Attendees at GlassBuild America found a show floor with lots to see.

GlassBuild America took place last week and software providers were on hand to show companies how they can ditch paperwork for digital workflows. Representatives for Wood’s Powr-Grip (WPG) and Bailey Cranes said they know the benefits of technology. Both have turned to digitalization to improve the maintenance and safety of their machines.

Jack Garczynski, Bailey’s sales engineer, said the company’s cranes can be operated via remote controls. WPG’s vacuum lifters, which Bailey pairs with its cranes, are monitored using apps.

“WPG’s technology is really coming around with more apps on the phone,” he explained. “The apps can tell you how long the suction cups have been used, when the filters need to be changed, and when you should check the batteries.”

Others looked to speed up and aid production. David Barnes, owner of Viwinco Windows, said his company now uses software and smartphone apps to monitor every stage and detail of production. Reaching for his phone, Barnes demonstrated how, these days, his company can keep an eye on processes via cameras on the floor, while using a remote app to monitor every detail for output.

“I can get a lot of info directly to my phone,” said Zach Kauffman, Viwinco’s director of manufacturing operations. “To have all of that information available to you is really incredible.”

A+W Software demonstrated Smart Companion Stock, as well as Smart Delivery and Smart Factory production systems. Each program is designed to help door, window and glass companies gather operations digitally to compile them into one easy-to-access location.

Josh Rudd, A+W’s sales and marketing manager, said the Smart Companion Stock application allows for fast and easy receipt of goods with adjustments for receiving quantities.

“The program also provides an electronic inventory list for cycle counting,” Rudd said. “Additionally, it allows for the small movements of various components throughout the facility … In the old days, hardware was either in inventory or not. Now, companies can conduct mini staging of inventory to prepare it and pair it with the order at the exact time.”

Rudd said, essentially, applications such as Smart Companion Stock improve finite movements for accessories that typically require multiple steps and lots of time.

In addition to improving internal plant operations, Rudd says A+W is also focused on enhancing logistics. The company’s recently released Smart Delivery mobile app allows drivers to scan a completed rack of glass or individual lites, then get the customer to sign and take a picture to denote the product has arrived.

“Our industry is paper-intensive when it comes to shipping,” says Rudd. “If a product is damaged during delivery, the driver has to do all their drops and come back at the end of the day with a huge pile of waybills that needs to be sorted to find the complaint bill.”

These days, drivers can get their entire route lists electronically and have digital proof that products were delivered.

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