What Are Visual Work Instructions?
The Visual Work Instructions (VWI) at Piedmont CMG are a management system for ensuring that we meet or exceed all of our customers’ expectations. It is a collection of information and documentation from our customers on specifications, tolerances, clarity, dimensions, and many other attributes that are essential to producing a quality, repeatable, contract-manufactured product. This system has been developed and mastered through years of internal ingenuity and continual improvement. The VWI’s are a cornerstone of our manufacturing excellence, and indicative of our level of precision and commitment in all aspects of our business.
Why Customers Are Amazed With Our VWI
Customers love the fact that any employee involved in any phase of a product’s cycle through the value chain at Piedmont CMG can access all pertinent information about a product, including: instructions, notes from previous orders, part history, blueprints, CAD files, BOM’s, In-Process Inspection Documents, First Article Inspection Reports, real-time output in acceptable part count, efficiency, and order status. Beginning with our contract proposal and customer order, this electronic (paperless) process complies with controlled documentation processes, revision controls, and part traceability. We believe that customer satisfaction is our ultimate key performance indicator – our primary measure of success. Therefore, understanding and documenting our customers’ expectations is a top priority.
Exceeding Manufacturing Expectations
In the medical, life sciences, and fluidics market, the complexity of workmanship required to meet customer requests in the manufacturing/assembly of medical and diagnostic instrument products are often too critical and precise, requiring full traceability, to be sufficiently expressed with traditional methods. We prefer to identify mutually acceptable inspection levels, documentation, and even methods with our partners. This partnering with our customers distinguishes CMG and allows efficient communication, electronic data and record transfer, and provides the customer with proof, documents, and confidence in the process and product. Mutual and effective part testing also assures another level of value and assurance. This allows CMG’s manufacturing/assembly efforts to go directly to the line, be placed into in-process, and minimize time, inventory, and establish a lean supply environment. As a result, CMG consistently achieves a high level of customer satisfaction in a very lean manufacturing environment, which contributes directly to CMG being the low cost provider.
The Future of VWI
Customers rave about the depth and quality of our visual work instructions, with comments ranging from: “I’ve never seen anything like this,” to “Can I take pictures? This is the best VWI system I’ve ever seen!” However, we’re currently in the process of taking this management system to the next level – for our own benefit, and to improve our efficiency – helping us maintain our competitive advantage as a lean manufacturer and low-cost producer. Continuous improvement is not just a buzz-word at Piedmont CMG, it’s a way of life. Being a contract manufacturer, we have a unique position with our customers as both a Tier 1 and Tier 2 supplier, depending on the project. The variety, complexity, and detail of workmanship involved in our products and assemblies for medical, life-science, and diagnostic OEMs, is only going to become more advanced as Piedmont CMG continues to exceed customer expectations. Continuous improvement to our VWI and other management systems is the only way forward.