Example Operations Applications

We’ve written some short outlines to illustrate different ways that a video operations system might generate value. We will add more examples as we develop them. From our investigations and experience, this list of scenarios is the small tip of a very big iceberg. The common element for these scenarios is that they can be implemented with video from a  permanent operations video system like the ones we are proposing. You don’t have to drag cameras out of your desk.

Analyzing Dispersed Operations
– e.g., Shift Changes
Watch as entire shift changes unfold. Not just once, but again and again. Break down the actions and note times and issues. Look for bottlenecks and areas of high variation.
Rapid authoring of SOPs and Work InstructionsPull video from the server record and use it as the basis for writing SOPs. Instead of rehearsing or staging production activities, pull examples of your best workers and write-up what they do. You may want to extract key video segments and incorporate those into the published SOP.
Collecting Teachable MomentsIssues and problems happen from time to time. It’s hard to prepare the workforce to handle them because they are often hard (or undesirable) to replicate. Pull video clips of the real event from the recorded history and use it in training or Kaizen to help train your staff to respond correctly.
Studying Machine OperationYou have production equipment with important actions and processes. The actions aren’t really hidden, but they aren’t easy to see.These actions occasionally fail or behave strangely but no one is ever there to see it happen. If someone had been watching, they might have picked up valuable clues.
Remote Technical  SupportAs production equipment becomes more sophisticated (Industry 4.0?), maintenance and support demands increasingly specialized and skilled personnel that few production facilities can afford to keep on staff. That means that when something fails, you will have to bring in outside expertise. Having a permanent operations videos system could cut down on the number of expensive site visits and ensure that the technician has all of the right equipment when they do come.
Studying Intermittent ProblemsSome problems happen intermittently or occasionally. Those are very hard to solve because they are often unseen. A continuous video record can make it much easier to find them, analyze them and correct them.
Visualizing Process VariationEvery production expert since Deming has agreed that process variation is a critical variable in production efficiency. Yet, the phenomenon is hard to explain to many of the front-line workers that you need to engage in the fight to reduce it. Video offers some interesting new ways to make process variation visible and understandable to anyone.
Remote KaizenIn multi-facility companies, there is a variation of Murphy’s Law. Whenever a problem occurs, the company expert is probably somewhere else. For companies that have adopted some form of Kaizen problem-solving, that can be a problem. It will be less of a problem if the remote experts and stakeholders can pull up multiple video views of the problem and review them in collaboration with on-site staff.