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Looking for electronic work instruction ideas

Looking for electronic work instruction ideas

Looking for electronic work instruction ideas

I am not sure if this is the right forum for this topic, but it seems like a good place to start.

Each product we make gets a 200-300 page Word document describing how to assemble and test it. These are step-by-step instructions with pictures, sign offs, torque tables, warnings, etc.

I am trying to find a software based solution to make this process easier. It can take 4-5 months to write a new document, get it reviewed, approved and released.

Basically we want a software driven assembly and testing tool that will allow us to modularize our procedures. I want to do away with the printed out instructions and move to a PC-based setup where the operator will input values such as applied torques, pressure test results, etc.. and sign off digitally.

I know things like this exist. We used something similar when I was at Lockheed but since I didn't work directly with it I didn't pick up the name of it.

Any idea where to begin my journey?

RE: Looking for electronic work instruction ideas

I've heard good things about Solidworks Composer. Have never used it myself.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: Looking for electronic work instruction ideas

Tons of software out there..
Google "work instruction software" and make sure you get demos and test the heck out of them..

We actually use a Joomla CMS based intranet system (just because I have used it for developing websites in the past and was familiar with it). It works just fine for us and is "free".. I simply create new categories (1 for each product) and you can have multiple articles (1 for each step in the process).
Our IT department or myself can easily create new "modules" for it to scan off jobs (vs a barcode station) that sends the data right to our ERP system database,etc.. or anything that isn't out there already.. We use a free form component to handle all our ISO forms.. (PM/DMR,etc...).. Free survey component, calendar components,etc...

RE: Looking for electronic work instruction ideas

That is a very interesting way of doing it (using a CMS like Joomla). My initial thought was to just do some basic scripting to pull data from a base template, but then I considered we should probably take it much further than that.

My problem with off the shelf solutions is that they never quite do exactly what you want. Custom coding something is the way to go, but a company of my size (extremely large) might be very skeptical of doing such a thing.

RE: Looking for electronic work instruction ideas

Several years ago we trialed a software called Interactive Product Animator (IPA) but not sure it does all you ask.



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What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Looking for electronic work instruction ideas

Every work instruction system I've ever seen has been "created" by the IT department or similar.. But I've only seen maybe 5 or so..
Mostly because "Off the shelf" solutions are rarely able to be customized to the extent most companies want and in the time frame they wany.. With a CMS system like joomla or other web (php/asp/html,etc..) based system virtually any IT staff or high school kid can write new functions/pages/modules,etc.. to adapt to a companies changing policies,etc.. vs having to pay some company and wait for an update to their compiled software if they are willing to change it at all.

But of course we are only a company of 25.. So it was a simple sell.. But I'm VERY happy with it (WYSIWYG editor..simple to create new pages/insert images,etc..) and so is the assembly staff.. They all have a tablet now and simply pull up the necessary "shop aid" in their browser and go to work.. Then its simple to link to whatever additional information,specific machine instructions, etc... Of course we had to lock down external internet access to keep this lazy bunch from just watching youtube all day.

One of these days I'm going to sit down and "professionalize" my system and attempt to profit from it.. Along with a Joomla based ERP system... now if I could only get 6+ months of paid vacation I'd be set.

RE: Looking for electronic work instruction ideas

Clever. Brilliant. Brilliantly clever. thumbsup2
A star for you.

Blue Technik LLC
Virtuoso Robotics Engineering

RE: Looking for electronic work instruction ideas

Hi XaeroR35 -

In full disclosure, I am with one of the several OTS solutions that show up in the above-mentioned Google search for "work instruction software." While you are correct, no OTS solution is going to do everything that everyone is looking for, we have 10 years of experience working with a wide range of companies, including a number of aerospace organizations, that has really honed the capabilities of our offerings. If you haven't taken the time to explore OTS solutions, I would encourage you to do so before heading down the path of developing your own internal solution.

Best of luck!

Barry Lucas

RE: Looking for electronic work instruction ideas

The size of your company and product line may largely dictate your options. There is a significant difference between the "best" option when your budget is measured in thousands vs. millions in devevlopment and/or licensing costs.

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