Optimizing production workflows with the Zebra WS50

Zebra Inc. has recently announced the WS50 mobile computing device and WORKERBASE is one of the launch partners supporting the device. The WORKERBASE software fully supports the device in all aspects. Due to its versatile concept it can be used in a wide range of scenarios.

Production worker coordination with Zebra WS50

Up to 20% of frontline worker efficiency is wasted in suboptimal work coordination. Traditional systems fail when it comes to realtime coordination of the deskless workforce, because they rely on static workstations connected to legacy systems or even use paper for worker coordination. This assumes that work is always flowing as planned and disruptions do not occur. Unfortunately this is not the reality on most shopfloors. WORKERBASE allows to efficiently coordinate any kind of worker activity and ensures that each step is flowing seamlessly into the next by dynamically assigning work based on realtime information. The result is a more harmonized flow of work across the whole production process where each worker can use the device most suitable to her. The Zebra WS50 is a very effective device for jobs that are very mobile in their nature. It allows for hands-free operation, which is especially relevant for supervisory or support staff.

Andon with Zebra WS50

Any shopfloor operation can be greatly improved with an ANDON system. The WORKERBASE ANDON system is far superior over legacy installations that use pull ropes or buttons. While traditional system can only trigger an alarm in a binary form (Alarm / No alarm), the WORKERBASE ANDON system allows to freely configure any kind of additional information. Even a minimal installation that only adds one additional layer of information onto each alarm being generated can already remove all support staff’s roundtrips. Instead of installing buttons or ropes, WORKERBASE uses digital devices like tablets, smartphones or static workstations like industrial PCs. The Zebra WS50 Smartwatch is an ideal device for the highly mobile support staff that services the production workers. The frontline workers will use their tablet to navigate a simple hierarchy of buttons stating the nature of their problem as well as any useful additional information which allows the WORKERBASE system to correctly assing the support job to the best possible person. This cuts staff’s walking time in half and reduces issue resolution time by up to 48%. The ANDON system by WORKERBASE is completely configurable to customer’s needs both in terms of issue reporting and issue resolution.

Machine alarms with Zebra WS50

Using wearable devices such as the Zebra WS50 Smartwatch or the WORKERBASE Smartwatches WB-3301 and WB-3501 for machine operators greatly improves staff effectiveness and efficiency. The WORKERBASE system receives any kind of notification or error messages from the machine park and allows to freely configure business rules on how to resolve these issues. Alerts are generated for users with the right skill, availability and location and the WORKERBASE system ensures any disruptions are handled in the shortest possible time. Every machine alarm is converted into a task and the system takes care of any reminding, delegation and escalation - again in a freely configurable manner. The Zebra WS50 Smartwatch becomes the ideal device to alert users and ensure messages are paid attention to. Customers have reported that they see up to 5% OEE increase by managaing their machine alarms with a Smartwatch. 

Material management with Zebra WS50

Managing material at station can be a cumbersome task when workers are not correctly reporting missing quantities or defect parts. The first part of a durable solution is to install a context aware ANDON system that tracks what material is used at a workstation and allows assembly staff to report any problems. Unfortunately, in many cases installing such a system on a static workstation does not allow workers to efficiently use the system since they may be performing their work far away from the workstation or the tact time does not allow them to issue requests in time since the walking and operation time is too long. In these scenarios the Zebra WS50 Smartwatch and the WORKERBASE WB-3501 Smartwatch are the perfect companions for the workers. By having them worn at the wrist and giving the workers to still work hands-free, they allow for non-interrupting interaction with the material management system. Therefore workers adopt the device at a much higher rate than static solutions and data quality greatly improves. WORKERBASE customers have been able to reduce the amount of belt stops in assembly by up to 11%.

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Remote control for manufacturing operations

In any shopfloor operation, there will always be content that is just not suitable for a Smartwatch or even a Smartphone. For these scenarios, WORKERBASE has introduced COMPANION SCREENS(SM). They allow workers to easily pair a small mobile devices like she Zebra WS50 Smartwatch or WORKERBASE WB-3301 and WORKERBASE WB-3501 Smartwatch with a bigger screen such as an industrial PC or even a 65” ceiling mounted screen. Workers then get a simplified user interface on their Zebra WS50 Smartwatch that allows them to remote control content on the big screen. Commonly their wearable device will show simple text instruction while the big screen can show construction plans or 3D images. All activities are kept in sync by the WORKERBASE system and the work context of the frontline worker is available on all devices simultaneously.

As the pioneer of industrial Smartwatches with having launched the world’s first Smartwatch with an integrated barcode scanner, the WB-3301 Smartwatch, in 2017, WORKERBASE is a strong supporter of the Zebra WS50 wearable computer and fully supports the device with all aspects of the WORKERBASE system.

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