Production Control

Paperlessness and IoT accelerated by corona pandemic


Paperless system to minimize physical contact between staff members

I have argued in our blog and at regular seminars in industrial parks that paperlessness is the first thing Japanese companies in Indonesia need to do to improve their business.

However, due to the spread of the new coronavirus, the paperless system became a matter that should be treated as an urgent issue.

Paperless is something that's been talked about for more than 20 years now, but if it's just for "improving business efficiency and saving paper," it's often just a matter of "we don't have the budget, so another time.
The corona pandemic was more of a powerful push against paperlessness than "if you don't lower your chances of physical contact to prevent infection, you're in trouble".

In order to hand production instructions and daily production reports to the person in charge, it is necessary to physically approach the other person's seat. However, if a cluster due to droplet or contact infection occurs in the factory, the line may be shut down and in the worst case, operations may be suspended.

At present, most of the new coronavirus cluster infections in Indonesia are nosocomial infections during mass prayers at mosques and other religious institutions and in hospitals, but even though mudik (returning home) is prohibited along with the PSBB (Large Scale Social Restriction), there are likely to be at least a few opportunities for contact with relatives and acquaintances, so the fear of infection spreading when the plant resumes operations after the Levaran holiday has ended has not been wiped away.

IoT to minimize indirect contact through things like paper and PCs

Even if physical contact with the other party is minimized in a factory, it is said that the coronavirus attached to things such as paper and iron can survive for several hours, and if the virus is attached to paper or a shared PC touched by others, the risk of indirect contact infection remains.

Specifically, the collection of production results for inventory management on the production management system automatically links information from machine counters through sequencers, and the operation management of machines, which were previously managed outside the production management system, falls under the promotion of IoT by attaching IoT gateways and sensors to Patlite (Andon) to acquire operating hours and stop times.

However, due to the decrease in production and sales caused by the Corona pandemic, it is likely that the first area to be reduced in the next fiscal year's budget will be the IT investment field. Therefore, even if the budget for IoT investment does not come down, the risk of indirect contact infections can be suppressed just by introducing a mechanism for inputting information on an individual's Android smartphone, if the goal is to specialize in reducing opportunities for indirect contact through objects.

In the future, the trend toward manufacturing operations management (MOM) that integrates, automates, and unmanned a series of production processes, including production planning, scheduling, manufacturing management, man-hour management, quality management, and operation management, is likely to attract more and more attention, both for improving production efficiency and for reducing the risk of virus infection.