yours.    

If you're ready to upgrade your shop to paperless manufacturing and solve all of the problems mentioned in this article signup for a free demo of ProShop


Author: Paul Van Metre

As Jim and Jason always say on the MakingChips Podcast, “If you’re not making chips, you’re not making money!”  We all know it’s true, yet precious few shops have formal systems for increasing uptime.  The corollary to that is reducing spindle down-time.  An important component to that is to reduce the downtime between jobs – that is when you finish the last part on the job you’re just finishing and when you make your first good part and start running the next job on that same machine.  That’s what I want to focus on today.  There are a few barebones things that need to happen when you finish a job.

1. Remove the fixtures off the machine, or take out your softjaws, etc. (unless you have modular tooling that will be used on the next job also.)

2. Take any cutting tools out of the machine that you won’t be using on the next job – don’t remove them from their holders unless you absolutely need to.

3. Clean off the bed or table.

4. Download your programs (and save them) or delete them off the machine.

5. Sign off that you’ve finished that operation on paper or in your ERP system. Ideally document your setup somewhere.

6. Wheel the cart or pallet to where it’s going next.

That process is generally fast.  If you’re lucky enough to be on a horizontal, you might even be able to change out your fixturing while your other pallet is still running. Or maybe you’ve designed universal tooling so changing over doesn’t require taking out your fixture, or only takes seconds.  There has been much study and books written on SMED!  Google it if you’re not familiar.

Generally, the next step of the process is getting your next job set up on the machine.  This is where most of the savings can be had and where many companies need a lot of help.  Here is how it often looks:

1. The machinist goes to find out what is next on the machine and get the paper job traveler.

2. They go and look for material and hopefully find the right stuff.

3. They start collecting some cutting tools and holders from the setup sheet which match the general description of what they are looking for (e.g. ½” EM - but may not be exactly the right tool at all).

4. They try to find the fixtures needed for the job which may be lost, damaged, or misplaced.

5. They bring these things over to the machine.

6. They review some incomplete set-up instructions on an old set-up sheet or they try to remember it from last time.

7. They load tools into the machine, and manually touch off the tools in the machine or with a machine probe.

8. They mount fixtures or vices. (hopefully the fixtures are dialed in with pins or you use zero-point fixtures. If not, then they need to find a dial indicator and dial in the fixtures or vises.)

9. They upload the program into the machine controller.

10. They wander away from the machine several times to go find things they didn’t collect at first.

11. They put some raw stock into the fixture or vise.

12. They turn the feed and rapids down, maybe put it on single block, and show “distance to go” on the controller.

13. They slowly step through the program and prove it out, being careful to not crash until the entire part is machined

14. Go find measuring instruments to check the part.

15. Check the resulting part against a paper drawing which may be dirty, ripped, old-rev, and check a bunch of dimensions to see if they think the part is good.

16. Once they have a part they think is good (which might take several tries), they submit the part to the QC department and wait (sometimes a long time).

17. Once they have received approval from QC, then they can start making parts. This is when the timer stops, and the spindle is “Up” again.

As you can see, this is a lengthy process and can contribute to vast amounts of downtime where you aren’t “MakingChips”!  And the description above is still somewhat of an ideal case.  Plenty of times the things they are looking for aren’t there, can’t be found, or aren’t ready yet. It can go south quickly, and setups can take many hours or longer! So much lost opportunity for revenue and throughput! There must be a better way!

ProShop ERP can help facilitate and guide shops to dramatically reduce this downtime between jobs.  We studied this problem for years ourselves at our own shop.  We applied lean principles, concepts from franchise-type businesses, and decades of our own experience and those of our employees.  We built the best practices into the software we were developing to run our own shop – ProShop.  Here is how the process looks using ProShop – 100% paperless and web-based.

1. Before the last job is finished, ProShop guides the employees through a checklist to ensure all the necessary items required to ensure a fast and repeatable setup have been prepared in advance and are sitting in a queue area, or are digitally prepared and ready to go.

a. The proper cutting tool ID numbers are collected, loaded in the proper holders and extension lengths as defined by the programmer. Offline tool length presets have been measured and stored in ProShop.  A G10 offset file has been automatically generated by ProShop and is waiting to be upload into the controller. This tool caddy is loaded on a cart.

b. A well-maintained fixture is pulled from the well-defined storage location and loaded on a cart. (ProShop will show you if it was overbooked)

c. Ancillary items like inspection equipment, packaging materials, deburring equipment, etc. have been specified and collected and loaded on a cart.

d. A proven G-code program which has been stored in a secure file location managed by ProShop

e. The proper material is pulled from a specific storage location defined in ProShop. Traceability is guaranteed to be right.

2. When the prior job finishes, ProShop quickly guides the employee through a breakdown checklist and the machine is ready to go for the new job.

