September 21, 2022

Checkbox Detection for Manufacturing Industry

Manufacturing often struggles with processing documents for its due procedures and use cases. And while there are plenty of tools in the market for data extraction, the list of tools and platforms that perform the same intelligently and for checkbox detection are rare. This article deals with the need of checkbox detection in manufacturing and an intelligent solution for the same.

Introduction

Manufacturing is a booming industry. With rising demands from the end consumer, the manufacturing quantity for the end-consumer is also increasing. This leads to production of huge quantities of goods that goes through a cycle of manufacturing processes and logistics. During these steps, there are multiple documents that are required to be recorded into a CMS, ECM, or ERP system. 

There are plenty of solutions in the market that can extract data from a document. Yet, the number of solutions that can process checkboxes as well are seldom. On top of that the rising number of documents are unstructured in nature. Therefore, manufacturing companies of today require a document processing solution that can do all that automatically.

So to learn more about the topic and find a plausible solution for this, read ahead…

List of Documents with Checkboxes in the Manufacturing Industry

Here is a list of documents that often have checkboxes for the data and requires document processing:

Bills of Material

A bill of material is a common document used in manufacturing. It is closely tied to the purchase order received by a manufacturing organization. It is basically a list of raw materials, assembly parts, components, etc. that are required to manufacture an end product. 

There can be multiple types of bills of material that are used with different intent. Although to summarize their use in the industry, here is the purpose they serve:

  • Bills of material for sales
  • Bills of material for the material used in manufacturing
  • Bills of material for the service of the end product.

It is for the same reason bills of material are often referred to in the industry as recipe, ingredients, or formula list. Bills of material contain a variety of checkboxes that have important data for processes. These bills of materials in different CMS systems for manufacturing are defined as:

  • Material Name
  • Quantity
  • Unit of Measure
  • Material Type

Under these categories, there are multiple values of data that describe a category that is either checked if used or unchecked if not. It is essential to record all this data from digital documents and store them in their relevant category into the system. With an IDP platform, this work of recording data becomes seamless and automated.

Manufacturing Build Package

A manufacturing build package seems quite identical to a product requirement document (PRD) but it serves its own purpose. While PRD are utilized for consolidating data for the production team for the practices that need to be followed during development, a manufacturing build package is the consolidation of latest manufacturing practices carried out. 

This piece of document comes into light once the end product has been developed by the manufacturing organization. It records all the latest steps taken to create that end-product. Oftentimes, this document can have multiple checkboxes for displaying the best practices used during manufacturing and whether they have been used or not. Recording the same with an IDP tool is a much easier and efficient way to do so.

Checklist for Quality Control

Checklist for quality control is an essential tool for inspecting the goods manufactured and testing its quality. The checklist is often provided by the importer of the manufactured goods. The task is done by the importers to make sure that the end product meets the requirements.

These checklists are divided into multiple segments that often contain checkboxes. These segments are:

#1 Requirements of the Product

These product requirements can cover various obvious requirements from the importer such as material, construction, weight, dimensions, color, markings, labelings, etc. At times, there is so much data to be sent that importers often take the benefit of a single template and mark their requirements using checkboxes. For a manufacturing company, it is essential to record this data into their system for access whenever needed and also for future reference.

#2 Requirements for the Packaging of the Product

No importer would like to lose their end-product during transit. This is the reason why so many experienced importers have certain shipping requirements for certain products that can be fragile in nature. These requirements are package weight, labeling of carton, packing material, packing graphics, etc. Each of these quantities are described in a document either using lines of description or checkboxes. For instance, for shipping details, importers have requirements for package material such as white cardboard, color export box, or others. Checkboxes are used in this place to simplify the work that needs to be done.

#3 Checkboxes for Product Sampling and Tests

For importers, a certain produced end-good needs to have a certain amount of durability. It is for the same reason that they describe a series of tests for in-house by the manufacturing to check whether the product meets the standard. Some of these requirements can be locked inside a document in the form of checkboxes that can’t be processed using a traditional OCR. It is where an IDP solution can easily break the barrier and make this work automated.

