Case study: ProPhotonix

ProPhotonix saves significant administrative time by implementing AssemblyX paperless work instruction software

 “The simplicity of AssemblyX is brilliant and great customer service.”

Previously using a laborious work instructions process, LED and laser manufacturer ProPhotonix moved to AssemblyX, to find they saved 20 minutes a day on administrative tasks alone.

Manual work instruction complexity

ProPhotonix manufacturers optimum LED or laser solutions for global customers across a variety of sectors – industrial, medical, and scientific equipment manufacturers. Headquartered in Boston, US the firm has two manufacturing subsidiaries in Cork, Ireland and Stansted, UK.

The company previously used Microsoft Office to create and track all work documents. “We used Excel as a control system, which contained a list of all the work instructions with a hyperlink to each instruction,” explained Zita Jeske, Quality assurance engineer, ProPhotonix.

“Often users were uncomfortable and apprehensive about using Excel. And, updating all these documents was a very manual process – it took a significant amount of time.”

“Version control was challenging because when network connectivity to the server was lost, a local version was saved to the user’s desktop. This meant it was disconnected to the central document, so extra steps had to be taken to ensure workers were always using the latest work instructions.”

ProPhotonix locked down all work instructions to be read-only, but occasionally workers navigated around this and changed links or made notes, which meant it was not consistent with the original. “Ensuring compliance was a laborious task. Version control and history of the document was difficult to manage. If a change was required, we often had to hunt down any paper documents, finding them on people’s desks,” commented Gary Cunningham, NPI Lead,Prophotonix.

Paper-free, digital environment

The goal for ProPhotonix was to continue to reduce paper from its operations. Although using a digital-based system, many users printed out instructions. Gary explained: “we wanted to ensure that we had robust systems, so we did not make mistakes. Part of this was removing the paper lingering in files that were no longer applicable.

“We looked at a number of solutions and settled on AssemblyX because of its usability and cost. Some of the systems on the market are incredibly expensive and overly complicated.”

AssemblyX is now in use on a couple of ProPhotonix product lines and they intend to roll it out across all operations. Senior management havebought into the system, as they can see the impact it is making across the business.

“The digital screens save time and energy, engineering time is reduced, and the system ensures that the right document is being used. In AssemblyX, documents cannot be altered, and the user interface is much easier, improving efficiencies,” said Gary.

Controlled compliance and creation

AssemblyX has helped ProPhotonix tackle quality challenges, ensuring that old documents are not used, and all work instructions are accessed from one single location. Trackable version control has significantly reduced man-hoursfocused on administration tasks.

“20 minutes per day has been saved in administration – copy/pasting, tracking documents, getting sign off…AssemblyX has enabled us to create work instruction documentation much more quickly.”

“The work instructions can be standardizedfor certain process, so things like health and safety are automatically populated. The system only allows you to input one point per step, so it is concise and clear,” added Zita.

“Yet from a compliance perspective,the biggest benefit is control, control, control…”

ProPhotonix staff have provided good feedback on the new system and find it easy-to-use. “We are excited by the modules coming up in AssemblyX digital for manufacturingexecution and we are looking forward to growing together,” finally added Gary.


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