As a supplier of engines, specialist equipment and environmentally friendly systems to help meet European noise and emission protection laws, Hamilton began the process in 2020 to improve efficiency in its manufacturing operations.
“Our work instructions have always been a little chaotic. The way in which they were developed, depended on who created them. They were also too often printed onto paper. The formats, created in PowerPoint or another Office365 app, had no set structure – some had pictures on the left, some on the right…” explained Nicolas Stirnemann, CTO for Hamilton AG.
Version control was a priority for Hamilton, so any changes to the work instructions meant they had to locate all the paper copies, to ensure that only the latest was being followed.
“Thankfully, the evolution and change of our product is relatively slow and we have a small workforce, so any updates were manageable,” added Nicolas.
“Quality was always key to our operations, and we had rigorous checks in place to ensure this was delivered. However, we recognised that modern platforms were out there that could help us be more efficient. Manufacturing regulations around emissions standards, for example, meant we had to link systems together to improve operations.”
Having chosen ProcessIQ, after seeing how it could apply manufacturing process intelligence to operations,
Nicolas described the seamless journey: “Our first step was to upload our PowerPoint instructions to ProcessIQ as legacy documents, this meant the only way to access work instructions was through ProcessIQ.
“We digitalised 80 work instructions in under three months, with only 30 left, which we will only digitalise if we need them. Typically, we have two new product lines per month, and these now go straight into ProcessIQ.”
“The value of ProcessIQ is 100%, real-time work instructions for the shop floor. With proper versioning, we can ensure that the latest information is in the hands of our technicians.
“In using the tool, we have vastly reduced the time it takes to create work instructions from two weeks, to now just one and a half days. The big difference is that we can reuse information and data from other instructions, which massively reduces the workload and increases accuracy. When authoring it enables structured thinking and has good use of clear icons – removing any unnecessary complexity,” said Nicolas.
When evaluating ProcessIQ against other options, Nicolas considers the value to be obvious: “Some might believe that they have an Office365 licence, so why would they need to buy another licence? The value behind just the authoring in ProcessIQ is tremendously high.
“We like that you can attach standards to the instructions, so no digging around looking for them is required. Or the use of an icon to show your shop floor workers where to be careful and pay particular attention.”
Nicolas states that the impact on the internal team of maintaining the quality standards has been clear: “Despite quality always been a top priority, less time and effort is now necessary to achieve our quality levels. We now can do this much more efficiently.
“Construction and building sites have a zero- tolerance rule and as our customers, we follow the same principle. With ProcessIQ, we can review quickly and achieve the quality levels much easier.”
“Our staff on the shop floor love ProcessIQ. The structure is always the same, no matter what they are working on, which has improved the experience a lot. The format is standardised and easy-to-use,” explained Nicolas.
“Training new workers is simple, half hour training and they know how to use the tool. The staff had no reservations about moving as they were impressed with the format and clarity, and it was clear we had to do something to be more efficient.”
Nicolas added: “We no longer need to teach our staff where to take extra care and they are confident that they all have the latest version. The shop floor users are not IT experts, but the architecture is designed to support how you create a product, having everything, materials etc, all on one screen, so there are no obstacles or reservations.
“In addition, ProcessIQ enables the ability for the staff to send feedback, whereas before there was often a constant ringing or running around to resolve issues. Now they strictly use the feedback button. We also make use of the ‘after action report’ so we can review and revise workflows where needed, adding that intelligence gathering to make us even more efficient.”
Getting set up was quick for Hamilton: “We have fully appreciated the collaboration with the ProcessIQ team, from implementation, to training and resolve teething issues. They have shown us how to effectively manage the solution and have been really supportive.”
“For us, ProcessIQ is a success. Our staff love and accept it because it is easy-to-use, straightforward and the cost value ratio is great,” concluded Nicolas.