#4 Defect Classification

Another category to define the overall quality of a product. These are categorized in three formats that are Critical, Major, and Minor. In multiple documents that classify defects, these categories are used to record the severity of defects in a product. In it, a defect would be mentioned at the left and would be followed by three different checkboxes for the categories i.e. critical, major, and minor. With an IDP, the data and the entry of the corresponding checkbox can be recorded easily in a jiffy.

#5 Inspection Checklist during Drafting

It is a mandatory activity between the supplier, importer, and the quality control department. A checklist for requirements are provided beforehand to make the end-product received offers the desired quality. These drafts can contain checkboxes for easy clarification of the data and to keep all the three parties involved on the same page.

Depending upon the template used by the organization, the checklist forms for quality control can have several questions that can be best answered using a checkbox. These are:

  • Do you visually inspect the product?
  • Is the product damage free?
  • Is the product dust or rust free?
  • Is the product manufactured in the right size?
  • Are there any deformities in the product?
  • Are the colors used acceptable?
  • Is the center of mass of the product in the right tolerance state?

Once each of these checkboxes are filled, the data can be recorded effectively using an IDP platform.

FAT Form (Factory Acceptance Test)

A FAT form is another document commonly used in the manufacturing industry for determining the quality of a new manufactured product. It checks the operational capability of a product and specifications ordered by the customers.

Below are the questions for the checklist of FAT forms that are often used depending upon the template. These are:

  • Are the standard working procedures met or not?
  • Does the product comply with certificates for compliance?
  • Are the FAT procedures followed?
  • Does the product create higher noise levels?
  • Does the manufactured product contain any hazardous material?
  • Does the product require protection from heat/cold?
  • Are the compliances for safety met with the manufactured product?

Just like these documents mentioned above, there can be a variety of other documents that take the help of checkboxes to determine data. Although, it is always not necessary for these documents to do so. It is because the template of use changes from company to company and where it is based at. Yet, the intent of the document remains the same.

How can VisionERA IDP process these documents including checkboxes?

VisionERA comes with an in-built feature of checkbox detection. This feature works with the help of two AI-based technologies which are computer vision and deep learning. Computer vision is the part that is used for the detection of checkboxes in a document. On the other hand, deep learning helps the platform adapt to a new template based on its prior experience.

Below are the steps that are used by VisionERA to create a custom workflow for processing a manufacturing document. These are:

Step 1: Workflow Creation

In this step, the user can add the name of the workflow, the country of origin, and the documents that are to be processed. For every workflow, a primary document is required for verification of the data as the single source of truth.

Once that part of the workflow is completed, the user can apply a match component, and certain triangulation logics for processed information with certain criteria. One can simply use it as a data extraction tool and step over all these steps mentioned above if they are unnecessary.

Step 2: Selecting Documents

During this step, the user can select the document category, the document type, and all the relevant key values for effective data extraction to relevant fields. Post processing of the documents, the data extracted would be stored in the relevant field determined while specifying key attributes.

Step 3: Select Workflow, Upload, and Process

This is the final step. In this step, the user simply needs to select a relevant workflow. Post doing so, the platform would require the batch file. Simply click on the browse button and click on the files that you want to upload. After that the user is required to click on the upload button and the AI-engine would automatically start working.

With VisionERA, the work of processing documents in any volume becomes much easier. It is capable of processing unstructured documents with a variety of templates and formats. It simply happens because the platform is able to adapt post human reconciliation.

Conclusion

Manufacturing is the backbone of almost any industry out there. It is essential to involve automation tools for redundant processes such as checkbox detection and document processing. It is important because making the manufacturing processes faster is going to make all the processes faster in the supply chain (considering it's all interconnected). With platforms such as VisionERA, the employees would be able to focus more on important work such as production without scrutinizing the essential paperwork. It would be a great way to empower your employees that would aid highly in productivity.

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