MIE Solutions UK Ltd
The Market Leading MRP / ERP Manufacturing Software Solution
MIE Solutions UK Ltd are a Made in the Midlands Silver Member
Employees on the shop floor are just as reliant on the latest news within the company as anyone else. Bar-coding on its own does not enable employees on the shop floor to keep up to date on what’s happening within the company. Things like company messages and changes in production schedules can be rolled out onto the shop floor, but only when paper copies or verbal messages are given. If the original message or schedule is then changed, the process above must be repeated. This is where Kiosk comes into its own. With Kiosk, as soon as something is changed within the main ERP system, it is reflected on the Kiosk screen.
The main reason for shop floor data capture in general is to track where jobs are up to on the shop floor. By combining this feature with an ERP system, employees in the office are immediately able to see exactly where things are up to, meaning that they no longer have to physically walk onto the shop floor. This integrated data also enables users to see how the job is being reflected from a financial point of view. It might be that a certain process has taken longer than anticipated, meaning that the job could potentially be losing money or even running late.
Bar-coding is effective, but at the same time limited, in what it can do. With its functionality being totally dependent on scanning predefined barcodes, it lacks the ability of two way communication. It still retrieves data on how long things have taken just like Kiosk, but is unable to log information that may be unique to a particular job. For example, an employee may complete a job that was allocated 30 minutes but took 40. At this stage, they may want to make a note against that job for future reference and to be able to inform the office. It may be that the job was more difficult than first thought, or that a different process was required in order to complete the job. Bar-coding would mean that the employee would have to either walk up to the office or make a note of the comment on a piece of paper which exposes the information to potentially being lost or misinterpreted. Kiosk on the other hand allows users to type the information in there and then, which in turn will also keep the traceability of that note against that job. In the same manner, Kiosk enables users to make purchase order and engineering change requests.
One of the main advantages of Kiosk over bar-coding is the hardware costs involved. In today’s market, the purchase of a low end PC is considerably cheaper than the costs involved in buying new bar-coding equipment. This in itself enables companies to distribute more Kiosk stations throughout the shop floor, meaning that employees do not have to walk as far in order to access a station. Added functionality such as the ability to print move tickets from the shop floor helps speed up the overall process.
With Kiosk being a software driven package, it is a lot more visual than its bar-coding counterpart. This alone gives shop floor workers easy access to a lot more information. If documents like drawings have been attached to the job, they can be viewed through the Kiosk itself. It also enables users to filter their results on the screen, making for easier reading. The system allows you to easily see what jobs you are currently clocked into, along with the locations of raw materials.
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