The Return of the Paperless Manufacturing Movement
Though often looked at as a problem solved, the persistent use of paper in manufacturing operations proves otherwise... On the Automation World blog, Luigi De Bernardini’s analysis.
When I think about the reduction of paper use in production—the so-called “paperless manufacturing”—I don't feel that it is particularly innovative. I’ve been hearing about this for 15 years and I find it to be a subject already managed and solved in most modern companies. But recently I came across a few new projects aimed at the reduction of paperwork in manufacturing processes, so I started looking into it again with a more curious eye as to what happens in many plants.
I discovered that, although it has been discussed frequently, paperless manufacturing is far from reality for many manufacturers. Paper documents continue to be prominent actors in the production process and an important part of organizational flows. One of the key reasons for this is operator resistance to the exclusive use of electronic information. Cultural background and age are two of the primary factors. As a result, I believe the transformation to paperless manufacturing will only completely come about as a new workforce of digital natives populates the industry.
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