Connecting front-line workers to the digital factory

Sept. 11, 2023
Many smart manufacturing initiatives focus on data, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) or automation, but people can get left out of the equation. Smart Industry spoke to executives with Augmentir about how to ensure workers are part of the discussion.

Regardless of technology, one of the best ways to improve operations is the tap into the collective expertise of the people actually doing the work. Whether you're talking the Toyota Way, Six Sigma, variations on lean or theory of constraints, working with people to collect best practice information is a bedrock principle of many modern manufacturing management philosophies.

And, argues Chris Kuntz, it's an area where technology providers haven't had many solutions. The vice president of strategic operations at software provider Augmentir says the right systems can empower workers by simplifying issue reporting, adding employee feedback to digital twins of operations and by tracking how well people are performing tasks.

Kuntz recently spoke with Smart Industry's Robert Schoenberger about what role technology can play in easing workforce shortage challenges, improving worker training and capturing decades of tribal knowledge from highly skilled people who may be approaching retirement. 

About the Author

Robert Schoenberger | Editor-in-Chief



Twitter: @Rschoenb 

Bio: Robert Schoenberger has been writing about manufacturing technology in one form or another since the late 1990s. He began his career in newspapers in South Texas and has worked for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi; The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky; and The Plain Dealer in Cleveland where he spent more than six years as the automotive reporter. In 2013, he launched Today's Motor Vehicles, a magazine focusing on design and manufacturing topics within the automotive and commercial truck worlds. He joined IndustryWeek in late 2021 and took on responsibility for Smart Industry in 2023.

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