Any good engineer knows that all the problems of the world can be solved in one of two ways: duct tape (if it moves, but shouldn’t) or WD-40 (if it should move, but doesn’t). And yet when IT’s solution for too many dropped tablets on the factory floor at Agco was to tape them to the employees, the engineers thought there must be a better way.

The answer, in that case, was wearables. They bought their first Google Glass set to give it a try, and have never looked back.

Agco, headquartered in Duluth, Ga., is a 28-year-old manufacturer of farm equipment. Its facility in Jackson, Minn., specializes in tractors and sprayers.

It is a very low-volume, high-complexity environment where almost all equipment is made to order. After each piece of equipment is made, it must be checked thoroughly to ensure that everything is in working order.

Trying to solve problems with non-conformance issues not being reported in a timely manner and also concerns about safety risk, the company put tablets in place in 2013 to enable the reporting to be done more directly. Not only did this create a risk of its own as employees climbed tractors now with one hand while holding the tablet in the other, but the IT department wasn’t thrilled about the high number of tablets that got knocked off of tractors and broken. Read more from…

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