Digital signage is traditionally used in advertising environments, but as technology gets smarter, Internet of Things becomes the norm, and mobile devices proliferate, it’s increasingly valuable in other industries as well. Manufacturing is one of those industries, where digital signage adds value on the work floor by enhancing communication, productivity, and management.
Organizations looking to optimize manufacturing can greatly benefit from digital signage. While exact applications will heavily depend on your software, sensors, and total digital signage network, digital signage can fulfill the following roles in manufacturing environments.
Digital signage integrates with sensors, work management systems, and other databases to offer automatic resource allocation.
This is especially valuable in warehousing and cargo areas, where trucks can be allocated to resources and loads as they clock in. Drivers can clock in, pass a sensor, and immediately see directions to a platform or dock.
This type of resource allocation also extends to tools, individual workers, and supplies, allowing resources to be assigned as they are available. This works to prevent bottlenecking because resources won’t be tied up on an assignment that isn’t ready yet or that is waiting on another process to finish, effectively solving a huge industry problem.
How does this work in practice? Setting up resources with pre-allocated locations and implementations means you can automate the process of assigning those resources, similarly to order systems in fast food restaurants. When something becomes available, a resource is assigned to it, and this data comes up on screen.
Digital signage integrates with equipment management screens to create easy and accessible equipment management screens. Displays can quickly show equipment availability, maintenance status, production run, supply level, and other details.
This can help to improve efficiency, because employees will spend less time waiting for equipment to be ready, can make more time-conscious decisions regarding maintenance and servicing, and can easily manage production time and runs.
Displays can also monitor equipment status in operation to share alerts when equipment isn’t properly set up, when something is on but isn’t being used, or alert users when it’s ready. Visual notifications make it easier for employees to track status while managing other tasks, improving overall performance and efficacy across the floor.
How could this work in practice? An employee noticing that a machine has a service period coming up in 400 units could choose to service the machine early to avoid disruption in the next production run of 800 units. An employee could also note that upcoming servicing is shorter than a production run after using the machine and immediately take it for servicing.
General digital display equipment management also allows individuals to more easily see what’s available and assign resources based on machines in use or their service status.
Visual displays make it easy to push safety notifications and alerts where they will be seen, even in high-noise environments.
Here, displays can push regular safety information and videos, promote health by sharing tips and reminders to take breaks, share new regulations, share demonstration videos and much more. This information can actively work to remind individuals of safety procedures and training, which will reinforce how and when they utilize that training.
Data shows that even understanding safety procedures reduces workplace accidents in manufacturing, so this will pay off.
Displays can also flash alerts when machinery is not being used safely. This can alert individuals when something has gone wrong or procedure hasn’t been followed, hopefully before an accident happens.
Finally, digital displays integrate into emergency alerts, offering immediate emergency broadcasts with information like wayfinding to exits, information about affected areas, and emergency procedure.
Depending on your digital signage network, this might include solutions to direct individuals to exits furthest away from issues, to detect wind-direction and direct individuals to exists away from potentially toxic fumes, or to post alerts and notify individuals if they actually have to exit or if they should remain on alert.
Digital displays integrate into break rooms and management areas to allow individuals to quickly and easily see rosters, schedules, expected work, and KPIs throughout the day. This means an employee can clock in, quickly see what they’ve been assigned to for the day, see production goals, and see what they have to do.
On-location, further digital signage could share production goals and KPIs, with real-time updates to show progress towards daily goals or production run. This can work to motivate and inspire individuals, share actual priorities and goals, and show rate of progress throughout the day.
Displays can automatically integrate KPIs into easy-to-ready charts and dashboards, so everyone stays informed.
Manufacturing environments can greatly benefit from digital signage but also heavily rely on strong software solutions. Manufacturing environments also have to consider hardware and its suitability for manufacturing environments, which can be significantly harder on equipment than a street or an office.
If you’re looking for a digital signage solution for your manufacturing environment, it’s important to start by looking at what you need. Don’t forget to review your data sources, possible applications, and potential added value.
You can use this information to look for solutions that fit your environment and budget. In most cases, you’ll also want to work with a digital signage installer, who can help with sourcing hardware, installing displays, sensors, and media players safely, and recommending software solutions.
Network maintenance is crucial to ongoing performance, no matter what you’re running on that network. Network performance management is an essential because it’s the only way to ensure networks offer performance throughout the day, handle peak periods without crashing, and that data-loss and latency aren’t causing issues on your servers, application, or signage.
Your IT infrastructure optimization will heavily depend on your current structure, IT teams, resources, and ability to upgrade or make changes. In some cases, you won’t have the tools or resources to truly optimize for digitization in-house. In this case, outsourcing your solutions is likely the best option, and will likely offer more in terms of efficiency than investing in your own resources.
Digital signage is extremely flexible, can often be tailored to meet very specific needs, and is easy to choose in a way that creates modular solutions for different environments. If you’re not entirely sure of what you need, it’s always a good idea to consult a professional installer who can recommend very specific solutions for each application in your organization.