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TWI for the 21st Century: Digital On-the-Job Training

TWI for the 21st Century: Digital On-the-Job Training


You can improve learning on the shop floor to facilitate standard work and keep pace with the complex digital world of industry 4.0.

29 April 2019

We all want to make manufacturing processes smarter, faster, and more productive. The best and the brightest in the business know that in order to achieve success in such a complex industry, work must be standardized.

Standard Work impacts all elements of the manufacturing supply chain by ensuring the consistent quality of the product and the efficiency of the individual worker. A lack of standardization frequently results in:

  • High operational costs: Unplanned downtime and longer changeover times, both caused by non-standard work, are incredibly expensive.
  • Difficult training: Outdated or incorrect information can result in ineffective, costly, and frustrating learning experiences for workers.
  • Increase in product defects: Sub-par training and inconsistent processes lead to more mistakes on the shop floor.

One of the most influential methodologies for creating Standard Work is Training Within Industry. Created and implemented in the 20th century, TWI helped train the massive amount of new workers needed to sustain the US war effort during World War II.

In fact, TWI still impacts the world of manufacturing today because it created a comprehensive system to standardize the methodology of instruction. TPM, Kaizen, and many other Lean philosophies are based on the original principles of TWI. Now, these principles are being translated to scalable digital training solutions like SwipeGuide.

Training Within Industry programs currently help companies around the world create Standard Work and save billions. Below, we'll take a look at a few of the core features of TWI that are enhanced by SwipeGuide's digital work instructions.


digital work instructions TWI


Learning is better one-on-one.  

Training Within Industry always pairs one student with one instructor. Individual time and attention is paramount in the learning process because it allows learners to receive individualized mentorship and feedback while also performing a task in parallel.

But in today’s fast-paced and digitized world, instructors cannot give this individual attention to all trainees efficiently. At the same time, roles for workers on the factory floor are becoming more and more complex. This creates a critical need for relevant, one-on-one training solutions that really stick.

The SwipeGuide platform elegantly solves this problem by making one-on-one instruction a scalable digital solution on any mobile device. Having a network of instantly available Digital Work Instructions gives every employee this training experience, instantly and in the palm of their hand.

Make it step-by-step.

It’s not just one-on-one training that’s made TWI such a powerful tool to create standard work alongside awesome instructions. Academic research has proven that clear, step-by-step instructions are the most effective way to create a positive and successful learning experience.

At SwipeGuide, our philosophy of teaching and learning is also founded on this same set of academic principles. Our platform delivers clear, step-by-step work instructions paired with simple visuals. Engaging visuals combined with concise, step-by-step instructions provide the most efficient way for the human brain to learn.

Know your timing and materials.

In addition to optimizing the structure and process of instruction, TWI provides learners with the essential information necessary to complete a task successfully.

TWI instructions outline the necessary materials and time needed to complete any task. This ensures that each worker can perform the task at hand with consistent results, in an efficient manner.

The beauty of the SwipeGuide platform is its ability to customize the User Interface for the needs of the individual worker. For instance, the materials loadout and necessary time for any task is an easy addition to any instruction through effortless changes to the UI.


SwipeGuide standard work


The philosophy of continuous improvement.

TWI programs are designed to continually make processes more effective and efficient. Just like the Kaizen philosophy it inspired in Japan, Training Within Industry demands the continuous re-examination of processes and procedures.

From the shop floor to the CEO, TWI fosters a work environment that values the opinions of the workforce and works to actively implement new ideas and improvements. Through this process, knowledge is democratized to optimize all aspects of a manufacturing operation.

SwipeGuide believes in the same principles, and we’ve included an array of features that allow the contribution, tracking, and enhancement of user feedback.

The SwipeGuide platform empowers workers on the factory floor to give feedback on pain points and successes during each step of the digital instruction experience.  A full suite of analytics then tracks this feedback and allows supervisors to evaluate the usage of work instructions on the shop floor.


SwipeGuide ❤️ standard work.

It’s our vision to make it effortless for anyone to visualize, standardize, and execute digital work instructions on any device, anywhere on the shop floor. Our platform takes standard work into the digital age, while implementing the best lessons of revolutionary manufacturing philosophies like Training Within Industry.

As manufacturing processes become faster, more complex, and increasingly digitized, learning on the shop floor needs to facilitate standard work and keep pace with the new world of industry 4.0.

Don't get stuck in the past.

Picture of Chris

Chris loves to share his expertise on future-proof work instruction software for frontline teams in manufacturing. Particularly, how digital, visual work instructions can make a lasting impact on motivation, productivity, and operational excellence culture.

29 April 2019