Why automate?

Advantages of automation

All too frequently, the reasons given to justify automation are limited to the productivity argument. Based on our experience in the field, we can confirm that there are a good dozen reasons for automating a manufacturing environment. We mention some of these below, along with a brief commentary on several of them.

 

Increasing productivity

Moving from manual to automatic: In the majority of cases, the performances of the automated solution are superior to those of the manual one. It is not possible to establish the average increase involved; naturally it depends on the process that has been automated. In the case, for instance, of machine loading and unloading, the time in which the machine is not operating can be reduced to zero.

 

Production 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: When setting up an automated solution, attention will of course be paid to work autonomy so as to allow production 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When compared with 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for the same cost, the increase in production can quickly be calculated.

 

Increasing and maintaining quality

 

Monitoring and managing production flows and processes

It does not take many visits to non-automated workshops to see that it is not possible to find one or other manufacturing process associated with a particular item or see the production status of a given item or a production run launched for given items. Implementing automation will implicitly serve in collecting all of that information online, the better to monitor it. Saving that information will later serve in refining those flows (once analysed) to achieve optimum production that is permanently monitored.

 

Scheduling operator tasks

It is increasingly rare to see an operator dedicated to a single machine or process for which he intervenes only for loading/unloading and to start the operation to be performed. As a result, it is becoming increasingly frequent to see machines at a standstill waiting for the operator to arrive. In fact, there is no real planning or scheduling, just a rota for attendance in a workshop where operators run left and right and take care of a million and one priorities. Automation serves to take the issue of scheduling and add it to the production flow, which then becomes the only priority.

 

Overall integration

 

Work safety and conditions

 

Etc…

 

Opportunities for automation

To the various reasons above can be added opportunities for automation that a company cannot miss out on under any circumstances. Some of these are mentioned below:

 

Cutting-edge technology

 

Competitors’ choices

 

Observance of new standards

 

Obsolescence of a single piece of equipment

 

Equipment overhaul

 

Etc…

 

Need more information?

We remain at your disposal to meet and see, in your own particular situation, the reasons which will serve in understanding the interest– or even the obligation – in automation. To that end, please contact us on +32 (0)71 49 03 21 or by email info@123automation.be

 

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