What is Paperless Manufacturing?

Many companies ask us about paperless manufacturing and how it fits with other systems. Here’s our response.

By David Oeters, Corporate Communications with CIMx Software

When discussing manufacturing software, there is no end to the acronyms that can be applied to the products on the market – MES, QMS, ERP, PLM, MRP, and on and on…

One question we often get is about paperless manufacturing – how does it fit into the confusing gamut of shop floor software systems? The answer requires a little insight into CIMx’s history.

Back to CIMx’s Manufacturing Roots

MES and the Human Element

Removing paper from the shop floor will significantly improve production. Illustration from http://www.colourbox.com

More than 20 years ago, CIMx introduced an industry-leading Computer-Aided Process Planning (CAPP) system, offering revision-controlled shop floor packets delivered digitally.

Even the earliest versions of CAPP offered substantial benefits to companies still struggling with paper. With this very first product, CIMx helped introduce paperless manufacturing to production and operation environments. This planning solution introduced a new generation of computer and software technology to manufacturers.

Paperless Manufacturing Today

CIMx has remained at the forefront of software solutions for manufacturing, introducing a range of products suitable to manufacturers of all sizes and a variety of industries; including Advanced Process Planning, a Data Migration Engine, a robust MES (Manufacturing Execution System) and MOM (Manufacturing Operations Management) solutions, up to a fully-integrated Enterprise Manufacturing solution.

The foundation of every one of these products is paperless manufacturing. Paperless manufacturing is what we do.

Confidence Button Shows Assurance Belief And Boldness

Paperless manufacturing is the foundation of the modern shop floor. Illustration by http://www.colourbox.com

As products and manufacturing processes increase in complexity, paper is ill-suited to manage the shop floor. Paper is inefficient, creates errors and problems, and doesn’t allow for the advanced analytics and real-time visibility and control a modern shop floor needs.

Paperless manufacturing removes paper, and the errors and problems it causes, off the shop floor. Information is converted to electronic data to be transmitted digitally. Your documents are locked with revision-control, ensuring everyone is using the latest, most accurate information. All processes are automatically tracked in the system. You can begin running real-time analytics on your data.

Paperless manufacturing provides the foundation for digital manufacturing and those acronym-laden software systems competing for your shop floor. It’s getting your critical information off paper and giving you access to information when and where you need it. Paperless manufacturing is one, perhaps the only, way to control and optimize your quality, efficiency and profitability over time.

CIMx offers a variety of software products for manufacturers, including MES and MOM systems, but each starts as paperless manufacturing – converting error-prone processes to an electronic system and giving you better control and visibility of the shop floor.

In our view, before you start considering a more advanced or specialized software system, move to paperless manufacturing. Running analytics on paper-based production or tracking quality from a spreadsheet on the shop floor isn’t maximizing production; it’s just perpetuating problems and passing along inefficiency.

If you want to learn more about paperless manufacturing with CIMx, and see how far you can improve, then contact us today. We’re always happy to help.


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