Hiren Kanani

Hiren Kanani

January 16, 2023 11 minutes to read

How to Write Efficient Manufacturing Work Instructions [With Examples]

How to Write Efficient Manufacturing Work Instructions [With Examples]

Welcome to the Industry 4.0 revolution, where precision and consistency are key to manufacturing high-quality products.

According to a report, Industry 4.0 market is expected to cross a valuation of $1 Trillion by 2031.

That’s huge, considering that the major part of the revolution has already begun.

As a manufacturing professional, you know that clear and accurate work instructions are essential to ensuring that your products are made to the highest standards.

But creating these work instructions can be a daunting task, especially if you’re new to the process. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide to help you learn how to create effective manufacturing work instructions that will streamline your production process and improve your bottom line. We’ve also included some manufacturing work instructions examples so that you can have an idea of where to start.

Let’s get started and discover the secrets to creating manufacturing work instructions that work for you!

Work Instructions Template

What are Manufacturing Work Instructions?  

Every business process, operation, and procedure needs a set of instructions to work seamlessly. However, when it comes to manufacturing work instructions, they are a bit unique by nature and different for various industries. 

Manufacturing work instructions are detailed, step-by-step instructions that guide workers through the process of producing a product. They are typically used in manufacturing environments to ensure consistency and quality in the final product. These work instructions are interactive, have visuals to transform information effortlessly, and are user-friendly so that industrial workers can use them with ease. They impart knowledge to all your frontline workers and ensure quality threshold for mass production.   

Manufacturing Work Instructions Benefits

The main purpose of manufacturing work instructions is to aid your enterprise’s production process for quality products.  While there are many things you must consider in detail while creating your work instructions, you should adhere to:  

  • The safety and training of your workforce, as they are your biggest asset.  
  • The seamless operations flow of your smart factory with periodic and predictive maintenance of complex machinery and equipment.  
  • The final product should match the standardized guidelines set by industry experts, leaders, and the government.  

But two more factors make work instructions important for the manufacturing industry. These are:  

  • Continuous improvement in your manufacturing cycle and work instructions to aid frontline workers  
  • Eliminate wasting time, resources, money, and labor on unnecessary practices.   

To put it together, manufacturing work instructions are all about the standardization of rules and resources to get quality output. Often, we have seen too many manufacturers producing the same product, but it is the quality that counts. A quality product will be a hero among the masses and will give your enterprise a better reputation in the market. Thus, you must emphasize the standardization of your work instructions.    

By providing to-the-point work instructions to your workers you can achieve:  

  • Continuously improving processes  
  • Increasing operational efficiency and safety  
  • Reducing machine downtime and equipment changeover time 
  • Effective training procedures 
  • Getting a more motivated workforce in return  

Now, you must be curious to know, what’s included in work instructions. Let’s learn about it in our next section.   

What Should be Included in Manufacturing Work Instructions?  

Practically, your work instructions should be easy to understand and should not include a lot of deviations. However, working in the manufacturing industry can call out many unpredictable scenarios.   

For example, shortage of certain raw materials for mass production or the absence of a supervisor from the assembly line. This can put your manufacturing on hold and lead to downtimes.   

Fortunately, the manufacturing work instructions guide created by your supervisors, internal teams, and other industry experts already includes contingency plans to follow through.   

However, the main framework of your work instructions includes:  

  • Best Practice

Your work instructions should always be updated with the latest safety and standardization requirements. These guidelines can vary from one production line to another, but certain specific rules will be the same like safety precautions and they should be followed religiously.   

  • HD Visuals  

Since visual work instructions, digitized SOPs, paperless guides, and manuals are a big part of smart factory, so make sure that all your visuals are in HD format. They should include all the microinstructions for your frontline workers so that they can produce quality products. Not just that they will also simplify the process for workers to follow through and increase their engagement too.    

  • Interactive Elements  

These interactive elements will include all the minor details that a worker needs while solving a particular issue. It is like a supervisor’s aid that will helps workers to solve their errors. Your workers are bound to make errors, especially the ones that are newly hired. Thus, your work instructions guide should include elements that can help them fix those errors without much hassle.  

Also, good manufacturing work instructions take time to develop and follow through. Thus, take your time and work on it.   

We are sure that now you are curious about how to create these work instructions in manufacturing. Thus, in our next section, we will discuss “how do you create work instructions in manufacturing?”   

How to Create Manufacturing Work Instructions?  

Many enterprises create manufacturing work instructions either from scratch or through a well-defined template. One tip we would recommend is to create digital work instructions so that frontline workers can access them via computer, mobile, or other wearable electronic devices.   

The step-by-step visual instructions and elements will provide a better approach and experience for your frontline workers. Also, the well-defined structure of these work instructions is very important. It helps in keeping instructions:  

  • Task-oriented  
  • User-centric  
  • Easy-to-understand  
  • Available instantly  

These steps are used by manufacturers to continuously improve, optimize, and sustain processes and in maximizing the value of their manufacturing units.  

Here are the steps to creating manufacturing work instructions:  

  • Step 1: Write a clear title  

Specify the goal of the work instruction with a crystal-clear title so that your frontline workers know whether it pertains to them or not. Do not forget to mention the procedure you are about to use.   

  • Step 2: Design the steps to reach the goal 

Once you have specified your goal, start working on designing your steps. Create a detailed design for every step as it will help your workers be familiar with the context of the task. It will also help them understand their roles and responsibilities to complete a particular task. While designing your steps, you will emphasize controlling the quality of your product and increasing the productivity of your employees.    

