Interactive whiteboards are one of the most interesting technological developments of the past decade. They bring a host of advancements that help businesses train staff, solve complex problems and build effective remote teams.
Collaborative engagement is dramatically enhanced when using SMART boards. In this piece we will take a look at the features and benefits of this clever technology, and then see how some top manufacturing companies are using them to facilitate training and product development.
A look at the features of interactive whiteboards
Interactive whiteboards look very much like standard dry-eraser marker boards. However, as we will see, they do a lot more. Their touch recognition means a user can interact with documents, programs and images by touching the screen with a finger or a stylus. This opens up a new realm of experience for manufacturing companies putting them in their meeting rooms, training rooms and board rooms.
They allow dynamic views of designs and simple annotation
With an interactive whiteboard, there really is no limit to the kinds of content you can display and annotate. Any content that can be viewed on a typical computer can be viewed on the whiteboard. This means it is easy to interact with Autocad designs, and 3D models of products, and any changes or notes made can be saved for distribution, or even distributed through multiple channels (cloud, network, email) immediately, at the click of a button.
They provide an easy way to draw freehand diagrams
It is difficult to demonstrate a concept or envisage changes to a product verbally or on a static surface. Interactive whiteboards make it easy to produce, share and interact with schematics, visuals and sketches. Any changes made can be saved within the content for future reference.
They enable 3D visualisation to facilitate real time troubleshooting
3D visualisers are very important in manufacturing, as they help ensure effective troubleshooting of problems in the production stage, when mistakes are comparatively cheap to rectify. The power of the technology can save manufacturers millions. They can model real life performance of designs, and get a real sense of the practicality of different solutions.
They facilitate collaboration
Interactive whiteboards, like the SMART board range, enable interactions between users in different locations. The boards support connections between networked computers, allowing viewers in one location to interact with a whiteboard in another location. Experts can interact as if they are in the same room, meaning the best minds working together, irrespective of their location.
In training, product development and through the logistical processes of manufacture and delivery, companies are embracing the time saving, cost cutting, collaboration enabling, and solution facilitating benefits of interactive whiteboards.
Here are some manufacturing businesses that are using interactive whiteboards to make their operations run smoother.
Over the past century, Cadbury’s Bournville manufacturing facility has gone from strength to strength in producing some of the best brands of confectionery in the world.
To further improve the quality of service, the business recently improved its training department and meetings rooms by deploying SMART interactive whiteboards.
Before the improvements, training was carried out using older model projectors, limiting training delivery structures, and making sessions less immersive than they could have been.
Moving over to the interactive whiteboard has transformed training sessions into a fully interactive, immersive experience. The staff retain more from training and are therefore more productive than they were before. Notes and diagrams can now be easily sketched and saved to a USB drive, or shared directly from the board to the team, and training sessions are certainly more colourful and dynamic. The technology has certainly improved the quality of training in the company. It has also increased the speed at which decisions are made, and the quality of design outcomes in meetings.
Audi is one of the leading names in the automobile industry. Versprung durch technik, or ‘advancement through technology’ is the tag line, and philosophy, that has built the brand.
The company was recently faced with the challenge of finding a tool that was portable yet large enough to ensure clear presentations in training and design meetings. To achieve this they deployed SMART 680 interactive whiteboards in their technical training and meeting rooms.
This has resulted in more efficient interactions amongst design teams, trainers and trainees, and in cross-silo collaborative meetings. By deploying Smart boards Audi have certainly advanced through technology.
Bridon International, Doncaster UK
Bridon is a global technology leader in the manufacture of steel wire and fibre rope solutions. The company has its headquarters in the UK, but its offices are dispersed around the USA, Indonesia, Germany and China. This brought a challenge. How could stakeholders work together without extensive travel? Part of the answer has been the deployment of interactive whiteboards.
The company deployed SMART interactive whiteboards in combination with video conferencing solutions. Project designs are now faster and involve more of the people that need to contribute, stakeholder engagement and buy in have improved, and the company has already paid for the technology through a reduced need for expensive Trans-Atlantic and Asia Pacific flights. The company has also reduced its carbon footprint.
These are just a few of the manufacturing companies that have embraced interactive whiteboards and made them a central cog in their collaborative wheel. More companies are seeing the competitive advantage of this technology all the time, and it is hard to see how companies of the future will be able to thrive without it.