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.
As executives increasingly comprehend the business value inherent in automated solutions for manufacturing, distribution and other related operations, it becomes clearer that automation is more of a “must-have” than a “nice-to-have” for profitability. Just because executives put forth the investment and effort to integrate manufacturing automation, that doesn’t mean they always do so strategically—even though the strategy piece can actually mean the difference between a successful automation implementation and one that fails to align with the company’s core business goals.
Automation has been a staple in various factory settings for decades. And since the beginnings of industrial automation, there’s been a major shift in both technology and affordability.
But for some manufacturing executives, there remains a perception that the expense and risk of implementing automation is simply too much to be practical or worthwhile. The problem with this assumption is that it fails to acknowledge the immense profitability an investment in automation reaps for businesses of many types and sizes.
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?
No executive wants to think about the daunting possibility of experiencing an unsuccessful automation integration. When there’s so much time and money on the line, it’s paramount that the company’s investment in automated solutions performs according to expectations. Otherwise, you just might end up with nothing to show for your efforts but an unfortunate hike to the unemployment 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.
Join WM leadership at booth #3318, June 6-9 in Detroit, Michigan, to experience its pre-engineered modular automation platform, Industry 4.0 real-time cell monitoring, a collaborative robot mounted on an AMR and more.
The South Carolina robotics integrator doubles Wauseon Machine's automation bandwidth
Wauseon Machine and Manufacturing, Inc. (Wauseon Machine), a provider of robotics automation, tube fabrication equipment, and build-to-print precision machined parts, is pleased to announce it has acquired McAlister Design and Automation LLC (McAlister Design) of Greenville, SC, to further Wauseon Machine’s aim of creating comprehensive automation solutions to meet the needs of customers, both current and future. This acquisition is a springboard for Wauseon Machine’s ambitious growth plans to make its automation capabilities and services available in more regions of the country.
For an investment in automation to be worthwhile and profitable, there’s a particular way to approach the process that involves smart decisions and strategic moves. Whether a manufacturing executive follows this wisdom has a direct impact on their ability to integrate automation solutions that enable the company to perform better, faster, more inexpensively and with greater value to both consumers and investors.