One picture says more than a thousand words

3 reasons to make work instructions (along with Symbol) visual…

With transformer stations, energy storage systems, electric car charging stations and a diversity of other products and services, Alfen is the focal point and connecting factor in the power grid. For several years, Symbol has accompanied this wonderful company in a variety of areas. The latest assignment? Provide support in creating visual work instructions. In this blog, Symbol consultant Erik van der Leij tells you all about it. Because your company can also benefit from visual work instructions.


Work instruction packed with (new) photos

Alfen develops many products in-house, including transformer substations. “To assist employees in assembling these stations, Alfen has been working for years with a visual work instruction. However, this instruction was no longer complete. Of the approximately 150 (largely technical) actions required to properly assemble a transformer station, only about 40 were included in the work instruction,” Erik says. “I therefore gave the document more depth by upgrading existing texts and photos, but also by adding new texts and, above all, new images. Not for nothing, because in the approach is of course ‘Do Before – Participate – Do It Yourself’ central.” This is what Symbol stands for.


Advantage 1: unified way of working

‘Interesting,’ you might think, ‘but what exactly does it benefit Alfen to have such a visual work instruction now? “The first benefit, of course, is that a work instruction ensures a uniform way of working. Whoever is working on a transformer station, if he or she follows the instruction, the station will be assembled correctly. After all, a picture highlighting a particular nut is less open to one’s own interpretation than a text that says something about that same nut.”


Benefit 2: errors are prevented

Work instructions also prevent errors. Erik: “Assembling a transformer station is a complicated process. To give a small example, if the transformer itself is fastened incorrectly at the last minute, the so-called wick breaks off leading to serious delays in the assembly process. But where people work, there is a chance for mistakes – it’s as simple as that. In the work instruction, of course, those steps in the process are clarified with photos where there is a chance of making mistakes. Those steps get extra attention with pictures, and a picture says more than a thousand words.”


Benefit 3: It helps with the onboarding of new employees

And there is a third benefit of making work instructions visual, according to Erik. “That advantage is mainly due to the current job market. Whereas people used to work for the same employer for 25 years, nowadays many people move to a new position after only a few years. So companies have to train new employees much more often, and that takes time. A visual work instruction is a good basis for the quality of employees now, but also for newcomers. After all, they can see from the pictures exactly what is expected of them when in a process and can thus get to work quickly. So a visual work instruction helps with the onboarding of new employees.”


A visual work instruction for your company?

In summary, a visual work instruction is a way to ensure product quality towards customers. Cause:

  1. work is done in a unified manner;
  2. the chance of making mistakes is reduced;
  3. new employees deliver the same quality as employees who have been doing the job for years.

So does your company – like Alfen – operate according to a tightly organized production process in which quality must be continuously guaranteed? Then a visual work instruction with clear pictures in the right places is a godsend. Does your company currently lack work instructions, are they incomplete or unclear? If so, Erik is happy to get to work.

Want more information or to spar about the possibilities? Then leave your information in the form below. We will contact you as soon as possible.

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