Work instructions come in different shapes and names within the production industry. For example; SOP’s, OnePointLessons and more. Work instructions are there to give the operator a clear and structured explanation about the execution of a specific task or operation. Such work instructions consist out of step-by-steps instructions, but also the important safety- and quality aspects which are relevant when executing a task or operation. Which PPE should the operator wear or which tools should he/she use for instance.
A digital work instruction looks like the step-by-step instruction you receive while learning how to drive a car: check if the gear is in neutral, start the engine, step on the clutch, shift to the first gear and etc. The purpose of work instructions is to enable operators to execute work in a efficient and standardized way.
It’s important work instructions or standard operating procedures are not confused with factory processes or procedures. A process is a chain of activities within your production environment. A procedure establishes how your operators should perform these processes and which employee is responsible for said task. A work instruction – SOP- describes in detail how an activity within a process (or procedure) should be performed.