illustration of a man holding a mobile device in manufacturing to control a machine

3 Benefits of Using Mobile Devices in Manufacturing

Does your manufacturing facility still use clipboards and two-way radios collect to data and communicate?

It can be challenging to make changes to the current processes you have in place. Your employees have been doing it a certain way for so long that there will be a big learning curve to start, but the benefits will outweigh the obstacles in the end.

Your facility can’t stay ahead of the competition when you’re stuck using outdated tools. Mobile devices will help you increase productivity, and they can be instrumental in a wide range of situations.

Let us show you how mobile devices can benefit your manufacturing facility in 4 crucial ways.

Mobile Devices in Manufacturing: 3 Benefits

Mobile devices have been proven to speed up decision making and increase productivity. You can purchase mobile devices that are equipped with integrated barcode scanners, dimensioning and thermal imaging cameras, and instant data capture and sharing. Devices like these are built to withstand the inevitable drops and rough handling they will undergo in a plant or warehouse environment.

“According to a report by Credency, out of 3,300 manufacturers surveyed, 70% viewed mobile devices as the key to reducing downtime in production by an average of 42 minutes per employee.”

Mobile devices allow employees to know what’s on the production line and in inventory at all times, no matter where they are. Employees can run diagnostics on machinery and communicate complications with management on the go. Converting physical paperwork processes to digital will help your facility run more efficiently and cut production costs. Let’s discuss the 4 benefits of investing in mobile devices for your factory in more detail.

1. Quality Control on the Go

Quality control is crucial to the success of a manufacturing facility. You need to be able to assess raw materials and track them for auditing, billing, and compliance. Tracking is usually done via barcodes that are scanned with a barcode scanner. Mobile devices are capable of scanning the same barcodes, and they can even scan the new IoT sensor labels that are being used.

“More than 90% of manufacturers believe that product quality determines their success in the eyes of their customers.”

When an issue arises that affects product quality, employees and management need to be alerted immediately. The longer it takes for them to be aware of the problem, the longer it takes to solve it. This means more downtime — which can be pretty costly. Not to mention the wasted materials if a part was manufactured repeatedly with the same flaw because no one noticed the problem in time to stop it.

Mobile devices can be used to allow employees to record and access quality control data in real-time. Using a clipboard slows this process down significantly. It takes much longer to collect the data, and it can’t be shared instantly. Employees and management have to track down the clipboard to get the information they need, and clipboards can be easily misplaced.

Imagine the number of complications that could arise if all your essential data goes missing because someone lost the clipboard it was on. The outcome could be pretty disastrous, depending on the situation. Mobile devices keep your data safe and secure, so you can access it from anywhere whenever you need to review it.

2. Being Mobile Increases Operational Efficiency

Is your facility still using single-use, hard-mounted devices? Devices such as these don’t allow your employees to take them around the plant. They aren’t as efficient as mobile devices, and they can’t be used for as many tasks. It’s because of this that many manufacturers have started to shift away from these outdated devices and transition to mobile ones.

Imagine that you have a worker using a clipboard and paper forms to process work orders. That worker will need to call a supervisor when they need authorization. Any complications they run into will be logged and tracked on paper or computer logs that can’t be accessed on the factory floor, and at the end of the day, they will need to type a report.

This process creates so much more work for that employee and their supervisor. Employees spend more time collecting data, and supervisors spend more time trying to review that data and stay informed on daily operations.

Are you concerned about employees damaging the devices by carrying them around? As mentioned above, you can purchase devices that were made specifically for manufacturers. We recommend using a single hardware provider when possible.

This makes it simpler to train employees on their use, and it’s easier for IT. You’ll only need to contact one company when you need IT support. This means faster and more efficient troubleshooting.

3. Predictive Maintenance Using Mobile Diagnostics

Thermal imaging and barcode scanners make predictive maintenance possible with mobile devices. Why is predictive maintenance so essential? Glitches and technical issues can impact product quality and cause you not to deliver products on schedule. The faster you can spot problems, the more money you will save your factory.

“On average, 40-50% of a factory’s total operational budget is spent on maintenance management.”

Mobile devices will help you reduce those expenses significantly so those funds can be allocated to other areas of your plant that could use it more. Your employees will be able to run diagnostics on the go and fix anything that arises much faster. The data collected when running diagnostics will be saved and shared immediately. Management can monitor and assess the entire factory within minutes from their mobile device. The same information can then be fed into analytics databases so future maintenance can be performed at optimal times.

Learn About the Latest Industry Trend

Do you want to stay informed on relevant news in the industry? It’s crucial to the success of your manufacturing facility that you stay up to date on the latest trends and technology. When advances are made that improve productivity and reduce costs, you need to know about it. We publish new posts, like this one, frequently so you can plan ahead.

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