Excessive search times is one of the biggest organizational wastes in a diverse set of work environments including a factory shop and a home environment. Over the years sort and standardization techniques like 5S have been developed to define and enforce organization. These methods have been effective provided all users adhere to these standards. Imperfections do creep in with time and the occasional failure to adhere to the defined standards. These imperfections can build up over time.
Recent advances in Computer Vision including the abundant and inexpensive availability of mobile cameras, machine learning based identification of objects and access to open source vision libraries has provided us the tools to be able to recognize and sort objects. Some commercial examples of this include Amazon Flow, Google Goggles and CloudSight Camfind.
We are proposing a software framework “Standardized Bliss” to take a mobile phone camera image and use a software application to identify objects and locations in an ideal case scenarios scene (Training phase). The user can then select his objects of interest.
Later if objects are moved and the time has come to reorganize perhaps at the end of the day, another camera image is taken and the software application is used to identify objects again (Testing phase). If any object is missing from the selected objects of interest during the ideal case scenarios an alert is provided to the user to find the missing object and return it to the ideal location.
This simple concept can be extended to ensure all users of the shop utilize this application. Each user is designated a location to maintain and is required to take an ideal case image and a test case image periodically. This system can further be extended to include image based checkouts of tools and materials and integrated with an equipment tracking system.
The benefits that this system offers is many fold. The system provides a quantified objective feedback that aids in the maintenance of an organized workplace. In a fast paced environment the onus ofs organizational maintenance is partially removed from the employee. In critical applications like Aerospace and Medical Surgery such a system can provide the required safety and even save lives. It is our belief that when implemented efficiently, “Standardized Bliss” can save an organization significant amount of money in terms of search time reductions as well.