6 benefits of digital work instructions in manufacturing

Humans still perform 72% of manufacturing tasks, according to Assembly Magazine. People remain central to manufacturing, especially in assembly operations. Having clear and well-documented work instructions can significantly enhance productivity, quality, and overall performance. 


What are digital work instructions? 

Digital work instructions provide real-time, interactive guidance to frontline operators. Integrating colorful images, videos, and files into digital work instructions can help make complex processes easier to understand and execute.



Examples of operators following digital work instructions to assemble parts for electric vehicles. Colorful images with annotations are very helpful for operator guidance


Why are digital work instructions important?


1. Standardization and consistency

Work instructions provide a standardized approach to performing tasks. By clearly outlining the steps, procedures, and requirements, they help ensure that work is conducted consistently, regardless of who is performing the task. This standardization can minimize errors, reduce variability, and enhance overall quality.

-> Hear how Connectronics uses digital work instructions to document hidden knowledge 


2. Training and onboarding

New factory operators face a steep learning curve when they join a company. Work instructions act as a valuable resource for training and onboarding new team members. Work instructions provide a clear roadmap and guidance, which can expedite the learning process and allow new hires to become productive more quickly. This, in turn, saves time and resources for both the organization and the new employee. 

-> Hear how Tritium slashed onboarding time from 2 months to 2 weeks


3. Error reduction and quality improvement

Mistakes can be costly and have far-reaching consequences. Work instructions help minimize errors and improve quality by providing detailed instructions and best practices. By adhering to these instructions, employees can perform tasks accurately, reducing the likelihood of defects, rework, or customer complaints.

-> Read a case study on how Pollington Machine and Tool used digital work instructions to assemble 4,000 units error-free, enabling them to pass safe launch for an automotive OEM. 


4. Efficiency and time-savings 

Work instructions streamline tasks by breaking them down into smaller, manageable steps. This promotes an organized and efficient workflow, making it easier for employees to complete tasks on time. With clear instructions, employees don't waste time trying to figure out the best approach, resulting in increased productivity and time savings.


Spanish work instructions

Work instructions can also be translated into different languages. See the Spanish-translated work instructions here that one of our customers uses. 


5. Continuous improvement

Work instructions provide a foundation for continuous improvement initiatives. By documenting and analyzing existing processes, organizations can identify areas for improvement and implement changes to optimize efficiency, quality, and safety. Work instructions act as a starting point for reviewing and updating processes as needed, ensuring that best practices are always upheld.


6. Safety compliance

Work instructions also serve an important role in promoting safety in the workplace. They include step-by-step procedures for handling hazardous materials, operating machinery, or performing high-risk tasks. Following these instructions helps minimize accidents, injuries, and potential legal liabilities.


Next Steps

Here are some questions to consider if you're thinking about introducing digital work instructions to your operations:

  1. How many employees manage work instructions?
  2. Are your work instructions all in the same format?
  3. Do the current work instructions include images?
  4. How often are the work instructions updated? 

Our digital work instructions module can be deployed via the cloud or on-premise and is easy to setup. Sign up for a free trial today. 

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