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The Importance of Well-Documented O&M Procedures in Automotive Manufacturing

    a car being built by robotic machine arms, representing the importance of O&M Procedures in Automotive Manufacturing

    Manufacturing industries rely on smooth and efficient operations to produce a high quality and reliable product and to maintain the safety of employees. A significant factor that helps create a structured work environment is operations and maintenance (O&M) procedures. Assuring that these procedures are well-documented and easy to follow, ensures that employees know exactly what is expected of them and shows them how to complete their tasks efficiently and safely. Many manufacturing industries rely on the use of heavy machinery and equipment that can be quite dangerous in the hands of an inexperienced employee. With the proper operation and maintenance procedural documentation, employees have access to the knowledge they need to operate safely and produce consistent work. 

    The automotive industry is one such type of manufacturing industry that requires employees to use dangerous machinery. In fact, the automotive manufacturing industry reports a bit more than twice the national average of workplace injuries compared to all other U.S. industries. In addition to maintaining safety in the workplace, operation and maintenance procedures also allow for the assurance of quality control and optimization of the use of machinery. Adequate operation and maintenance procedures documentation helps create a safe and productive environment by providing employees with materials they can reference when needed. 

    O&M Procedures 

    Operation and maintenance procedures provide guidelines for the use and servicing of equipment used in the workplace. Comprehensive technical documentation of these procedures help keep repair costs down, maintain equipment, and keep workers safe. Operation and maintenance procedures include instructions for such procedures as proactive and reactive maintenance, the former of which uses preventive measures to keep equipment at optimum conditions. These procedures also outline steps to take in case of emergency, including who to alert and crisis communication. Crucial to the safety of employees is the technical documentation on operating procedures which employees can refer to for training purposes and to ensure that they use equipment in the safest way possible. Confirming that employees are using equipment properly also helps prolong the life cycle of said equipment. Manufacturing industries must have thorough operation and maintenance procedures in order to create a safe working environment and to prevent unnecessary shutdowns due to the mishandling of machinery. Given that this type of technical documentation can be lengthy, it can be time-consuming to produce and to continually update when needed. In this regard, seeking out a qualified, knowledgeable technical writer can help save time and ensure that the technical documentation created is accessible. 

    O&M Procedures Documentation in the Automotive Industry 

    In the automotive industry, the manufacturing of auto body parts requires the use of such machinery as stamping presses, welding machines, and conveyor systems. The breakdown of any of these machines can result in a halting of production and the entire manufacturing process and is costly. The automotive manufacturing industry also heavily relies on automated equipment in the entire production process all of which need frequent maintenance. For this reason, it is imperative that operations and maintenance procedures be followed to the letter so such breakdowns do not occur. Proactive and preventative maintenance procedures should be well documented so that employees know what to look for to avoid production shutdowns. 

    In 2018, the Department of Labor and Statistics reported that 30 percent of injuries that year in the transportation manufacturing industry occurred due to contact with an object or equipment. Additionally, the fatalities in this industry were reported at 21 percent which could be attributed to contact with an object or equipment. In the automotive industry, welders and machinists work with equipment that exposes them to risks of burns, lacerations, and even amputations. Employees in contact with such dangerous equipment must be knowledgeable in the safety procedures including how to handle their equipment so as to reduce the risk of injury and operating with the proper PPE, like welding helmets, aprons, face shields, and cut-resistant gloves. It is vital that these employees have the necessary operation and maintenance procedure documentation to do their jobs as safely as possible. Documented procedures can assist these employees in making sure that they are following safety procedures closely and consistently. 

    How EDC Can Help 

    The automotive industry heavily relies on automated machinery that can be dangerous if not operated correctly. Additionally, if not monitored regularly, equipment repairs can become costly and can result in production stoppages. In order to maintain worker safety and make sure that equipment consistently runs smoothly, O&M procedures must be well-documented. Producing this technical documentation is critical but may be difficult given the various types of machinery used in automotive manufacturing. Hiring a technical writer for your documentation needs can help save time and assure high-quality technical documentation. EDC’s technical writers have years of experience under their belt in various technical industries, including software companies, financial companies, and biomedical companies. They are skilled in producing thorough documentation that is easily understandable, a critical requirement for O&M procedural documents. 

    Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, the quality of our work is guaranteed. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or sales@edc.us

    Written by Diana Guerra

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