Technology is everywhere. When it comes to staples in your life like your smartphone, your TV, or your car computer, the tangible gains are obvious and immediate. When you’re talking about the business of manufacturing, however, there’s likely to be more ambiguity about whether technology is worthwhile. In other words, what can it actually do for the company’s bottom line?
When you’ve realized that automation can transform your business outcomes in some pretty significant ways, the logical next step is to consider how your organization will be most successful in terms of putting an effective automation plan into motion. The topic of leveraging internal resources versus partnering with a professional automation integrator is bound to surface. Because of this, it’s essential to have the most accurate information at your disposal so you don’t make unreliable assumptions in the decision-making process.
Manufacturing automation has been permeating the very fabric of the industry for quite some time now, evolving not only company operations, but also potential capabilities and the workforce as a whole. Applications in both fixed automation and robotics have the power to bring immense value to organizations that embrace the significance of automated solutions. While many manufacturing executives understand this concept in theory, there are those that question whether a specific integration project can actually improve their business.
Your business is on track to make a wise investment in robotics. You’ve acknowledged the many profitability advantages this decision can reap for the organization, and now you’re thinking ahead to the integration plan. There are loads of questions to be asked, not the least of which stem from understanding the kind of robotics integrator you should hire in order to achieve the most successful outcome.
Machine tending is often considered a highly complex process within manufacturing facilities. Because of this perceived complexity—and the obvious concern over bottom-line impacts—some companies have been slow to adopt automation for machine tending functions. Overlooking the distinct benefits of machine tending automation, however, can be a major disadvantage in terms of competitiveness and overall profitability.
Material handling, as a manufacturing term, encompasses a wide range of processes. It touches everything from machine tending and packaging to machine tending, press tending, picking, packing and palletizing. It is essential to the world’s supply chain capabilities and, therefore, a prime opportunity for integrating automation. As global realities, competitive pressures and consumer demands continue to shape (and reshape) the manufacturing landscape, automated material handling solutions become smarter and more advantageous than ever.
In a number of today’s markets for consumer packaged goods, particularly food, beverages and other consumables, businesses are increasingly leveraging the advantages of automation to optimize their packaging lines and maximize profitability. Essentially, any production operation that involves placing a product into a form of packaging—from bottles, sleeves and containers to cardboard cases and skids—has the potential to reap benefits from integrating automation.
There’s no shortage of options and technologies available for manufacturing companies to automate their assembly process. After all, automation has become a cornerstone of efficient, safe, and cost-effective production operations across a wide range of production industries and locations. For many organizations, the question is not whether the automation capabilities exist, but rather whether those assembly line solutions are uniquely suited to meet their underlying business objectives.
When it comes to leveraging robotic applications to enhance automated operations, the automotive industry is arguably the most advanced and mature in the field. And because accessibility to smart robotic applications and programming is greater than ever before, automotive production and assembly lines are now achieving the highest levels of quality and efficiency. On the assembly side alone, you’re apt to see one or two workers overseeing upwards of 80 functioning robots.
Advances in factory automation over the last several decades have been nothing short of extraordinary. From greater efficiencies and higher standards of safety to customization and quality improvements, inspiration and innovation have brought about fresh capabilities for players across the manufacturing industry. Even so, there’s much more to be explored in terms of advancing factory automation. As new technologies emerge, it’s both important and exciting to stay informed about the latest forward movements.