Use barcodes to track time during manufacturing.
CNC operators track time with barcode on manufacturing jobs. Here’s how they do it: (Watch the little video below, and then visit for more details)
- They first scan a username to identify themselves
- Then they scan a work order to tell the system which job they are on
- Then scan a task or activity they are performing
- A timer will start, and a new entry will appear in the WIP dashboard on the shop floor
- The CNC operator performs the milling operation
- When finished, they scan their username again
- Then they scan STOP
- The timer stops
- Manufacturing managers now have a bunch of new information:
- start and stop timestamps
- employee who did the work
- work order and task status
- Work-in-progress status
All that information become valuable to the manufacturing process. And it’s all collected with barcodes. No keyboards. No fat fingers. No mistakes. Real data, collected in realtime.
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.
Watch the video and tell us what you think!
“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.
Download Standard Time® today!
Manufacturers – let us familiarize you with barcodes. They have many advantages but let me mention three. Watch the video then scroll down for an overview.
The three biggest advantages of using barcodes on the shop floor are:
- Employees without computers can still collect their hours. Sure, a little tablet is still considered a computer, but you can throw away the keyboard and mouse. The only input device you need is a barcode scanner. That means employees are not fat-finger faking their hours. They scan their jobs and time is collected for them.
- You want accurate times for all your manufacturing tasks. How can you get them? It will never happen with a keyboard. There are too many ways to cheat and mess up.
- With just a few scans you collect a huge amount of data. Try that with a typical timekeeping software product. It won’t happen. Barcodes are the only way to grab all that data with so little employee effort.
Give barcode scanning a try. It may completely change your thinking.
I’m a manufacturing project manager and I need to schedule jobs for production! Can I get them slotted quickly? How about tracking their time with barcodes on the shop floor.
Yep, there’s an app for that. (scroll down for a video)
It’s called Standard Time®. And it’s a registered trademark because it’s been around for nearly two decades. That’s a while. It means you have tools that have grown organically from many other customers. They have proven this app in so many settings you’re likely to find it slick as easy as they do.
Start by slotting jobs for production, and then take input from the shop floor with barcode scanners. You’ve got project management and time tracking seamlessly connected. Give it a try today!
This video shows how to set up barcode scanning for manufacturing on the shop floor. (scroll down for video)
It is so easy to begin tracking time for employees on the shop floor. Just slap a barcode scanner in their hands and ask them to scan their work orders and tasks. Now that is a hundred and ten percent easier than filling out paper timesheets and yelling job status across the floor. Just scan and go.
Wait… what do employees scan?
Try scanning in this order:
- Scan your employee badge
- Scan the work order
- Scan the task you’re working on
That’s it! A timer will start, and you can begin your work. When you finish your task, scan these things:
- Scan your employee badge again
- Scan the word STOP
No the timer stops. You have just communicated the following things to your boss:
- When you started work
- How long you worked
- What job you worked on
- What task you worked on
- What client the work was for
- What department the work was done in
- What phase of the job was worked on
- How many times the job was touched
- How many tasks it took for the job
- The total hours accumulated on the job
- The percentage of completion for the job
- When the job is likely to be done
- And about a dozen other things you don’t readily think of
See how valuable this is? Just a few scans communicate a huge amount of information. Watch the video and give it a try.
Standard Time® is not just for time tracking and project management. It’s also for tool control and accountability on the shop floor. Watch this video below for steps to scan barcodes to check tools out. Scroll way down…
Three scans will check a tool out, and assign it to an operator.
- Scan username (to tell which user is checking the tool out)
- Scan tool name (to tell which tool is being checked out)
- Scan CHECKOUT (to perform the operation)
Those three scans assign a tool to an operator on the shop floor. Now the tool is under their care, and is assumed to be returned in the same state it was taken. This is the basics of tool accountability for manufacturing and factory floor use.
Here’s how to check a tool back in:
- Scan username
- Scan tool name (this shows the date/time you originally checked the tool out)
- Scan CHECKIN
After checking a tool back in, the actual hours between CHECKOUT and CHECKIN are added to the total. Now you know the total number of hours the tool was in use (approx). You can use this for PM purposes.