Using Low-Code/No-Code Systems for Manufacturing Quality

Image courtesy of Aleksei Gorodenkov / Alamy Stock Photo Low-Code-No-Code2D8HH30.jpg
These do-it-yourself low-code/no-code tools enable quality control teams to craft, test, and publish their manufacturing apps within days.

At its simplest, manufacturing quality involves conforming to specifications and leveraging design quality to create the highest possible standard. With production workers more reliant on mobile technologies and expecting more from task-focused software, companies are modernizing quality systems to better serve workers. Low-code/no-code software enables quality teams to produce their own quality control apps that can leverage mobile technologies.

How do these software solutions allow non-developers to build effective quality apps? Successful models can show us how low/no-code systems can be utilized with great results within the manufacturing industry. 

Low-Code/No-Code Systems in Quality Control 

Quality control focuses on the best production practices for creating high-quality products and services. Quality control involves the testing or review of various units and determining whether they meet specification requirements. Testing can determine whether products fall within proper parameters and dictate whether corrective actions are required to the product or to other parts of the manufacturing process. Companies rely on the quality control process to meet customer expectations. 

The quality control function establishes a culture where employees and management strive for excellence on a daily basis. These teams adopt best practices for product quality and establish well-defined controls while complying with industrial standards. 

When used for quality control, low-code and no-code quality manufacturing software can be transformational because they can digitize manual or paper processes within quality control. Digitizing this process can: 

 

  • Collect better, richer production data
  • Improve production data analysis and insight
  • Set higher quality standards, while improving manufacturing processes
  • Save valuable time for workers.

 

Both low-code and no-code systems are do-it-yourself tools that allow for quick creation and implementation of new solutions. This technology allows quality control teams to craft, test, and publish their apps within days. Inspectors can collect inspection, supplier, or audit information on the production lines and managers can visualize the data in graphs or charts with one push of a button. Workers can access videos or manuals on their mobile devices, get useful instructions on settings, or set parameters to speed their work on the production line. These mobile apps can even guide these workers through protocols, maintenance repairs, inspection processes, or non-conformance reporting right where the information is needed at a workstation or piece of equipment. In addition, collecting data using low-code apps enables military equipment, chemical, or medical device manufacturers to quickly aggregate and prepare data for audits, certifications, or other industry standards. 

Low-code technology uses a more visual approach to application development, optimizing the development process and speeding delivery time. Users can create custom apps with very minimal coding, depending on the sophistication of the app. 

No-code technology, on the other hand, gives non-technical teams an ideal solution to counter a lack of skilled software developers. Quality control and operations teams can use intuitive app makers or drag-and-drop tools that don’t require any coding to successfully build and publish quality control apps. Quality teams can build their own apps to speed work, rather than waiting for IT to build solutions or having to learn code themselves. 

No-code and low-code quality management software is future-proof, because of its adaptability. Managers can quickly and easily update these apps to respond to changing requirements, processes, or regulations.

Low-Code/No-Code Software Adds Flexibility to MES 

While important and used in many companies, a manufacturing execution system (MES) is not a one-size-fits-all system. The requirements of plants and manufacturing environments constantly differ, with needs varying even at different plants operated by one manufacturer. As a result, the MES must be customizable yet adhere to the most rigid environments and standards to serve its purpose. 

Low-code/no-code software can bridge gaps between the rigidity of an MES and the changing demands of manufacturing lines. End-user requirements and expectations constantly evolve as the supply fluctuates, specifications change, and more. Low-code apps can eradicate inflexibility, especially with a newer MES system. These apps can add an IoT platform for improved analytics and data capture from sensors, enrich user experiences with UX/UI applications, and provide improved worker guidance. 

At the same time, manufacturing workers are used to smartphone apps and expect better user experiences from their business tools. Task-based, personalized software is a must-have for employees. Apps created with flexible low-code and no-code software produced by experienced quality control leaders can directly serve these savvy workers in their context, while providing additional quality oversight on the manufacturing floor. 

Using Cellular IoT to Facilitate Smarter Manufacturing Processes

Amid the fourth industrial revolution, secure and reliable collaboration between MES, production line machinery, and engineering teams is now possible. With real-time data used to reflect machine output and speed up production processes, manufacturing environments can enjoy more productivity and visibility. Additionally, real-time data preempts maintenance requirements that previously caused costly downtime. 

However, the data comes with its share of complexities. Evolving engineering and equipment requirements further complicate the ability to capture data adequately and then subsequently make it easily available to all the people and machines that need it for various purposes. 

Low/no-code software creates horizontal and vertical integration opportunities for manufacturing businesses. With the information already existing throughout the supply chain and across internal systems, low-code/no-code systems allow manufacturers to connect the information, providing more transparency and clarity using powerful analytics. 

Faster Automation, More Agility 

Another benefit of using low-code and no-code software is digitizing manufacturing environments and making processes less complex, using robotic process automation and IoT to facilitate digitization. Low-code and no-code platforms ensure that engineers don’t struggle with complex coding or connecting to data sources, instead helping them to focus on creating solutions to solve real problems or digitize routine processes.

By leveraging smart factory sensors, manufacturers can even integrate these apps with their equipment or data collection devices. Apps created with low-code/no-code platforms can automatically collect and log data relating to: 

 

  • Temperature 
  • Light switching 
  • Meters 
  • Lights 
  • Vibration 

 

Sophisticated low-code and no-code software make it easy to connect to sensors that capture equipment and manufacturing data. The smart sensors collect richer data instantly, helping engineers and production line specialists gain increased insight into equipment performance. Also, the sensors effortlessly alert workers when equipment or metrics fall out of accepted parameters, thus making everyone’s job easier. 

Adopting Low-Code/No-Code Software Creates Leaner Engineering Teams 

Whenever engineers can better utilize production data, they are in a better position to understand quality challenges and respond with solutions immediately. Being able to conceive, create, and capitalize on their own manufacturing applications facilitates this process. With no-code technology, quality teams don’t need experienced development teams or outsourced help. Instead, they can build the solutions they need themselves to create a more robust quality management system.

Using low-code and no-code software solutions makes manufacturing teams more informed and companies more competitive. Statistics show how much faster and more affordable using low-code/no-code platforms can be, and the above benefits make this software a must-have throughout manufacturing quality. 

With low-code and no-code platforms, manufacturing entities benefit from having a lean internal team that provides accurate data, valuable data insights, and high-quality products. Faster software setup and lean alternatives to owning software and footing development costs make a big difference for manufacturing quality teams. These innovative solutions allow them to finally digitize all their quality data and analysis. Quality leaders must leverage this technology to ensure optimal production and ensure their employers are adaptable to different situations.

TAGS: Automation
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