How do you track employee time on the shop floor? Here are some popular solutions available on Amazon or other retail outlets:
Yell across the shop floor when your job is done
Number 2 pencil, greasy sheet which is lost 33% of the time (you hope)
Punch-clock built in the late 1970’s but mostly still keeps time
Nothing beats a good guess
With these leading solutions in place, you should not even consider barcode time tracking solutions. Don’t even think the words “Standard Time®” or you could be fired. Don’t rock the boat… don’t change… everything will be fine… your shop will remain just as competitive as it was in 1988. Cuz, really… Standard Time shop floor software is just a passing fad. It’ll never catch on. See ya in the 90’s! 🙂
Which kind of barcode scanner should I buy? Which scanners work with Standard Time? How do you connect a barcode scanner to a computer? Can you use barcode scanners with a Windows tablet?
All these questions are answered in the short video below. Scroll down below the video for more…
Turns out, any barcode scanner works with Standard Time. Just plug it in and begin scanning. Actually, barcode scanners work exactly like keyboards. They connect to USB ports like keyboards and send text like keyboards. That enables them to connect to Standard Time like a keyboard and can start and stop a timer, plus scan inventory, materials and expenses. All this is many times faster than keyboards, and much more reliable.
You can print barcode labels with any word processor or spreadsheet. Just choose a barcode font like IDAutomation. Include an * asterisk before and after every label, and you’re ready to scan.
For about $150 you have a simple barcode scanning station for manufacturing shop floor use. Scan time and materials into Standard Time.
How do you know the status of tasks in production? For example: you’ve sent a work order off to CNC cut and want to know when it will be complete. Actually… has it even been started yet? Is the operator on a another job? Or on break? Will he get to it today? If so, when? And when will it be ready for burnishing and welding?
That’s why you use barcodes for task status. Scroll down below the video for a little discussion on barcoding on the shop floor.
Back to our CNC example above…
The CNC operator scan work order and task names to communicate his work status. That information goes into a “Work In Progress” system like Standard Time®. You can now see what job and task he’s on at any time. In fact everybody on the shop floor can see it. Just look up on the WIP big-screen and it’s right there.
Have you tried Standard Time? It really is a wonder. And a pleasure to use.
Use barcodes on the shop floor. They are a great way to update your mfg processes. Just a few barcodes on work orders will give you a wealth of new information. For instance, you can learn the status of every work order in the shop. Where it is now, who worked on it last, and the estimated completion. You’ll get all that just by scanning barcodes.
The video below outlines some advantages of tracking time with barcode scanners in manufacturing. I won’t give away the secrets, so you’ll have to watch the video, but there are several good reasons why barcodes make sense on the shop floor.
The older ways of tracking time never really worked well. You got fake information that was so expensive to collect that it wasn’t worth it. But what if you could get real information with simple barcode scans. That might be interesting.
“Look into the crystal ball and I’ll tell your future”
Well, Standard Time® doesn’t exactly work that way, but close. Look into a manpower dashboard, and it tells your future… the future weeks of employee project commitments that is. In other words, whether your employees will drown in over-commitments or relax with little or nothing to do.
Ideally, somewhere in the middle would be nice.
But that’s what you get with the stand-alone resource allocation dashboards. They sit out on managers screens, updating periodically, and telling the future of project assignments and manpower requirements. They don’t get a lot of glory, but they perform a nice little service you’ll come to rely on, and perhaps a little more reliable than your average carnival palm reader. 🙂
Here’s a quick video to introduce you. Hope you like it!
Manufacturing engineers need to know the number of items produced on their assembly lines. They also will know the time spent by employees to produce those items.
So… how do you get that? (watch this video, then scroll down for more)
You get that information with barcodes.
You put a barcode scanner in the hands of every employee, put a tablet on the bench, and have them scan the quantity of items produced when they “clock in” on jobs. Now you have both the time they worked and the number of items produced on the shop floor.
You can now compute:
The time it took to produce each item
The total items produced on a shift
The total items produced for a client
The total items produced per month, or for all time
You also know:
Which employee statistically produces the most
Which jobs are most efficient
Which assembly lines or production techniques are the most efficient
Which steps produce the most product in the shortest amount of time
Try this on the production line: scan your quantities for a month. Make one small change in the technique. Scan for another month and compare. Which production technique is most effective? Keep repeating this, each time looking at the average time per item. When that number goes down, you know you have landed upon an improvement worth keeping.
That is how you shave off 1% manufacturing time. And that is how 1% becomes 10% over time.
Standard Time® is how it is done on the shop floor.
“I can’t use a computer with a welder in my hands!” Does this sound familiar? Here’s a solution: Use barcodes to track time instead of asking your employees to enter time.
Scanning barcodes is a hundred times more accurate than typing hours into a computer or even entering them into paper timesheets.
Watch this short teaser, then scroll down and follow this line of reasoning.
Employees who attempt to enter hours on either paper or computer timesheets can make a lot of mistakes. First off, you can’t remember what you did earlier in the day, let alone earlier in the week. It sounds nice to collect hours on timesheets, but it just isn’t accurate. You’re getting fake data and you don’t even realize it.
Why not use barcode time tracking instead?
Scan barcodes when you start and stop jobs. The actual time will automatically be entered into employee timesheets. Every sliver of project time adds up. Employees don’t need to know how to use computers. There’s no mouse or keyboard. You simply scan to start, and scan to stop. What could be simpler than that? Now you’re getting real employee time, not fake time.