The manufacturing industry has started to embrace digital solutions, as technology, computational power, and connectivity have made significant inroads in the industry, leading to the quest for the Paperless Factory. While some companies are already embracing the change, others still rely on manual and paper-based processes. However, digital advances are improving manufacturing dynamics, and the adoption of mobile technology is seen as a key to achieving a paperless culture and boosting workflows in the industry.
A Paperless Factory relies on software and automated solutions for its processes that form a value chain and eliminates paper. Going paperless is far-reaching and reigns beyond reading documents on an interface. It entails the flow of information digitally within a connected floor facility, emphasizing the type, machine-level compliance, interactivity, management, and quality & revision control of the data.
Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution, is dawning and viewed as the herald of digital technology in the industrial space and the end of paper-based processes. However, going paperless is not as easy as it sounds, with several inhibitors to establishing a paperless factory. The lack of knowledge to identify and evaluate the opportunities of Industry 4.0, the risk of human errors and inaccurate representation of factory environments, and the inflating costs of integrating digital solutions are some of the challenges faced by manufacturers.
In summary, the manufacturing industry has started to embrace digital solutions, with the adoption of mobile technology seen as a key to achieving a paperless culture and boosting workflows in the industry. However, challenges such as the lack of knowledge, the risk of human errors, and the high costs of integrating digital solutions hinder the establishment of a paperless factory.