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.
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.
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.
A shift in manufacturing continues to unfold as a result of COVID-19, and many companies are turning to robotics as a solution for providing safe workspaces and adhering to social distancing guidelines.
The benefits of robotics to manufacturing facilities are far-reaching, even beyond COVID. Minimizing the risk to employees during the current pandemic is critical, but there are several other safety concerns that robots in manufacturing address. Increased flexibility, reliability, productivity, and cost savings are all also compelling advantages of leveraging robotics in manufacturing.
As consumers evolve, so do their expectations for manufactured goods. This evolution—among other factors—has compelled significant change in the way manufacturers operate. Today, everything from consumer demand and market challenges to production efficiency and regulatory requirements impacts the management of your manufacturing systems.
Fortunately, the power of technology has answered this call with advanced automation options. But even as manufacturing companies embrace modernized approaches, many struggle to make the transition a successful and profitable one. If you’re planning an integration of automated manufacturing systems at your organization, leverage this critical list of expert dos and don’ts to formulate a smart path forward.
The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) estimates that just three years ago, there were approximately 2.1 million stand-alone industrial robots installed worldwide, with the largest applications including manufacturing operations such as machine tending, welding, soldering, and assembling materials. In addition, analysts have predicted strong future growth of collaborative robots throughout 2020 and beyond.
There’s a host of reasons why forward-thinking, growth-driven organizations have been integrating automation and robotics within their manufacturing operations, not the least of which is the capacity to significantly reduce human errors that eat away at a company’s bottom line.
Throughout the process of researching robotics integration for your manufacturing organization, there’s apt to be a concentrated focus on the financial component. Every operation has its own budgetary constraints, so it’s only natural to be concerned about cost. What many manufacturers might not understand, however, is the complete breadth of information involved in determining the true, or total, cost.
(Image credit: https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=23311)
The outbreak of COVID-19 has launched the world into a new era, for better or worse. Entire populations in countries across the globe—particularly here in the U.S.—are scrambling to redefine “normal” and identify the smartest, safest paths forward. For many, it’s been a tough pill to swallow, but it’s also been an eye-opening experience and a major catalyst for change. No more prominently has this shift manifested than in the manufacturing arena.