© Fraunhofer IPA

In short

FlexNote is a combination of mobile end devices and a cloud application. It helps companies to document information from employees quickly, transparently and completely digitally, and to communicate it to all the relevant people. Examples of such information include weak points or defects in a system or infrastructure, improvement suggestions, or shift handover information.


In detail

Many companies do not optimally document observations about machines and systems, with the result that these are not communicated adequately. Employees report the same defect several times, information is ambiguous, messages are passed on with delays or printed information gathers dust in filing systems. Furthermore, information that is essential in order to rectify a problem is often lacking or not available where it is needed, but only at a workplace located some distance away. Whatever the root cause, inefficient communication costs valuable time and resources. FlexNote is a software-supported tool that has been specifically developed to overcome this problem.


All relevant information communicated instantly to the right person

If an employee on the shop floor discovers a weak point or defect, he can take a photo of the respective area with his smartphone or tablet and then mark the exact position of the problem on the photo. If appropriate, he can provide additional information in the form of a written or verbal message. A menu is also available to further classify the defect and thus categorize it more precisely. FlexNote bundles all the relevant information: the user, the photo of the defective area, any additional information and the respective site or object. This information package is automatically forwarded to both the documenting employee and the person responsible. Consequently, the notification is always sent straight to the right person. If a machine is affected, all observations that have already been recorded are also clearly displayed on the machine itself.

The entire notification is then filed in a central IT system, thus enabling all authorized employees to access the information and track the status of the message at the same time.

Therefore, FlexNote not only reduces the risk of problems being reported repeatedly. It also ensures that all the information reaches the right person quickly and reliably. This results in fewer queries and valuable time savings because communication becomes much more transparent and efficient. Any company that is dependent on good and consistent communication between employees can benefit from FlexNote and improve the way weak points and defects are reported.


Sustained improvement in machine performance

However, FlexNote does more than just optimize communication. In the long term, this tool can also be used to optimize the machines and systems themselves. All experience acquired over time about an object is stored in the central IT system. A statistical evaluation of this data reveals correlations between errors and identifies the weakest parts of a machine. Such information is particularly useful for manufacturers when redesigning their machines.