Workbench Space and Mobility

February 13, 2019

One aspect of mobility especially valuable in manufacturing is the nimbleness of mobile devices.  Take a close look at the workbench space available to each worker in an assembly process.  You will typically notice little wasted space.  Space at most factories is a valuable commodity and needs to be used wisely.  This is a prime area where small mobile devices can make a big difference.

Suppose a company wants to introduce shop floor reporting and begin capturing production data at each work station.  Ignoring all other challenges tied to this effort, simply finding the physical space to introduce a computer, monitor, keyboard and mouse in the work areas can be an engineering challenge all by itself.  But what if the data capture hardware could be replaced by a tablet or similar mobile device?

Suddenly the big problem of limited physical space has become a much smaller problem.  A smaller, portable all-in-one device is replacing a larger, fixed multi-component device.  Now more options for locating the equipment open up.  Additionally, since mobile devices are wireless, cables become a non-issue.  While the tablet will still need to have its battery recharged, it is otherwise unrestricted and available when needed.

Well-designed shop floor reporting apps running on mobile devices allow this approach to work.  Good apps and nimble mobile devices reduce workbench changes  and disruption to workers.  Additionally, by simplifying the physical data capture requirements, the project can be implemented in less time and at a lower cost.

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