ProcessIQ Removes Manufacturing Complexity

Managing 800+ SKUs that are subject to frequent change, Georg Fischer Signet’s manufacturing legacy work instruction software was causing increased complexity and cost.

Georg Fischer Signet struggled with implementing a new work instruction platform that offered simple usability for its authors and assemblers, until they discovered ProcessIQ.

“Having previously tried to move to a new system which was not favoured, we were stuck with two systems, neither of which was effectively managing our work instructions,” commented Nick Fizette, Senior Manufacturing Engineering Manager.

Georg Fischer is a global manufacturer of piping systems, creating solutions for a wide range of industries including gas, water treatment plant, chemical processing, etc. Its Signet location develops and manufactures measurement and control products for process automation.

These products measure flow and pipe media properties, providing read outs and control functionality. All manufacturing of the sensor technology is based in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Modern work instructions

Recognising the need to move to a modern work instruction platform, Georg Fischer Signet were a little wary after a previous attempt. “We had unique challenges in our work instructions, having had a legacy platform that had limitations on what data it could support. We could not add images or video due to the data size and the architecture was no longer supported, so we had no way to make changes.

“We started to introduce a new system a number of years ago. This was supposed to be the move forward, but the format was not liked, and the operators said that the system was not helpful. It was a very fixed format that limited how we could present the work instructions.

“We wanted to move to a single platform, but due to the feedback of the second system, we paused, and ended up with two,” explained Nick.

One of the engineers at the company found ProcessIQ in 2017 and following a demo they decided to start with ProcessIQ Pro. ProcessIQ Pro provides an easy-to-use authoring tool that enables flexibility and supports our desire to have standardised processes and saves our team significant time in authoring or updating work instructions.

“60% of our work instructions are now on ProcessIQ. Progress is slow because product launches take priority, but we are pushing forward, as our engineers and technicians have to deal with a large number of product variations. ProcessIQ makes managing these much simpler.

“We have 800+ SKUs which are subject to frequent changes. As we have customers across all regions, we have to adhere to certain localised or legislative requirements. Yet, about 20 SKUs represent 80% of our revenue, but we also have a vast number of low volume products to produce. This adds complexity to our production lines.

“Additionally, some products require complex production processes, so ProcessIQ is extremely helpful for the production cells. It provides a very specific method sheet and documentation to support the build,” explained Nick.

“ProcessIQ eliminates wasted time. Anyone can use the tool, so we are not relying entirely on engineering to make updates. You simply revise, following a document control workflow and share directly.”

Customised, simplified process.

The usability hurdles of previous systems have been eradicated with ProcessIQ. “We can tailor the look and feel of our templates with ProcessIQ, which is great. We have managed to take the parts that the operators liked from the legacy system and recreate these in ProcessIQ, but in a better, more modern system.

“It has been very important that the production teams understood the work instructions and like them. If they consider them not to be in a good format, they do not follow them, and steps are skipped. However, we have had full buy-in from the production managers and operators using ProcessIQ,” said Nick.

ProcessIQ enables authors to pick templates that cater for their requirements. “The authors design the work instructions, adding supporting documentation, and release these to production. The team like the clear and flexible layouts in ProcessIQ, saying it is easy-tofollow,” added Nick.

“The advantages of having ProcessIQ have been clear. We have removed outdated systems and simplified onto one incredibly easy-to-use tool. The usability of the system is very good and is continually being enhanced. And we are saving significant time in authoring and updating work instructions.”

Georg Fischer Signet’s aim is to have a paperless shop floor. They have been concentrating on the first step, to “…have all work instructions on ProcessIQ by the end of 2019. Our aim is to then go on screen to improve the quality and the efficiency of managing work instructions. We are also very interested in the ProcessIQ DMES Module – the use of embedded data capture and a digital traveller, linking electronic work instructions to production orders, then linking this into SAP,” added Nick.

“One of the biggest benefits of moving to ProcessIQ has been the partnership between us and the ProcessIQ team. The cooperation and support from the team is excellent.”