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Since the introduction of Industry 4.0 over the past decade, Canadian SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) have seen an incredible boost in advanced technologies. With more powerful machines and stronger materials, modern manufacturing has elevated the potential of the Canadian manufacturing industry and market. But as the industry becomes more complex and diversified, what is the next step towards the ever-evolving goal of modern manufacturing? Hardware can only take us so far, leading many to invest in cyber-physical systems that make their operations smarter. Digital work instructions present the next phase in smart manufacturing.

VKS Helps Schneider Electric Dinel Eliminate Paper Work Instructions. Before VKS, sensor specialist Schneider Electric Dinel, used paper instructions containing a lot of text, some drawings, and no photos. Schneider Electric’s Dinel digital transformation is being made simpler by VKS Enterprise. Through features like VKS’ API and real-time data collection, the team is able to gather and leverage in-depth manufacturing insight. Digital work instructions allow employees to work better, more efficiently, and to waste less valuable production time.

The importance of standardization within manufacturing cannot be overstated. The manufacturing industry no longer is in a time when only a few products are available, and this expectation of product differentiation is not going anywhere soon. To remain competitive and meet contemporary expectations, manufacturing operations need to work smarter. Think visually with Digital Work Instructions and overcome the modern manufacturing challenges! Read how in the Canadian Metalworking August issue.

Have a listen to The Robot Industry Podcast where the host - Jim Beretta interviews our Director of Sales, Kyle O'Reilly about high-mix contract manufacturing. They discuss best processes, quality issues and solutions, productivity tracking, training and managing the workforce, and other essential factors directly affecting a manufacturing shop's competitiveness.

Metal News Asia's goal is to create a community where metalworking professionals can develop, generate, and sustain ideas that lead to the attainment of a smoother, more responsive, and less unstable environment. In this 2020 August issue, Jürgen Kohler, Business Development Manager - EU at VKS explains the advantages and benefits of digitised work instructions and checklists.

IMTS Spark: Visual Knowledge Share (VKS) offers work instruction software designed to enable shops to become more lean and ready for Industry 4.0.

Transitioning to digital work instructions is about much more than simply going paperless. Gone are the days of missing pages, coffee-smudged instructions, and that one rogue outdated assembly process that keeps turning up every so often. Welcome to the age of digital work instructions. In addition to saving trees and reducing paper cuts, they can be an invaluable asset when it comes to streamlining and optimizing every step of your manufacturing process.

Getting an unskilled workforce quickly up and running is one of the biggest obstacles to driving wasted time and effort out of high-mix, low-volume (HMLV) manufacturing and assembly. To reach his zero-defect goal, President and CEO Steve Zimmerman realized his company would have to make it virtually foolproof for any employee to follow instructions for any job that might enter their workstation.

Canadian Fabricating & Welding is Canada's only national, monthly magazine dedicated to complete coverage of the metal forming and fabricating industry. Our topnotch editorial covers a wide range of topics, including bending, forming, cutting, fabricating, tube and pipe, and welding.

Specialized in the manufacture of complex metallic casings, CMP Advanced Metallic Solutions in Chateauguay is recognized as a model of a smart factory. For the president and chief executive officer of the enterprise, Steve Zimmermann, the 4.0 turnabout is leading on the road to success.

Visual Knowledge Share Ltd. (VKS) produces a multilingual, web-based application for securely creating and sharing digital work insructions. The solution also has the ability to capture process quality and productivity data, while seamlessly connecting with related software, machines and tools such as wireless calipers from Mahr Inc. for smart factory integration.

In 2012, CMP Advanced Mechanical Solutions, a leader in the design and manufacture of sheet metal enclosures, mechanical assemblies, and machined systems, burst onto the Industry 4.0 scene with its avant-garde use of the visual work instruction software VKS. This software allowed the company to create detailed digital guidebooks aimed at training and guiding shop floor operators.

Being a competitive player in the aerospace and defense industry is no small feat. In an industry in which you need to be accountable for every piece of an assembly, meeting customer expectations and requirements can be daunting tasks.

