Smith Induspac Proves That Precision is Key For Any Process

April 15, 2021

VKS in Smith Indusapc

Industry 4.0 products deserve Industry 4.0 packaging. With over 45 years of experience, Smith Induspac has been providing quality smart packaging solutions for companies with valuable products, technology, and materials.

Much of today’s focus in modern manufacturing is directed towards the products, tools, and technology of the era. But within manufacturing, how we package these items is just as important as the items themselves.

Packaging needs to be made with precision, so that the technology inside is well protected, and can be effectively shared. Obtaining the right cost-effective packaging for your products is an important step in distributing your technology to the world.

Like all things under Industry 4.0, creating the right packaging requires precision and accuracy.

Under Induspac’s goal to adopt the best precision manufacturing processes, they incorporated our digital work instruction software into their operations. This added further precision to their already established line of quality packaging materials.

Since integrating VKS Lite into their production lines and tables, Induspac has benefited from improved process accuracy, faster comprehension through visual instructions, and an advanced training curriculum.

They have captured their best process knowledge and made it accessible to all their employees. This has improved their quality, productivity, and delivery times. Now, whether new or experienced, each employee is creating the most value for the company.

As a leader in quality customized multi-material industrial packaging, Smith Induspac proves that precision is key for any process.

Precision Packaging with Captured Knowledge

Smith Induspac’s goal is to provide their customers with the best packaging technology available. That's why they provide a wide range of solutions to suit their customers’ needs. This includes custom-designed boxes, anti-static (ESD) packaging, and multi-material assembled packs.

This level of commitment to their customers requires strong precision in their packaging solutions as well as their processes. Whether custom-built or standard, the boxes need to be the right solution for their customer’s needs.

“What we make is just boxes, but what our customers put inside our boxes is precious to us. [...] I can’t stress this enough, the job is fairly simple and does not need a large amount of training. But we do need all the employees to do the same thing.”

Mario Latendresse - Smith Induspac President and Chief Operating Officer

As Smith Induspac offers extensive packaging solutions, they are a high-mix low-volume manufacturer. With over 1,000 different packaging assemblies, it is paramount that each process is repeated the same way.

If 500 boxes need to be manufactured for one product, there can’t be any differentiation between each box.

Since incorporating standardized digital instructions at each worker station, Smith Induspac has achieved greater process accuracy for their products. As a result, this has improved their quality, productivity, and delivery times. When working at a production table with digital work instructions, their employees follow the same steps and perform the same methods each time.

Visual Instructions, Just Like Lego

Smith Induspac’s initiatives for precision and capturing knowledge with VKS Lite have been incredibly effective. Induspac’s employees gain context from their instructions with the power of strong visuals.

This capability has become a fan favorite for Smith Induspac’s employees on their production tables.

“Our instructions are pretty straight forward. We love using pictures. It’s like building Legos.”

Mario Latendresse - Smith Induspac President and Chief Operating Officer

Legos are an apt example as the assemblies range from simple to quite complex. There is a reason Lego instructions are always shown with pictures. Visual work instructions are a powerful force that anyone can follow.

It is the same with box and packaging assembly. By adopting a visual instruction platform, Smith Induspac has increased their employees’ process comprehension.

Manufacturing boxes requires employees to take a two-dimensional cutout and transform it into a three-dimensional object. For this to be effective, the process knowledge needs to be shared in a visual way. Employees need to assimilate this knowledge in a step-by-step visual format through pictures or videos. Using these tools, the instructions become a lot more straightforward and easy to follow.

On-the-Job Training and Process Ranking

Smith Indupac using VKS

In recent years, Smith Induspac has had to steadily hire new employees due to a high turnover rate. This caused Smith Induspac to rely on their HR department for new workers. But a large influx of new employees causes 2 problems.

With a lack of experienced workers, how do you train each new employee effectively and get them to produce value quickly?

By incorporating visual and easy-to-use instructions, Smith Induspac is able to facilitate on-the-job training. This enables workers to receive training while producing value. And with easy-to-follow visual instructions, process adherence is maintained.

How do you assign the right work orders to the right people with differentiating levels of experience?

Smith Induspac leveraged our work instruction software and created an effective methodology for their new and old employees to produce the most value possible.

Their solution was to break down and rank all of their processes. With a dynamic cross-table factoring in complexity and frequency, Smith Induspac accurately ranks each procedure and guidebook into five categories. Jobs that are frequent and simple receive a ranking of as low as 1 and jobs that are infrequent and more complex receive a ranking as high as 5.

Each instructional guidebook is then assigned to employees based on their experience levels.

New hires get access to guidebooks ranked 1-3. Experienced workers get access to guidebooks ranked 4-5.

Under this method, Smith Induspac’s senior operators focus on the tough and less frequently repeated assemblies. The less experienced operators are empowered to smoothly produce value and receive on-the-job training.

By incorporating an ingenious and well-structured solution, Smith Induspac makes the most out of work instruction software for their operation. Their training plan is especially effective during challenges that affect turnover or the worker skills gap.

“With VKS, the quality of our product is independent of the permanence of our employees.”

Mario Latendresse - Smith Induspac President and Chief Operating Officer

What's Next on the Horizon for Smith Induspac?

Smith Induspac is continuously working for the best standards in customized industrial packaging. And VKS standardized visual instructions bring them one step closer to that goal.

By incorporating innovative tools like our work instruction software, Smith Induspac supplies their workforce with enhanced learning and provides better value for their customers.

In the face of modern Industry 4.0 challenges, Smith Induspac now pursues precision and quality with strengthened vision and handling.

Find out how Nidec is capturing tribal knowledge to experience a 60% reduction in time.

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