4 Signs That You Should Automate Your Manufacturing Operations

Industrial & Manufacturing Blog

Do you own a manufacturing plant which largely depends on humans to operate? Read on and discover some of the factors you should discuss with an engineer regarding the components/functionalities which should be emphasised as the automation of your manufacturing processes is being designed.

Damaged Raw Materials

Humans can become tired and make mistakes, such as damaging raw materials or products. Such damage can cause the affected materials to be scraped or taken for reworking in order to fix the defects. This results in lost productivity and higher production costs. Process automation can eliminate many of the errors which result from human error due to fatigue or distraction.

Shipping Unacceptable Products

You should also be concerned in case you frequently find that products which don't conform to the desired standards or specifications are shipped to your clients and are rejected. The reputation and profitability of your business are at stake if such a situation isn't corrected quickly. Engineers can design an automation system which tests the conformity of the products to the design specifications and standards so that anything which falls short of those expectations doesn't reach the loading dock for onward shipping to clients.

Data Collection Problems

Manufacturing facilities need to collect various forms of data, such as how many products are being made during each hour or shift when machines are running. Such data can help to identify when a machine is slowing down and needs to be replaced or undergo maintenance. Humans are often erratic or make errors (typographical errors, for instance) when collecting the needed data. Machine automation software can be configured to collect all the needed data effortlessly.

Random Process Improvements

Manual manufacturing systems also have the added problem of randomly selected improvements to the manufacturing process. This is because they lack the "big data" needed to make accurate determinations of which aspects of the processes need to be improved (and how). Automated systems are easier to monitor. This takes the guesswork out of the process of making decisions about what improvements are needed and the expected benefits (ROI) from making such improvements.

Manufacturing system automation should only be undertaken once a detailed assessment of the manufacturing processes has been conducted. Engineers can then configure a system which will be tailor-made to address the unique conditions present in your manufacturing facility and processes. Don't rush this process. Roll out the automation in phases so that the upfront costs don't overwhelm you.


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