Sechan Electronics, Lititz, Penn., develops, manufactures and tests military electronics systems and subsystems for the Department of Defense and its prime contractors.
A top electronics contract manufacturing services company, Sechan is one of the most respected small businesses for contract manufacturing in the U.S. The company built its reputation with cutting-edge electronics systems supported by circuit card assemblies, wiring harnesses and end item integration.
The Struggle with Paper Work Instructions
Over the years, from a production standpoint, Sechan has relied on detailed paper work instructions to deliver competitively priced, highly reliable, defense electronic and electro-mechanical equipment.
Until about four years ago, the company’s data base allowed engineers to cut, paste and drag information and images into a Word or other work document. However, in Sechan’s high mix, low volume product mix, it would not be uncommon to have 500 changes over the life of the program -- hundreds per day in 30 to 50 active programs -- that would drive changes to five to seven paper work instructions on the floor.
“We would grab these documents, manually redline them, accumulate the changes, withdraw them from the floor and replace the changed pages with the updated information,” Sechan Vice President of Operations Steven L. Kaylor says. “There was one individual who spent all of his time running around notifying people that certain work instructions were on a recall list. Then he would locate all the copies and check off on a master list that every copy had been updated or redlined. It was a never ending constant struggle to make sure it was getting done properly.”
Paperless Work Instructions Pay Off
Kaylor was convinced there had to be a better way to get changes to floor. He reviewed a number of alternatives. Some companies offered document management systems, but he would still have to generate separate documents. He then heard of Sequence software, from Knoxville, Tenn.-based FFD, Inc., that would eliminate the need for paper work instructions and streamline his redline dilemma.