Back by popular demand! We published this blog on manufacturing apps just a little over a year ago. Since it has proven to be one of our most popular blogs of all time, we decided to update, expand and republish it.
As you are no doubt aware, technology has entered our home and work lives in numerous ways -- from cars that can parallel park hands-free to numerous iPhone, iPad, and Android apps to keep our children occupied with games and keep us on track with food and fitness. Mobile apps can also be found in manufacturing and companies and programmers have been pretty busy filling this niche to help manufacturers in their everyday work environments.
In fact, Manufacturing Business Technology predicts that manufacturers will increase their use of mobile apps as they “become more accessible, affordable, and functional in meeting growing industry demands for deeper reporting capabilities, continuous operational insight, and customizable alert functionality.” A Forbes article citing PwC's 18th Annual Global CEO Survey indicated that "81% of CEOs see mobile technologies as being strategically important for their enterprises" and that "mobile technologies are revolutionizing manufacturing."
All of the apps below are available to test through free trials or for a nominal fee. Some can even be customized based on your particular company's needs. You can view all of the manufacturing apps created and/or distributed by vendors such as Canvas, iTunes, Snappi, and Odoo by visiting their sites.
The apps outlined below may not fit all manufacturing environments, so make sure you test them first before committing. You may also want to test out the best way for you to utilize the software --using an iPhone or iPad, an Android phone or tablet (or even from your Windows laptop or desktop computer). And, of course, these are just a very small sample of what’s available in the marketplace.
1. Manufacturing 360
Developed by Siemens AG, the Manufacturing 360 app offers an immersive digital manufacturing experience. Use your Apple or Android device to access video demonstrations, user success stories and tips from the experts on topics surrounding assembly and part manufacturing. Through its first class content and engaging online community, Manufacturing 360 is sure to help you compete more effectively with emerging manufacturing technology.
2. American Manufacturing
Staying up to date on the latest industry events is crucial for the sustainability of any organization. American Manufacturing helps you do just that by covering all aspects of manufacturing processes and delivering them straight to your iPhone.
3. 5S Audit Form
Ready to undergo your company’s lean transformation? Great – the 5S Audit Form is here to help. Install this app on your Apple or Android device to access a step-by-step walk-through of the 5S organizing methodology. By having 5S Audit Form handy you can systematically perform audits for ensuring clean, organized and efficient workspaces.
4. 5S-Lean Audit Checklist
By using the 5S-Lean Audit Checklist your operations and plant managers can easily assess the performance of your manufacturing facility. The checklist includes 15 key points that are based on the 5S Lean Management method. Keep your workplace focused on lean thinking by tracking lean tools, lean initiatives, and continuous improvement. This helpful app allows tracking of additional items including safety, material flow, employee engagement and more. If you’re focused on keeping your workplace lean, the 5S-Lean Audit Checklist is worth checking out!
5. Efficiency Energy Audit Checklist
The Efficiency Energy Audit Checklist mobile app was developed to assist facilities in maintaining efficient and cost effective HVAC systems. The app includes checklists that cover the following: Room-by-Room Report, Facility Conservation Program, Internal Checks, External Checks, Facilities Issues, Pre-Holiday Shutdown Procedures and Recommendations/Ideas to help you save energy at your facility.
6. Internal Quality Audit (IQA) Report
Instead of following obsolete auditing procedures filled with paper forms, try using the Internal Quality Audit (IQA) Report mobile app which gives you the ability to track the entire audit process from start to finish from the palm of your hand. This useful app lets you easily compare audit findings to audit policy, allowing for proactive action long before a customer complaint arises. Optimize your internal auditing procedures and give the Internal Quality Audit (IQA) Report a try.
7. ISO 9001: 2015 (FDIS) –Transition Checklist
The ISO 9001: 2015 (FDIS) –Transition Checklist mobile app is ideal for auditors during the transition audit. The data stored in this app is intended to be kept as a formal record from the transition audit as evidence of verification.
8. Food Safety HACCP Basic Compliance Checklist
Complete this Food Safety HAACP Basic Compliance Checklist as a way to self-inspect and monitor the safety of potentially hazardous food from the point of receiving to serving within your facility.
9. HACCP: Receiving Deliveries (Sample SOP)
This valuable app provides a great sample of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to assist in the development of a successful food safety program. It provides insightful information on factors such as purpose, scope, instructions, record keeping and more that are involved in the development of an effective food safety program. The HACCP: Receiving Deliveries (Sample SOP) app is ideal for supporting proper food preparation and handling routines, reducing the occurrence of foodborne illness, identifying risk factors and more.
10. Manufacturing MRP
This production planning, scheduling, and inventory control system is manufacturing reinvented. Manufacturing MRP provides: no more time clocking as you can plan accurately based on real manufacturing times measured on the workcenter control panel; real-time communication which allows you to display worksheets during operations and show alerts to workers based on quality or changes; and shop floor automation by capturing data in real-time from your equipment using the API. The software can be self-hosted, or accessed via the Cloud or from any smart phone or tablet. Manufacturing MRP can be fully integrated with the Purchase, PLM, Maintenance and Quality Apps for an all-in-one manufacturing software solution.
11. Roambi Analytics
Through its elegant user interface the Roambi Analytics app lets iOS users easily visualize, explore and share any dataset. It is the choice for many businesses looking to quickly and effectively track sales, create reports and share reports with their team members.
12. Marketing and Sales Opportunity Assessment Tool
Easily highlight new growth opportunities, outline the campaign efforts needed to support them and identify what segments to target. This app provides input fields such as name, date, opportunity value, activity types, notes and more. If the default fields don’t fit your company’s needs, don’t worry. The Marketing and Sales Opportunity Assessment Tool can be easily customized to fit your specific needs.
13. Warehouse Management and Inspection Mobile App
The Warehouse Management and Inspection mobile app is designed to assist warehouse managers with running a warehouse. It covers inventory management, record keeping, tracking goods, performing inspections, and more. It is a whole management system that will allow you to capture a rich flow of data, increase productivity, lower costs, optimize your supply chain, and improve customer service and satisfaction.
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The examples above are just a small sample of literally hundreds (or thousands) of the many manufacturing apps developers have created to improve manufacturing efficiency. As we look ahead and technology continues to integrate into manufacturing, we’re sure the apps will only continue to advance, simplifying complex tasks and helping us work smarter than ever before.
Interested in more resources to help your company? Check out our blog post: "Free or Inexpensive Online Tools and Resources for Small Manufacturers."