April 29 2020

What is low code and why should manufacturers care?

Rob is a line operator. Every shift he fills out a sheet of paper with data on quality, waste, OEE. At the end of every shift, Paul the manager collects up all the sheets of paper and inputs the data to excel. Then he sends the spreadsheet up to Ian who aggregates all the data to create a weekly report for the Ops Director, Martin.

The production line relies on manual processes

Every week the team spends about two days collecting and presenting shop floor data. The reports they produce are always a week or more out of date and open to human error. The management team have spent about ten years on and off looking for a way to automate this process and get the data in real time

They found lots of solutions that are small part of a large system with unnecessary functions and expensive ongoing costs. They’ve carried on working with the manual processes because it’s better than getting tied into big budget solutions with features they don’t need.  

So what’s low code got to do with it? 

Low code is a new way of building bespoke digital solutionsThey’re ‘low code’ because a lot of the coding traditionally required is automated. This means low code is cheaper and solutions that used to take months to develop are ready in a couple of weeksRob the line operator needs an app where he can enter the data from the production line. Paul, Ian and Martin need a dashboard where they can see the aggregated data. Rob enters the info, they push a button and get the report in real time. They can use the dashboard to split the data and report on exactly what they want to know. How many widgets failed at X point on the line in the last month? Push a button. How much is waste at Y point costing us every month? Push a button.  

Solutions ready in weeks not months 

Using a combination of low code and Business Intelligence (BI) tools FluidIT can build a solution that’s ready in a couple of weeks. It’s tailored to meet the requirements, no more and no less. Implementation costs are a fifth of off-the-shelf solutions and the ongoing licensing spends are hundreds not thousands of pounds a year. FluidIT built a solution for an SME manufacturer that was 80 per cent cheaper to implement in year one (than the best stock solution) and represented a £29K saving in licensing fees every year after that.