Automation opens up a world of possibilities.
And in today’s technological era, automating tedious and monotonous tasks is, for many manufacturing companies, a breath of fresh air.
Having the ability to reduce costs but maintain high levels of quality and even, in some instances, increase production to increase sales – automation is now no longer a nice to have but a firm staple within production processes.
Warehousing and logistic operations, for example, are increasingly turning to automation as a powerful and innovative tool to:
- Improve manufacturing times
- Maintain uniform levels of quality
- Improve productivity
- Reduce costs, and
- Adapt supply to meet increasing demands.
Types of processes suitable for automation
Manufacturers can automate various processes within production lines to achieve greater efficiency, higher quality, and further production.
Processes such as:
- Picking and placing
- And more.
Automation controls to support such processes include:
Robot automation – using software technology, you can manage and control robotic systems that mimic human actions to perform the same function. Automating time-consuming tasks such as assembly, sorting, material handling, etc., with robotics and conveyor systems, you can boost efficiency while maintaining quality.
PLC (programmable logic controllers) – with digital computers, you can control and monitor the inputs and outputs of your industrial equipment, customising these processes to suit your requirements. For example, to manage the movement of motors or the sequencing of light controls.
CNC (computer numerical control) machines – automated machinery that follows controlled commands programmed and operated via a computer. Automating specific machinery helps reduce the number of machines operated manually, reducing the level of risk.
Other automation controls include PC, HDMI, software design, data management, and safety controls.
Whatever automated solution you opt for it must integrate seamlessly into your current manufacturing systems to ensure your investment pays off.
How can you use automation to improve and optimise your manufacturing processes…
…By understanding the controls at each stage of the process.
You know your processes and procedures inside and out, and this knowledge is vital to integrate automation effectively.
Breaking down the processes to better understand the variables at each stage allows you to see what you can adjust and how any changes will interact with other process stages and ultimately impact the product.
Types of automation available:
Fixed – suitable when no customisation is required, fixed automation design streamlines specific processes where you manufacture identical products day in, day out.
Programmable – mainly used in batch production, programmable automation allows you to adjust and reconfigure in order to customise the product/processes.
Flexible – flexible automation is just that, flexible. Automatically adapting to a product’s characteristics, flexible automation can be as simple as a robot arm programmed to perform various tasks, for example, spray paint, drill holes, insert screws, etc.
Integrated – by integrating programming and production control systems into current processes, you can now automate different machines on your production line while controlling everything from a single control system.
How does automation improve and optimise production?
Reduces costs – as automation removes the repetitive tasks, once carried out manually, you can free up workforce time, increase workforce capacity, and create efficient and lean operations that reduce your overall labour costs. This specialist personnel can then help to maintain processes or focus on other business areas. Automation is also a lower-cost option compared to a complete redesign of your process.
Improves safety – you can now control dangerous machinery through computer systems, avoiding human error and allowing the machine to manage riskier aspects of production.
Maintains quality – automation does not tire of repetitive tasks and includes better quality controls; hence you will receive the same level of efficiency and quality time and time again.
Optimises processes – optimising production lines and automation can help you to meet the modern-day demands we’re now facing.
At Innomech, our automation specialists use their knowledge to find the perfect automated solution for you.
Innovative, special, purpose-built automation machines for the manufacturing industry. Designed to improve productivity, increase profitability, and maintain full compliance.
At Innomech, we believe that automation, done right, is essential to long-term success. But you need to understand every step of your manufacturing process – and that’s where we come in.
Contact us today to see how we can help you.