How Touchscreens Can Motivate Assembly Line Workers to Do Quality Work

When UTC Aerospace required a solution to manage assembly line workers with no previous manufacturing experience, it decided to try something new that set a precedent for its future manufacturing operations management (MOM) strategy.


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  • UTC Aerospace / Boeing 787

  • Using manufacturing software from PINpoint Information Systems that features situational awareness graphics on plant floor touchscreens, the manufacturer was able to train an unskilled workforce to build safety critical electronics without defects, which actually helped ramp up production within days, said UTC Aerospace. With the software monitoring and controlling the hundreds of process steps needed to build the products, problems and defects could not go unchecked so error-proofing was maximized.

  • Goal Planned Actual, Cycle time and Takt, Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). See example PINpoint V5 MES Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) Real-time Reporting Dashboard Website pdf.

  • Impact #1

    Quick integration of software on the plant network, followed by a rapid ramp up of production all within 5 days. Assembly line work station operators and line area supervisors are guided by the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) to perform process steps, such as fastening operations, correctly within the MES software's configured parameters; and on time (within cycle time / Takt).

    Impact #2

    The MES software instilled a culture of full-accountability in the manufacturing operations. Each and every assembly line worker is accountable for the process steps assigned to them to be performed at their work station; but before they can even begin working the MES system first verifies their credentials to ensure the worker is trained/certified to perform the tasks on the product at the particular workstation.

    To sign into the MES each user has their own unique login and password, or bar code scan code to identify themselves, so every action or process step they perform is recorded for real-time error-proofing. The MES halts the worker if they make a mistake; with the MES capable of turning off their tools, or even stopping the assembly line to ensure that no defects are ever shipped to the customer.

    The MES system 'SmartScreen' user-interfaces/touchscreens on the assembly line provide the worker the guidance they need to accomplish the job correctly and on time. The SmartScreen information is also displayed on large screen displays located throughout the factory to ensure all manufacturing stakeholders are in the know of what's happening on the assembly line at each work station.

    Impact #3

    Assembly line error-proofing is maximized since the MES provides invaluable Manufacturing Intelligence (MI) in the form of manufacturing reports created from all historical data, or in real-time via the Performance Dashboard website that reports OEE on-the-fly and is accessible from any computer or wireless device from the cloud.

  • Benefit #1

    Rapid MES intigration with production starting and ramping up quickly  within 5 days. Assembly line workers who had no previous experience in the assembly of electronic motor controllers (safety critical parts) for the Boeing 787 dreamliner were guided to do so within days, with no defects, and within Takt time.

    Benefit #2

    "PINpoint taught us what accountability of process really means, the financial value of that and how to maximize the benefit of the assembly equipment we already owned."

    - UTC Aerospace Systems

    Benefit #3

    Maximized product quality, and increased assembly line efficiency overall. Short return on investment (ROI) payback time within 1 year.

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