Demmer Corporation is a U.S. equipment manufacturer that builds machinery for the defense, aerospace, automotive, transportation and energy industries. The Lansing, Mich.-based company, which employs approximately 700 workers, was facing several challenges at its plant locations throughout the state. Each facility oversees several manufacturing processes for components such as welding, machining, assembling and painting – each requiring paperwork for inspections, safety, and workflow.
Because these processes are so paper-intensive, Demmer found that sometimes problems came up that weren't properly addressed for several weeks, which affected both physical resources as well as the bottom line. What's more, many different inspectors had to serve as touch points to manage all of the paperwork steps involved in the process.
Demmer wanted to move away from relying on paper forms and institute a mobile process that could boost the quality, safety, and efficiency of the manufacturing process.
In early 2012 Demmer began converting these critical paper-based processes and now uses more than 30 Canvas apps for a variety of processes. Canvas provides mobile data collection software for smartphones and tablets.
Several Demmer employees now use as many as 40 Canvas apps for various functions, including collecting attribute data, and traceability information, and conducting internal process audits and safety and environmental audits.
For example, Demmer manufactures fuel cells, which are tested for leaks. The test criteria are then submitted via the mobile app and the appropriate personnel immediately receive an email detailing any non-conformances. Next, stakeholders determine what action items are necessary to correct the process.
Developers can customize Canvas apps according to specific job requirements, and can adjust the application to standardize inspection criteria.
With the mobile apps in use across its plants, Demmer can shift personnel to more valuable functions, while also freeing up the IT staff to work on critical
projects. The company went live with its first Canvas app after just a few days. In addition, Demmer uses the apps to send data to its Continuous Improvement Program in real time, which allows for a proactive approach to process improvement and problem solving.
Demmer uses the mobile apps for barcode scanning, photo capture and inspection, broadening use capabilities and helping to spur the deployment of iPads and iPhones.