What are F-tags and why digitize them?

Andy Pritchard  |   March 17, 2022  |    4 min read

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    F-tag is a visual work order system where staff apply paper tags to machines when a process abnormality is observed. “F” stands for Fuguai, which is Japanese word that means “deviation” or “abnormality”. F-tags can be for safety, maintenance or “operator” (non-maintenance. AM and PM teams continuously evaluate and resolve f-tags.

    LeanManufacturing.online offers a great overview of how f-tag systems work.

    F-Tags are important because:

    • Fosters a continuous improvement culture.
    • Builds employee engagement.
    • Enhances efficiency, safety and OEE.
    • Important part of TPM and Preventive Maintenance programs.


    Why digitize F-tags?

    A simple F-tag program can provide a visual representation of opportunities for improvement. Paper-based systems, however, can become overwhelming to manage.

    REASON 1

    Instant Data Capture and Reporting

    Paper-based F-tag systems are great at providing a visual cue for where issues are within your facility. However, not all issues are created equally. Some need to be fixed right away and others are lower priority. Digitization let's you understand issues immediately and take action.

    REASON 2

    Save Time (& Money)

    Digital solutions allow you to automate workflows and reporting so you can save program administration time. As a result, you can reorient your administrative staff to be less focused on data management and more focused on solutions. Digital forms also provide staff with additional information so they can get the work completed quickly.

    REASON 3

    Broadcast Results & Enhance Employee Engagement

    The real magic of F-tag systems occur when employees see changes resulting from their reporting. Digital tools make it easier for you to broadcast KPIs, reward staff and build momentum.

    • Guide staff through the process with on-demand instructions, videos and links to documentation.
    • Capture photos, sketches and digital signatures.
    • Create a “Digital Twin” of your facility
    • Broadcast real-time results.
    • Automate workflows and reporting.