Had a interesting discussion with one of the Indevin Senior Managers around how they were going to use the mobile terminal system, the discussion was interesting an up-played its importance significantly in their industry and how they ultimately see it working.
His main concern on the shop floor was that most of the supervisors and experienced staff spend most of their time checking the work of less experienced staff before the job can proceed and this impacts the time they have available for other things.
In a perfect system rather than check for mistakes we would eliminate them so they could not be made. Clearly an IT based system cannot eliminate human error and it is only as robust as the data it has in it, however with all the data points in place and bar-coding of jobs, assets and equipment like they have at Indevin, it should be possible to give some sort of go/no go indicator by scanning all the areas in the job chain and checking they agree.
For example, the majority of the Indevin jobs are operations on a specific vessel and much of the checking goes into confirming the correct vessel is being operated on for the job and if applicable the correct product and rate is being added to the vessel. Specifically making sure that:
- The job is scanned and is at a valid status
- Making sure the vessel is scanned and is the correct vessel for the job
- Making sure (if applicable) the pre-weighed product addition is scanned and is correct for that vessel.
- Making sure it hasn’t already been done.
- Only if all the above are correct the operator is given the access code to open that vessel and complete the job.
What you are doing is giving the operator all the tools to self-check the job which if it passes will give them and the supervisor the confidence it will be right first time.
Other industries (including all of the small subset I work in) have similar job operations and check lists which would benefit from this approach and I’ll be discretely asking around over the coming months if this would be something they are interested in and how they would want it implemented.
Still stuck in full vintage support mode for the next few months so hopefully resume development early May.