Grass Valley had a mountain to climb moving 900+ assembly procedures to a new work instructions solution. Yet in under a year, the company has migrated 90% of its procedures to ProcessIQ, improving quality and making significant time savings.
“Our work instructions were fragmented. This was because we did not have a specific method for instructions to be created, PowerPoint, Excel, etc., there was no uniformity,” explained Samy Bjaiji, Process Engineer.
Grass Valley headquartered in Montreal, Canada, produce broadcast TV production equipment. Manufacturing a wide range of products, the firm had more than 900 different work instructions, some of which were highly complex.
“Some of our more complex products requires assembly procedures that are more than 60 pages long, which were text intensive. This resulted in different production teams specialising to become competent in creating certain products, but also meant that they did not refer to the build instructions.
“This created problems when changes were applied. They did not want to check through 60 pages of text heavy content to see if there was a small change. They knew how to build the product, so did so.
“This was difficult if we needed to use production teams that were not specialists in building complicated products, because the instructions were time consuming to follow,” explained Samy.
Grass Valley wanted to move to visual-led work instructions, removing the need for complicated explanations. They looked for the perfect solution and “ProcessIQ was a perfect fit, as it focused on the visual/ image side of instructions which was exactly what we were aiming for.”
Introducing a new approach was a relatively easy task for all new products. “We started by creating a standard template which all the authors use. This means everyone is using the same process, so the shop floor staff shouldn’t see any difference between the assembly instructions,” said Samy.
The biggest challenge for the company was how to integrate their vast catalogue of 900+ legacy work instructions, which resided in a variety of formats.
Legacy work instructions can be uploaded in a PDF format and accessed from the ProcessIQ system. This has enabled Grass Valley to collate the entire catalogue of assembly procedures into one single system.
“I am very impressed with the speed at which we converted all the legacy work instructions into ProcessIQ. In just eight months I have added 700 instructions onto the system, 250 of these were done in the last six weeks.”
“90% of the instructions are now in ProcessIQ, we’ll be at 100% very soon. And we do not want to stop there. We want to go paperless, so are adding ProcessIQ Shop Floor that will enable us to move all production on-screen. The feedback from the authors and production teams has been fantastic,” added Samy.
“Our goal in introducing ProcessIQ was to improve performance and reduce errors, ultimately improving quality. Our old work instructions used PDF, which was difficult to control. If an update was applied to an instruction and a new link shared, no one knew there was a change or what that change was.”
“Equally, if a PDF was opened by someone on the shop floor, the authors were unable to modify it until the person closed the document again. They had no knowledge of who had it open and if they were working on a large order, sometimes the document could be open for two to three days before it was closed and the update could be applied,” commented Samy.
“Once all the shop floor has access to ProcessIQ on- screen, authors will be able to simply publish new instructions and any old versions will be archived, so production can only access the latest.
“If an instruction needs to be created for a new product of the same family, you can duplicate instructions and apply the necessary changes. There might only be three steps that are different for the new product, so duplication means these can be changed so much faster.
“We used to have some functions that were really time intensive. For example, when a part changes which is used in a large number of products. We used to have to go through every assembly instruction and update each one individually. These were often in different software – PowerPoint, Excel, etc., so each one was slightly different in formatting. Updating them all in ProcessIQ is much faster.
“The support team creating instructions have more time to add value to the company, rather than repetitive admin procedures, so they can focus on more important business tasks,” explained Samy.
ProcessIQ offers Grass Valley an easy-to-follow, visual format. “The pictures jump out of the screen, with clear images and icons, which is much better than text. The new work instructions have received great feedback – intuitive, easy to access, practical – the supervisors on the shop floor are really impressed.
“Agility is key, at specific times of the year there is more demand for certain products. With ProcessIQ we can move staff between the production teams because standardised, visual instructions are easier to follow,” said Samy.