3. They start tracking their time on the new job with ProShop’s fast Time Tracking interface.

4. They load the fixtures, tools (and only the ones that need changing), raw material, tool offset files and G-code programs into the machine, following the digital work instructions with videos, photos, etc.

5. Run the proven code on the first piece.

6. Inspect the first part and record the results in ProShop’s FAI form using the specified instruments and only the dimensions which require checking per the requirements. ProShop will instantly tell them if the part is good or not (And it will format the FAI in the AS9102 if you need it to). If the part is good, then:

7. Check off the “Certified to Run” checkbox (which prompts you to update the setup and cycle times) and log out of “Set-up” and into “Running”.

You have good parts off the machine and the spindle is running again much faster than the first scenario.  You’ve increased throughput and have higher revenue on your machine.

The important takeaways are that the setup was highly choreographed, the employee didn’t need to leave the machine, and it took a fraction of the time.  It’s also important to note that a less skilled employee (ProShop will manage all their training by the way.) was needed given how much information was available to them. Shift leads, or managers would get automatic notifications if the setup exceeded its time budget, so they can provide support. Also, any out-of-tolerance results that were generated would have prompted an NCR which would also alert managers through our messaging system.  Your employees are more supported and successful, increasing engagement and satisfaction.

When you go buy a hamburger at a fast food restaurant, they don’t figure out how to make the burger each time.  They follow a very well documented process to make it as fast and repeatably as possible.  Producing a highly complex and high precision engineered component is at least two orders of magnitude more complex than a burger. So why would you make your employees do it without a concise and bulletproof plan?  It’s because your legacy “one-size-fits-none” ERP system has none of the functionality required to walk employees through the process. You’ve been given a set of tools with a bunch of the tools actually missing.  It might be time to upgrade your toolbox.  Let us know if you’d like to discuss upgrading your tools.

Author: Paul Van Metre

Let ISO-9001 and AS9100 help Yukio Mishima And Bodybuilding equipose lee hayward's total fitness bodybuilding — lee hayward's total fitness bodybuilding you to improve your business

Running a business in 2017 is all about exceeding your customer’s expectations, developing deep relationships built on trust and continuously improving your company to add more value to clients.  If you aren't doing this, you're going backwards!

Continuous improvement is what the latest ISO-9001 (and AS9100) standard is all about.  The developers of the standard recognize that companies who focus on constantly evolving will have higher quality and better customer satisfaction.  It’s proven that companies who are certified are also more profitable.  When you fix problems that improve customer service, you also fix problems that cost you money.  Unfortunately, some companies only see the certification as a costly requirement pushed on them by customers, or a necessary evil to get a foot in the door at a new customer.  They do the bare minimum to get certified and then go back to business as usual until they need to scramble to pass their next audit. You can see it in their QMS.  The manual, documents and procedures are all at rev A and haven’t been touched since their last audit.  I hate to break it to you, but there is nothing continuous about rev A.  Continuous means you’re constantly thinking about and implementing new ways to run your business that increase your value and make you better.  This isn’t just about Quality Management, it’s Business Management because it needs to encompass all aspects of your business.

I’m going to throw out a challenge.  I’d suggest that every high-level procedure should change revs at least once per year, and more detailed level tasks for daily work should change at least 2-3 times per year.  If you consistently make improvements to your business on that type of schedule, you’re going to be a leader in your industry and be unstoppable. The key is to do the work.  But where does the time come from?

Just keeping up with working IN your business is more than a full-time job and managing a QMS is a tedious nightmare of paperwork, forms and filing cabinets full of documents, right? How can you find time to work ON your business which is so critical? I’d suggest you must lean out the process of managing your QMS.  So it isn't a tedious nightmare of paperwork and filing cabinets. The first step is getting rid of the paper. It’s gotta go!

Go with a paperless QMS Software

When you eliminate paper and go all digital, you’ve made the first leap forward in the struggle with rev control and making your QMS much less expensive to manage.  You can make sure that people are only finding the latest revision of a document when they go looking.  There is only one place to update it when the time comes to make that improvement in your process.  The easier it is, the more likely it is that you’ll do it.  When you make those improvements, you’ll save time which enables you more free time to make other improvements. It’s an upwards spiral. Auditors will also be impressed - as will customers!

With our customers, we often see high level procedures at rev E or even G!  After just a few years. They live the reality that improving business frees up their time to work on their businesses.  Through their use of ProShop's QMS software modules they have all the data they need to make the right decisions.  Data that is being fed from the ERP and MES modules directly into the QMS systems.  They make huge leaps in business improvements and ride that upward spiral to be leaders in their market.  So, is 2017 the year that you’ll abandon paper in your shop and focus on accelerating the improvement of your business?

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