The Best Approach to Using a Low-Code Platform to Develop Manufacturing Apps
Introduction to low-code application platforms in Manufacturing
To achieve manufacturing excellence, every production site strives for continual improvement. The basic concept underlying continuous improvement in manufacturing is to enlist the help of current employees to solve issues. When you question front-line operators on the shop floor about their concerns, they can usually mention a long list of issues and give comprehensive suggestions as solutions. Such solutions require the usage of software-based technologies in today’s production department. As a result, the design of such solutions frequently necessitates the participation of IT specialists, resulting in bottlenecks in the deployment of new IT-based solutions.
Low-code application platforms are useful in this situation. The goal of low-code platforms is to enable the quick development of software apps without having to write code manually. As a result, such platforms enable front-line workers to develop solutions to their problems without knowing how to code. Domain specialists, on the other hand, can quickly develop bespoke apps to tackle their specific challenges.
Low-code app platforms help manufacturing professionals develop flexible and efficient applications for various device types, including smartphones, tablets, and workplace browser apps. This guarantees that manufacturers make the most of their domain expertise and that the employees on the production floor regain control.
Why use low-code application platforms for manufacturing?
A low-code application development platform (LCDP) is a platform that gives an easy-to-use support for building software applications without having to write hand-written code. Pre-defined software function blocks, on the other hand, may be customized using a graphical user interface, which frequently includes drag-and-drop components. The software function blocks may be joined to build bigger programs using the graphical user interface. Event-based triggers and if-this-then-that logic are used in many systems to execute business logic and track application interface when the end-user interacts with the apps.
Low-code development platforms shorten the time it takes to build apps and speed up the delivery of commercial apps. As a result, a broader spectrum of people, particularly those with extensive understanding of the business area, may participate in the development of apps. For example, industrial engineers may utilize low-code application platforms to build apps for improving shop floor operations in a relatively short period for applications in manufacturing.
In the manufacturing industry, there are a number of low-code applications:
#1 Shopfloor Management
- Checklists for safety: Ensure that all employees adhere to safe work procedures, such as a COVID-19 health plan and 5S/6S checks.
- Protocols for handover: To ensure that shift handovers are completed in a thorough manner so that workers have all of the information they require to do their duties.
- Submissions for continuous improvement: To allow workers to submit improvement suggestions in defined formats. Projects can be assigned to your staff depending on a variety of factors such as workgroups, area, and skill sets. Employees can only see apps that they have permission to use. It’s also possible to have skills develop automatically based on process progress or degrees of virtual training.
- Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are used to establish standard work and ensure that normal activities are completed on schedule and with precision, such as equipment control, machine setups, and Gemba walks.
- Tools for requesting assistance, reducing machine downtime, and increasing productivity.
How can a low-code platform be used to develop a manufacturing app?
Manufacturers can use digital checklist software to convert paper forms into digital versions. Manufacturers who invest in automated shop floor management have limitless opportunities to improve manufacturing quality. One method for ensuring quality for recurring jobs and collecting data for continuous improvement strategies is to use digital checklists.
For instance, a low-code platform like Kissflow low-code enables the creation of industrial apps without the need to write software code. Moving away from paper-based data collecting and delivering innovative digital workflows for data collection is critical, especially for manual and human-driven work procedures. A digital checklist may be created in a web browser and instantly distributed on a smartphone, tablet, or wristwatch using the Kissflow AppBuilder. All data obtained through the checklists is automatically saved in the system, where it may be evaluated for improvements or forwarded to other systems. We’ll take the following steps in this example:
Step 1: Create a checklist in a browser
You can build your application checklists in the web browser using a drag-and-drop interface in the Kissflow Low-Code application environment. To start off with the checklist app, you may select from a variety of predefined function blocks. Let’s assume your checklist entails the option to cross items off a list, as well as the option for your user to snap a photo and look up a value in a Pdf file.
You may pick from a range of various screen blocks and combine the needed functionality using the graphical user interface. The Kissflow system includes standard data input features including confirmation boxes, text comments, numerical value checks, and multi-checks, among others. You may add picture, audio, or video recording to the data input, as well as capabilities to display information like text, image, video, PDF, and more. You may mix and match all of the functionalities to create your own bespoke app process.
Step 2: Create a business rule that enables the checklist to be started by scanning a QR code
There are several ways to get started with an app using the Kissflow Low-code framework. Apps launched via a smart device’s app icon – This behaviour is remarkably similar to that of traditional smartphone apps. When the user taps the app icon, the app launches. Kissflow Low-code apps enable circumstances in which processes started by one worker are moved on to another.
For example, one worker launches a checklist app on his digital watch, fills in all data, and then passes the workflow to a coworker’s wristwatch for confirmation. In this case, the coworker does not need to launch the app personally; instead, they will be immediately notified of the job approval.
Step 3: Create a business rule that is activated when the checklist is completed and stores the information in the database
Customized rules may be set in the Kissflow Low-Code system to describe what action should be taken after an app process is completed. These programs are written in an if-then format and can include any type of information, such as the user, the time, the collected value, or the workflow state.
The respective business logic may be defined by mixing different circumstances. For example, if a given value is picked, a checklist may be set to automatically submit its data to an ERP system, or the data can be sent through email, or a specific user group should be informed if a checklist value does not satisfy a set criterion, and so on.
What are the advantages of low-code platforms in the manufacturing industry?
Manufacturers are entrusting app development to their domain specialists in manufacturing technologies. Low-code makes it easier for the team to integrate OT (Operational Technology) and IT workflows, improve manufacturing automation, and assist field operations teams. Low-code is being used by businesses to overcome the programming gap and speed up application development.
Low-code application systems have several advantages including lower costs and shorter development cycles. The other advantages include:
- Reduced training expenses for inexperienced developers
- New application deployment times are cut in half
- The ability to iterate and improve more quickly
- Costs for testing and maintaining apps are lower
- Better IT resource allocation
A continuously changing economy necessitates rapid adaptation by producers. The pace of business is quickening, and the complexity of manufacturing is growing as a result of changing consumer demands. As a result, development and product life cycles are shorter. The need for customized business apps is growing in response to the increasingly difficult market circumstances. Front-line operators may quickly construct apps to satisfy this demand using low-code application development platforms.
You should start using manufacturing software to run your firm right now if you haven’t already. You may adapt the process to your unique circumstances by choosing a lightweight and versatile workflow software.
Try Kissflow Low-Code – a simple platform to create complex workflow apps with minimal code. Kissflow Low-Code can give you a powerful automation experience if you’re ready to take your business to the next level. Here’s how:
- It’s a cloud-based, low code platform that doesn’t need a lot of IT help to set up. Developing and automating manufacturing business will be a snap with an easy visual designer and drag-and-drop form builder.
- Kissflow Low-Code allows producers to track orders, and the ability to link operations with ERP and MDM systems makes it even better. Before making an order, manufacturers might go through their inventory to make selections. Kissflow is a great option since it allows them to collect data while also allowing them to collaborate. Manufacturers have a clear understanding of where each process stands when process reports are made available. It is based on their organization’s capacity to continually innovate and develop.
Want to get started right away? Here you go.