Austrian Firm Uses Interactive Digital To Update Staffers On Factory Floor

June 27, 2022 by Dave Haynes

A few years back I did a consulting gig for a big auto manufacturer, and one of the first things I wanted to do was see the production floor. First, because it’s almost always interesting to see things being made by people and machines, but also to see the workplace dynamics and communications needs.

One of the things that struck me was the use of big, cork-based bulletin boards at production floor intersections that were filled with pinned-on printouts of KPIs, to be reviewed by work teams. I suggested those set-ups could be digital and interactive, and therefore exponentially more useful and timely.

The client agreed, but it was one of those things they would maybe get to down the road. It didn’t happen when I was working with them, sigh, but here’s an example of what that could/would look like, on the production floor of the manufacturer Traktionssysteme Austria.

It’s a four-panel interactive employee information display developed for the company by the Vienna-based creative technology shop Wetouch, using a multitouch display from the Portuguese custom display manufacturer Displax.

The employee information station provides company and labor relations news, introduces new employees and does general announcements. There is a custom UI and a web-based CMS driving the messages. It would be great if the content was more than re-purposed web pages, as appears to be the case here. But it’s a good start, and maybe there’s the opportunity to do things like add real-time data like production status.

Much of the activity and focus to date with workplace digital signage has been in the so-called front of house – the offices. Those areas are important, of course, but the larger opportunity and need is back of house – the production and warehouse areas of companies where most staff are deskless, don’t have company emails or mail slots, and may be hard to communicate with verbally because of noise levels.

Screens are the logical solution, and if part of the goal is making work teams aware of how they’re doing, all of that information can be on these sorts of displays, and updated as needed.

One printed-out chart that everyone is leaning in and squinting at could be tapped and made huge and visible using the sort of thing this Austrian firm has put in place.

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