Ditch the Clipboards: Why Video is the Future of Standard Work Audits

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Apr 12, 2024
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7 Min
Traditionally, most manufacturers use paper-based work audits to measure adherence to standard processes. However, these paper audits leave a lot to be desired. Forward-thinking manufacturers have started implementing cutting-edge computer vision solutions to measure performance on a broader scale.

In today's fast-paced, ever-evolving factories, achieving consistent quality and safety hinges on a core principle: standardized workflows.  Think of it as a well-defined playbook for every task, ensuring everyone's on the same page and operating at peak efficiency.  But why exactly is standardization so crucial?

Variability is the enemy of quality. Unstandardized processes introduce inconsistencies, leading to a potential minefield of product defects and safety hazards.  Standardization eliminates guesswork, guaranteeing a predictable and reliable output. Additionally, standardized workflows streamline production and simplify employee training. This process reduces wasted time and materials, ultimately translating to increased output and lower production costs. 

Traditionally, most manufacturers use paper-based work audits to measure adherence to standard processes. However, these paper audits leave a lot to be desired. They are time-consuming, subjective snapshots that limit data and fail to capture the whole picture. Video auditing provides an objective, detailed record of the entire production process, enabling faster analysis, improved employee engagement, and targeted coaching for continuous improvement. Forward-thinking manufacturers have started implementing cutting-edge computer vision solutions to measure performance on a broader scale.

The Problem with Paper Audits

While paper-based audits have served their purpose, they fall short in today's manufacturing landscape. 

Paper audits require significant time investment.

Auditors must physically observe processes, take notes, and then analyze and summarize their findings later. This lengthy process limits the number of improvements / kaizen activities companies can make.

Paper audits are subjective.

Paper audits rely on human memory and interpretation, introducing subjectivity from both the auditor and the audited process.  Inconsistencies in how people record information and potential biases can lead to inaccurate adherence assessments.

Paper audits offer limited data.

Paper audits only capture a single moment in time, typically through checklists or brief observations. The limited data and non-digitized medium make it challenging to identify trends, analyze variations within the process, or pinpoint specific areas for improvement.

Paper audits limit operator feedback. 

Paper audits make it a slow and cumbersome process to report issues, hindering real-time communication and problem-solving.  They also restrict feedback to pre-defined categories on forms, neglecting valuable insights operators might have on the production process.

The Power of Video-Based Standard Work Audits

Video is emerging as a powerful medium for measuring adherence to standard work procedures in manufacturing. Unlike paper audits, video playback offers several key benefits:

Invisible AI Video-Based Station Audit

Video audits are efficient.

Imagine streamlining the audit process. With video recordings, analysis becomes faster and less labor-intensive. You can quickly review footage at the end of the shift instead of taking valuable problem-solving time while the line is running to stand and watch an operator, saving valuable time and resources.

Video audits are accurate.

Video provides a clear and objective record of the entire process, eliminating potential bias or errors in interpretation that can plague paper audits.

Video audits capture rich data.

Video captures the complete process for every cycle, not just a single snapshot. This wealth of data allows for detailed analysis of process variations, identification of recurring issues, and a deeper understanding of where improvements can be made.

Video audits improve employee engagement.

Video goes beyond simply checking ‘yes’ or ‘no’ boxes. It fosters a more collaborative environment by empowering employees to share their feedback on process limitations, equipment issues, and more with video evidence. Video audits also allow for more targeted coaching for continuous improvement.

The Future of Standard Work Adherence

With manufacturers implementing video solutions at scale across their facilities, we expect to see additional insights and capabilities generated from this new data stream. Here are some trends to watch:

AI-powered analytics

Artificial intelligence will further enhance video analysis, automatically identifying deviations and flagging potential issues for review. This automated analysis will free up human resources for more complex tasks.

Deep integrations for full visibility

Expect seamless integration of video footage with existing production and quality control systems, creating a centralized hub for data analysis and providing a holistic view of process performance.

Real-time feedback

Imagine receiving instant alerts when deviations occur. Advanced video systems like Invisible AI enable real-time feedback loops, allowing immediate course correction and improved process control.

By leveraging the power of video, manufacturers gain the visual context required to operate efficiently in the physical world; they can ‘go and see’ what’s happening on the factory floor at scale and empower their operators with an objective source of truth for feedback and investigations. When standardized work performance monitoring is automated, manufacturing professionals can focus their valuable time on complex problem-solving and continuous improvement initiatives. 

Invisible AI is dedicated to empowering the manufacturing workforce with video and AI to reduce safety and quality incidents and improve overall productivity. Contact us to learn how we can give time back to your employees and help them to do more with less with our computer vision solutions.

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