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Is Big Brother Coming to the Factory Floor?

Posted By Jeff Moad, July 22, 2016

Hitachi_Image.pngManufacturers invest lots of money and intellectual capital defining and documenting the philosophies and standard practices under which they want their plants to operate. Operations bibles such as the legendary Toyota Production System not only lay out standard operating procedures aimed at driving up quality and productivity, they also reflect the cultural aspirations of the manufacturing enterprise.

But how can manufacturing leaders be sure plant operators aren’t deviating from or even ignoring their companies’ standard production system, possibly leading to quality problems or even costly recalls? To avoid this possibility, we see manufacturers emphasizing clear communication, training, employee engagement and, of course, supervisor oversight.

But is there a role for technology in making sure that operators are adhering to standard work and documented operating procedures? Technology conglomerate Hitachi Ltd. is attempting to make the case that there is.

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