VKS’s article on the value of the software to shop-floor workers was published in the May 2018 edition of Smart Manufacturing. Learn about the benefits digital work instructions provide to quality, productivity, and efficiency. The article also discusses the direction VKS intends to go with regards to Industry 4.0. To read the full article.

Operating in a high-mix, low-volume environment, effectively navigating the manufacturing process can be complex and difficult. But there are reliable solutions to help steer manufacturers toward the most efficient processes. One of these is the company Visual Knowledge Share (VKS). According to electronics contract manufacturer Scott Electronics, VKS is its "manufacturing GPS."

It’s hardware insertion. What could go wrong? The odds of a major screw-up are small if the job isn’t complicated. Asking a person to insert one type of fastener into two holes normally is not a threat to disrupt production.

Picking up where we left of in part 1 of our discussion on “Industry 4.0“, it is important to address the role that people will play in Smart Factory manufacturing processes. Despite common misconceptions, people will continue to play a critical (albeit different) role.

“Revolutions” typically denote powerful social movements where existing processes and forms of leadership are replaced in favor of something more desirable. Revolutions mean change – and oftentimes, change brings with it challenges, risk and sacrifice. But change also paves the way for an exciting new future.

Designed as a module-based software, VKS from Visual Knowledge Share Ltd. helps companies create and share visual work instructions, while having an easy to use tool to capture in-process quality and productivity data.

Check out this months special section in FABshop Magazine on paperless solutions featuring VKS.

VKS is proud to have been published in October's issue of The Fabricator, the offical magazine of Fabtec.

VKS’s article “Visual Work Instructions: GPS of Manufacturing” was published in the September 2017 edition of U.S. Tech. Scott Electronics implemented VKS across their facility and helped them standardize their best practices, leading them to compare using digital work instructions to GPS. To read the full article.

Throughout human history, we’ve experienced technological advancements that pushed the boundaries of the possible. So far we’ve been able to visit the moon, transplant artificial organs to human beings, invent the internet… Though change might look frightening at first sight, it is essential, from a business standpoint, to embrace it and see it as an opportunity for improvement.

More manufacturers are using electronic work instructions, such as VKS, to improve productivity and streamline their operations. In this podcast, Alan Rooks, Editor in Chief of Manufacturing Engineering magazine, talks with Shannon Bennett, Implementation & Sales Engineer at Visual Knowledge Share Ltd., about the need for electronic work instructions in manufacturing, the development of VKS, the types of manufacturers that use it and the benefits those manufacturers see in their operations.

Visual Knowledge Share (VKS) is a touchscreen-based operator visual aid installed at a workstation. As a part arrives at an operator’s station, the worker scans the part’s bar code, and work instructions, which include text, video, and part drawings, appear on the screen.

There’s trouble on the horizon for U.S. manufacturing. According to a 2015 Deloitte study, 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled in the next decade. That should be great news, but a lack of appropriately skilled workers means that 2 million of those jobs could remain unfulfilled.

Sometimes, a new supplier of assembly technology is created by an OEM when it can’t seem to find existing technology to meet its needs.

About 50 Quebec manufacturers converged on the CMP company in Chateauguay, which had been presented to them as a model « smart » factory on Tuesday, September 20.

Every noteworthy quality improvement methodology calls for observation, analysis, planning, measuring, and reviewing work processes to get better results than achieved previously. For any of this to be successful, manufacturers need to document work instructions, corrections, and goals.

VKS will demonstrate its web browser-based visual work instruction system that is designed to empower employees and provide them with the correct tools and instructions they need to be successful.

Thick packets of work instructions, job travelers, tooling lists and part drawings are a common sight in most shops. Everyone from the receptionist to the head engineer participates in printing this small forest’s worth of paper, while operators and quality control people struggle to make heads and tails of it all. Then along comes an engineering revision or customer change request and everyone runs around like chickens with their heads cut off, swapping paperwork and redlining drawings. There has to be a better way.