  • Step 3: Add clear visuals to your step  

Ensure that you lay complete instructions for your workers with HD visual elements like images, videos, charts, and 3D annotations in case of complex machines. Clear, concise, and easy-to-follow instructions will help your workers eliminate root-cause and enhance your performance.  

  • Step 4: Add a short snippet of action-oriented text  

While visual elements make your work instructions more engaging and interactive. A short snippet of the action-oriented task will only guide them and state whether they are on the right track or not.   

  • Step 5: Edit and format your instructions  

Once you have written your instructions, make sure to edit and format your template. Use heading tags, to make the title and subtitle easy to read. The instructions should be sequential. Also, while creating instructions ensure that you use visual elements and images so that your worker can easily understand them.  

  • Step 6: Validate the information    

You can accomplish this step by reaching out to experienced supervisors, employees, stakeholders, and experts who know how each to depart operates. They will share their thought process, give you advice, and confirm whether you are on the right track or not.  

  • Step 7: Re-write & Simplify your instructions  

The first draft will always lack something. That is why, after you have got your document validated by an expert, it’s time to re-write and simplify it. Through this, you will be able to integrate expert alteration in your instructions   

  • Step 8: Save and Share  

Once you are done drafting and revising your work instructions, you can save them and share them with your frontline workers, operators, and other technicians.   

Now, that you know how to create work instructions in manufacturing for your enterprise, let’s move on to our next section.   

In the next section, we will quote a few examples of manufacturing work instructions 

Manufacturing Work Instructions Examples 

Here in this section, we will provide you with manufacturing work instructions examples and let you know how simple it is to frame them.   

It’s the first day of your newly hired employee. But due to too much work pressure, there is nobody to help him around. Will you go a whole day with your new worker to waste, with zero productivity? Of course not!   

So, what’s the solution? Providing them with a set list of instructions seems like a good idea, right? Let’s start!  

Example 1:

Suppose you are working in the food and beverage industry. You want them to start with the mass production process.   

Your work instructions can be simple as:  

Title: Production Process of Potato Chips  

Step 1: Potatoes will unload in the conveyor  

Step 2: From the conveyor, they will be moved to the automated peeler  

(Tip: The peeler will consist of 6-7 cylinders made of abrasive material)  

Step 3: Make sure that you inspect every potato is peeled off  

Step 4: Next they will head to the slicer  

Step 5: They will follow through the wash basket  

Step 6: From there they move to the hot fryer to cook  

Step 7: Inspect the chips once they come out of the fryer  

Step 8: Then they are moved to barrel seasoner to add seasoning to the chips  

Step 9: They will then fall into a scale to measure their portions  

Step 10: After this, they are packaged into printed bags  

Step 11: Lastly, they are put into a conveyor  

With these simple steps, you can easily instruct your new worker how to handle automated machines without any hassle.   

Example 2:

If you want to Prepare Divider then you can instruct your customers with steps like:  

Title: Prepare the Divider  

Step 1: Attach the lock for LOTO  

Step 2: Press the screen on your device and scroll to the part you will be working on  

Step 3: Click on the button to loosen brake-lock  

Step 4: Prepare your tools for use  

Step 5: Turn your fingers in the upward direction in the machine, place the unlocked and turn it to left  

Step 6: Ensure that the hollow side of the finger is in line with the bulging of the cans  

Step 7: Use your equipment to tighten every finger  

Step 8: Check the correct setting through the chart and schedule the finger of the machines accordingly  

Step 9: Unlock the setting point 1  

Step 10: Attach the tuning wheel to the set point and set it up properly.   

See it’s that easy to create manufacturing work instructions for employees and guide them start-to-finish. In our last section, we will just look at a few extra pointers you should be mindful of.  

Last but not least thing is that your workforce is humans working in a potentially dangerous ecosystem. Thus, they can still make errors. So, make sure you provide them with additional information and a safe working ecosystem.   

That’s where Informational Mapping comes in place. Through this, you can provide all the extra and essential information in an unobstructed way. You can add a clickable icon on the side.   

Here are a few information mapping forms, you can use:  

  1. Warning: You can include pointers that include safety or things to do before and after use   
  2. Tip: A more detailed description of the given step   
  3. Alternative Route: Another option to troubleshoot the issue  
  4. Fixes: Include all the quick fixes you have to come up with for past users  


In conclusion, creating effective manufacturing instructions is a vital step in ensuring consistency and quality in the production process. With the tips and examples provided in this guide, you can create detailed, step-by-step ,manufacturing instructions that are easy to follow and understand.

With Industry 4.0, traditional paper-based instructions are becoming less efficient as more and more companies are turning towards digital solutions to enhance their production process. One such solution is Plutomen Workflow- an AR-based Digital Work Instructions product, which can help you create effective digital checklists and work instructions. Our product can help you to simplify the process of creating instructions, with its intuitive interface and built-in visual aids. It also allows you to easily update and share instructions with your team, saving time and reducing errors. By using Plutomen, you can take the first step towards creating a smarter and more efficient manufacturing process.

manufacturing work instructions examples

Hiren Kanani

Hiren Kanani

CTO, Cofounder of Plutomen

With 10+ years' experience of Hiren Kanani has helped Plutomen ensure smooth communication between the company and the client for swift project delivery with fewer iterations. He is CTO & founder at Plutomen.

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