Digital Signage in Manufacturing | 7 Practical Uses
Are you looking for ways to make your manufacturing facility more productive? Your manufacturing plant is probably already using the traditional methods of communication, such as mobile phones, two-way radios, and PA announcements. But is there a better way? Digital signage in manufacturing is the answer!
While so-called traditional communication methods have their benefits, the disadvantages could be preventing your shop floor from running as streamlined as they could be.
Thankfully, there’s an alternative. Digital signage cuts operational costs, improves productivity, and makes your business safer.
Here are seven practical uses of digital signage in manufacturing, and how they can generate a high return on investment for your business!
7 practical uses of digital signage in manufacturing
Communication is key if a business is to operate effectively. It’s why staff in plants and factories use mobile phones, emails, two-way radios, newsletters, PA systems, meetings…anything they can to communicate as effectively and efficiently as possible.
But there’s a huge cost involved in equipping staff with mobile phones, two-way radios, and other technologies. Not only that, but each carries a high risk of damage when used in industrial environments.
Even if you steer clear of such technologies in favour of old-school meetings, imagine the man hours lost that could have been better spent elsewhere. Whichever method of communication you use, the return on investment could be better.
Factory floor digital signage is a way of streamlining your communication channels between members of staff. Information is sent directly to every employee with the relevant information, ensuring the messages aren’t lost in the process.
The messages you communicate aren’t limited. You can choose what goes on your digital display and change it instantly, whether it’s team and shift information, production metrics, or general businesses notices.
You can even place digital displays in specific areas of the plant depending on who the information’s more valuable to. Send different messages to quality control, logistics, and plant operations with ease.
With this in place, you reduce time wasting and increase productivity throughout the whole company.
2. KPI announcements
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are essential measurements of the success of a business.
Usually, these are confined to board room meetings, but they don’t have to be. Instead, KPIs shown on digital displays give all your employees an insight into how well they and the business are performing.
Your screen can be designed to show KPIs like accident-free days, productivity statistics, and uptime versus downtime in graphs, tables, and charts. More importantly, these will be easy to see, without any interruption to workflow.
Positive KPIs will reflect personal and professional achievements throughout the company. This boost in morale results in a more efficient workforce and, consequently, more productive business operations.
3. Implementing or improving a lean strategy
Lean manufacturing is a process that originated in Japan, particularly in the Toyota plants of the 1990s. It focusses on seven wasteful areas in a manufacturing business that can be improved:
- Overproduction – making something before it’s needed
- Waiting – the period between work-in-progress and waiting for the next production to begin
- Transport – unnecessary movement of goods and materials
- Excess inventory – quantities are over the needed amount
- Motion – unnecessary movement of workers
- Over-processing – more processing than is needed to produce a product
- Product defects – production that needs to be scrapped
… Digital displays enable staff to visualise important information, data and metrics, performance indicators, and productivity indicators. With this, everyone can understand their goals and exactly how to achieve them. This doesn’t just work on a personal level. Managers can use the information displayed to see where the strategy is and isn’t working, and can then act accordingly.
4. Accident and injury reduction
Did you know that one single injury costs a plant, on average, $78,000 (£60,000)?
Legal costs, insurance premiums, damages, sick pay, and recruitment costs all amount to huge sums when someone is injured in the manufacturing workplace.
For some plants, these are regular costs. It’s not surprising; traditional signage isn’t effective at announcing when hazards like spills, gas leaks, and toxic fumes occur.
Digital signage is there to constantly remind employees of safety hazards - big or small. Even if you have multiple screens, each can be updated simultaneously to instantly notify staff of when there’s a health and safety issue.
You can be creative with your digital displays, too, ensuring they capture the attention of your employees. Whereas traditional signage is plain to look at, you can make digital safety alerts far more visible and instructive.
But, it’s not just about the cost involved in accidents and injuries. Protecting your employees alone makes it worth investing in digital signage.
5. Emergency alerts
An emergency plan is nothing without a means of quickly and accurately broadcasting information to staff.
Sirens and whistles are a great way to grab employees’ attention, but the only information they transmit is that there’s a problem.
Digital signage gives you the ability to notify staff of what the emergency is, where it’s taking place, and exactly what they need to do. Not only this, but it gives them this information all in one place.
If you come up with new ideas for emergency evacuation plans, you can maintain and update the messages much more easily than you can with any other method.
Emergencies aren’t something to be taken lightly. Ultimately, you’re responsible for the safety of everyone in the workplace. Digital signage ensures you can do this with ease.
6. Company announcements
Imagine how much goes on within a company that most people don’t know about. Sometimes it can take months for people to realise there’s a new employee or that it was Dave from the warehouse’s birthday last week.
Company announcements are an ideal way of boosting morale and making people feel more connected and valued. But, sending out a company email or making an announcement on the PA is too informal and short.
With digital signage in place, you can easily announce a birthday, corporate celebration, work anniversary, employee of the month, new employee, important visitor, award, promotion, or the much-sought-after impromptu half day!
Make an announcement in style, and people are much more likely to take notice.
7. Meetings and training
Let’s face it, meetings can be boring. But, with digital signage installed in your meeting rooms, they don’t have to be.
A digital display gives you access to a wide range of presentation tools. Not only will you be able to give a better, more in-depth presentation, but your employees will be much more interested, too.
The same goes for training sessions. Attendees will be more engaged learning from a presentation on an LCD screen than they will be reading from a piece of paper. There are fewer limitations using technology, and that results in more interested staff.
Digital signage even comes in handy before meetings or training sessions start. Previously, people had to remember they had a meeting or check their emails in the first place, now they can have timely reminders shown throughout the premises.
Protecting your digital signage
So, you’ve invested in digital signage in every area of your plant. Your displays cover all the top seven uses, and your manufacturing facility runs more efficiently than ever.
But can you generate an even better return on investment?
Enclosures protect your digital signage from harsh, industrial environments, ensuring your displays are there for the long-term.
Think of it like this: would you take your prized 4K TV outside without any protection? Probably not.
Now, apply the same thought process at work. You wouldn’t dream of placing your brand new digital displays in an industrial environment without protecting it with an enclosure. If you did, like your 4K TV out in the rain, you wouldn’t expect it to last very long.
Dust, dirt, water, oil, and grease are found in abundance in the industrial workplace. Add in the threat of physical impact, and you’ve got damage risks coming from every angle. Enclosures keep these threats at bay, ensuring your digital signage does the job its supposed to do with minimal maintenance needed.
Over time, this translates into a higher return on investment; your digital displays last longer and need less repair work, meaning you can reap the benefits rather than pay for the damages.
Different enclosures are suitable for different working environments, so you need to consider which one’s right for your business.
Take the food or medical manufacturing industries in which hygiene is of the utmost importance. In this case, it’s worth investing in a stainless-steel enclosure rated IP56 or higher. The natural anti-bacterial and anti-corrosive properties will ensure hygiene standards are met, while the IP56 rating enables you to use the enclosure in washdown environments.
So, while digital signage helps make your business more efficient and effective, digital signage enclosures ensure it remains efficient and effective for longer.
Get Setup with Digital Signage on the Manufacturing Floor
To get digital signage set up across your manufacturing facility, call +1-866-434-0807 or fill in a contact form.
This post was written by Chris Carr
A passionate writer, Chris joined Armagard as a copywriter in 2017. Having previously travelled the world and worked as a freelance writer, he now creates articles, blogs, and product pages about all things enclosures. Chris Carr