Your best and most experienced people on the manufacturing floor make an art of their work, but are sometimes reluctant to change. Your least experienced and/or most timid people avoid asking anything twice, so they wade through documentation and search for answers.

Every shop uses some sort of work instuctions method, but the majority of the time it is not ideal. Now there is a new way to easily create and share work instuctions, standardize best processes, reduce errors, increase efficiency, and most importantly, satisfy customers.

In the past few years, we have started to see the proliferation of systems that help machine operators better understand what they are working on through visual representations – for instance, several fabricating companies now have controls that allow you to see what you are bending on-screen as you bend a part.

Several years before Clearpath Robotics’ founders were named to Business Insider’s “People to Watch in 2015” list, Matthew Rendall, Ryan Gariepy and Bryan Webb were University of Waterloo mechatronics engineering students.

“The operator’s station, whether it was machining, welding, bending, or assembly was always full of part drawings and instructions,” explained Engineering Manager Marco Guzman. “They would constantly be flipping pages while working to make sure they were at the right step in the process and that the quality was where we needed it to be.”

Tabletop robots, error-proof fastening tools and a manufacturing app for the Google Glass were among the myriad new technologies that dazzled manufacturing engineers and managers attending the second annual ASSEMBLY Show.

After only 10 minutes of walking The ASSEMBLY Show floor on opening day [October 29], I no longer felt the chill of a cold October morning in Chicagoland. The reason was not that the show floor hall was warm. Rather it was that my thoughts had turned to Jamaica after coming across the Jamaica Promotions Corp. (JAMPRO) booth.

This is MP&P’s second year celebrating the best and brightest up-and-comers in Canada’s metalworking industry with our Top 20 Under 40 honours. This year, we received entries from right across the country. Honourees include business owners, apprentice machinists, welders, fabricating specialists, and researchers — among others. All of the people included here have a broad skill set and a commitment to making this industry the best that it can be.

Going paperless on the production line has never been easier. A variety of systems are available that allow manufacturers to use visual work instructions to boost productivity and improve quality.

About three years ago, CMP realized that it had the development muscle and the information technology architecture to begin working on software that would allow it to share work instructions with its shop floor via computers. Since then the virtual work instructions have moved beyond simply replicating word directions to now including pictures and video. The job details, called up when an employee scans a bar code, are delivered over the Internet.

In its most basic form, Visual Knowledge Share is a computer touchscreen and bar code scanner installed at a workstation. As a part for processing arrives at the station, an employee scans the attached barcode and instructions for the work— including text, video, and schematics— pop up on the screen.

Chateauguay, Que.-based CMP Advanced Mechanical Solutions manufactures aluminum, steel, and stainless steel enclosures. The privately-held company expects revenue of $70-million for the next 12 months. Mr. Zimmermann won’t say whether this is an improvement from last year.

Enclosure manufacturer CMP developed its VKS software to reduce defects and now it’s available to other manufacturers.

VKS was officially launched in May at the American Society of Quality Conference in Indianapolis.

Ever wondered what visual work instructions are? Do you spend your company’s time and money training new employees over and over again to make the same product? RAB Lighting, a leading LED lighting manufacturer, has benefitted significantly by using VKS. In this article, RAB explains how it implemented VKS and what the #1 work instruction solution in the market has been doing to sustain RAB’s lean processes.

What is VKS, and how did it get started? Visual Knowledge Share (VKS) is a cloud-based software company that was commercialized three years ago. The software VKS was created about five years ago by a sheet metal fabrication company that wanted to streamline the manufacture of its high-mix, low-volume parts.

Today's most sophisticated instructional program for industry, Visual Knowledge Share (VKS), approaches the complex manufacturing floor as a body of knowledge, and utilizes audio/video, work-synchronized screen presentations, cell-to-cell documention, traceability and productivity tools, all as part of an information-sharing and production-enhancing environment of teaching, learning, and doing.

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