Alpha Software Blog

Helping Manufacturers Implement Digital Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry knows it needs to digitally transform itself, but not all companies are yet onboard — a full 40 percent of manufacturers have yet to even launch a pilot, according to a McKinsey survey, “Digital Manufacturing – escaping pilot purgatory.” And many that are already onboard may not fully realize how central mobile manufacturing apps are to getting to Industry 4.0.

If you’re a manufacturer not yet sure of how vital mobile is to digital manufacturing, an article in MachineDesign, “How Mobile Devices Help Manufacturers Get Ahead in the Digital Age,” details three ways mobile technology help.

3 Ways Mobile Devices Are Keeping Manufacturers Competitive 

  1. The first way, the article notes, is using mobile devices for quality control (QC) and inventory management. Manufacturers traditionally do quality management on products coming off the production line manually and record the information on clipboards. The author notes, “Mobile devices with cameras for thermal imaging or dimensioning can be used by QC to record this data faster, from anywhere in the production process and shared with the entire organization in real-time. If a worker uses a clipboard to record data, those top-level decisions happen much slower, and more faulty items are produced as a result.” Similarly, with managing inventory, mobile apps and devices can use tools such as barcode scanners to more effectively capture, share and use data.
  2. Mobile can also be helpful with predictive maintenance, the article notes. Using a mobile device, workers can run diagnostics directly on equipment and then capture and share the data. The article says that in doing this, “Workers can capture, share, and respond to maintenance data in a way that can dramatically impact the quality of the end product and the overall productivity of the organization. In addition, this information can then be fed into analytics databases to be utilized for predicting future maintenance at the optimal time, not too early or too late.”
  3. Finally, mobile technology can improve operational efficiency, the article says. With mobile apps, workers and managers can “access critical information wherever they are in the plant, which is essential to real-time data sharing and fast decision making.”

The Best Platform to Help Manufacturers with Digital Manufacturing

Manufacturing tabletTo build mobile apps that enable digital manufacturing and Industry 4.0, manufacturers need to choose the right platform to allow more employees to digitize manufacturing processes quickly. Alpha TransForm is an ideal choice. Alpha TransForm offers a free trial that allows users to easily customize a pre-built manufacturing app, such as a safety inspection app, a Gemba walk app, a non-conformance reporting app, or an equipment inspection app. Or users can choose to turn any paper form into a mobile app in minutes. All TransForm apps are optimized for one-handed data entry on the shop floor and utilize the latest mobile features (camera, GPS, etc.) for fast, accurate data capture. The best part - Alpha TransForm eliminates back-end data entry because apps can integrate with existing systems of records of workflows. 

Try Alpha TransForm for yourself. You can build your own app or give one of our manufacturing apps a try: for example, our Gemba Walk App, 5S Audit App, or our Non-Conformance Report Template.


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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.