How Mobile Apps Help Manufacturing Overcome Problems

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Mobile apps help manufacturing drive better business outcomes by collecting accurate data, streamlining manufacturing processes, improving worker safety, solving labor shortages, increasing employee engagement employees and increasing employee productivity.

Historically, the manufacturing industry has not been the most nimble in implementing new digital technologies. The industry has struggled with labor shortages, implementing technology solutions, and hiring experienced developers to write apps that streamline processes. However, the manufacturing industry is adapting to change, undergoing a digital transformation and moving to Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0 incorporates the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, mobile technologies, smart factories, analytics, and other technological advancements.

Mobile apps are part of the Industry 4.0 revolution. Many modern manufacturing companies already use mobile apps to collect, share and access critical manufacturing data and benefit from continuous development.

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Manufacturing employees can collect more precise/accurate production and quality data with connected mobile devices, quickly share it among different groups, and analyze it instantly. Not only will they collect more accurate data, but analyzing that data can better identify or predict production issues.

Manufacturers can accelerate their journey to Industry 4.0 with low-code and no-code application development platforms that capture, analyze and share data in new ways faster than ever. Low-code/no-code enables application development without the need for code. For years, the manufacturing industry has struggled to hire enough experienced developers to write and develop mobile apps. Low-code solves this problem by allowing citizen developers and factory professionals to create their own business applications. Often they work in coordination with the IT team to do this.

See also: 6 rules to power the data behind industrial AI

Here are some ways mobile apps can solve the biggest problems plaguing manufacturing.

1) Rationalization of manufacturing processes

Mobile apps help manufacturers instantly share massive amounts of data. Mobile apps in critical areas of the organization can avoid unnecessary delays in accessing crucial information by facilitating real-time access to large amounts of data. By making it easier to capture information, such as automatically collecting time, data, or location information, these apps can significantly reduce data entry errors. Faster analysis of accurate and complete data improves the manufacturing process and enables continuous improvement and development. Better data helps manufacturers make better decisions about equipment maintenance, corrective actions, and material inventory.

2) Improved worker productivity

Mobile apps can improve communication and collaboration between employees and supervisors. In addition to tracking schedules and checklists, manufacturers can digitize data collection to automate processes and save employees time and effort. Mobile apps reduce the burden on employees to record routine information and allow them to focus on more pressing issues or improvements.

Some apps capture the knowledge of experienced workers to build smart processes that can be used to train new members. For example, apps can display easy-to-use visuals, videos, inspection processes, and manuals to help onboard new employees and assist them with more complex tasks.

3) Address labor shortages in manufacturing

According to a study by Deloitte, the biggest challenge for the manufacturing industry is not external competition but the dramatic shortage of labour. Manufacturers have not even been able to fill half of their vacancies. Deloitte suggests manufacturing needs to fill 46 million jobs between 2018 and 2028, but it will only be able to fill 2.2 million. The report gives several reasons for this gap, including the shortage of people with the right skills, baby boomer retirements and the general perception that manufacturing jobs are dangerous or dead end. A major problem is the lack of programming skills and the fact that people with such skills lack the manufacturing know-how to create applications that help production or quality teams thrive.

Low code can help manufacturers increase internal training and equip employees with digital skills. By using low-code/no-code platforms, employees with less technical skills can write powerful applications. Low code also helps employees with manufacturing skills write applications that even advanced programmers (without manufacturing skills) don’t have the domain experience to design and write.

4) Employee Engagement

One of the biggest problems faced by the manufacturing industry is the low level of employee engagement. This affects productivity and business results. It’s no secret that companies with highly engaged employees perform better and report fewer safety-related accidents.

Mobile apps are a solution to low levels of employee engagement. They can facilitate better, timely communications between all workers, including those on the production floor, product engineers at their desks, and service repairers in direct contact with on-site customers. Each group can have a digital voice within the organization. These mobile apps are expected to facilitate information sharing capabilities for community building, customer service and business success. Business will deliver value, improve results, and increase customer satisfaction when the entire organization can collect, communicate, and engage through such powerful mobile apps.

5) Manufacturing Workplace Safety

For any organization, the safety and overall health of their employees is non-negotiable. Although not commonly known, mobile apps can play a crucial role in workplace safety. Mobile apps can identify and log factory floor hazards, document workplace safety incidents accurately and in a timely manner, and educate or notify employees of safety issues or procedures. These apps can facilitate high standards of workplace and workplace safety, improving overall worker safety. They make sure proper safety procedures are followed and any dangerous situations are dealt with before anyone is injured.

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Mobile apps can measure sound levels to avoid exposure to sounds that are harmful to human ears. They can calculate dangerous heat levels and provide information on chemical hazards. Similarly, mobile apps record inventories of personal protective equipment for workers and monitor worker injuries to oversee compensation. Some incident reporting apps with no-code/low-code apps allow field staff to report any issues while recording GPS locations, videos, and images of the incident.

Mobile apps built with low-code/no-code platforms can help the manufacturing industry overcome obstacles it has faced for decades. By collecting accurate data, streamlining manufacturing processes, improving worker safety, solving labor shortages, increasing employee engagement and boosting employee productivity, mobile apps help the manufacturing sector to achieve the best business results.

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