The demand for industrial products keeps increasing daily. Besides industrial products, manufacturing industries constantly seek the best way to improve their services and provide customers with the desired satisfaction.
It’s not enough to employ automation processes – many factors have to be considered to get the best. Mistakes and errors are common in setting up manufacturing automation processes. There are also technical slips and lapses, even when using cloud-based manufacturing software.
Therefore, manufacturers have to be careful and precise while setting up new automation processes to avoid wasting time and money. While automating programs leads to efficiency, it’s counterproductive when wrongly set up.
Why Should You Automate?
In the industrial world, automation isn’t a new concept. Physical tasks and processes have been automated in different fields. This can be seen in early factories that used conveyor belts and assembly lines. Personal computers in the early 1970s automated tasks like bookkeeping and word processing.
The difference between the recent automation and what was recorded in the ’70s is the newly emerging convergence of robotics, artificial intelligence, machine vision, and the rest, which promotes speed, precision, and quality.
Many organizations have employed automation industry tools as they help speed up transactions. These automation tools deal with a wide range of equipment for custom testing, process automation, and industrial automation. Thus, automation performs a wide range of functions, which include:
- Solving problems in the manufacturing process by creating digital and mechanical alternatives
- Providing quality control and product development
- Automation tools also save money and time
Getting Manufacturing Automation Right
With increased awareness of the importance of automation tools during manufacturing processes, many organizations adopt automation programs. But to get the best out of it, manufacturers need to engage with best practices. Below are helpful tips and advice to get your automation right:
1. Take Note of What Drives Your Performance
If you wish to improve your performance, you must measure the right variables. Without doing so, you may install the wrong sensors and software. Find out the variables you can control and ensure that you have a way of knowing when there’s a recorded improvement.
One of the things you can control while using automation tools is material handling, in contrast to equipment sensors, which aren’t under your control.
2. Always Make Use of Your Existing Data
Automation tools require a whole new system implementation, but you should use your existing data. Get all your data into an analytic system to correlate it to productivity.
Then, you should go ahead and note other essential variables and install proper sensors on the process components. Using existing data rather than gathering a new one will save you time and cost, as well as help you make better automation decisions.
3. Take Note of the Non-Value Activities
To create value in the manufacturing industry, you’ll need to produce a product that a customer will buy, or you’ll reduce the cost of the product.
In the context of value and non-value, about 5-10 percent of activities transform materials into products, and these can be classified as value activities; the rest fall under non-value activities.
Take note of the value and non-value for informed decisions when setting up your automation.
4. Be Willing to Adopt Changes
That something is constantly done in a particular way doesn’t mean it’s the only way. Organizations willing to adopt manufacturing automation have to be flexible enough to embrace changes when the time calls for it.
Even when the state-of-the-art solution is entirely in place, once the right motivation is lacking, automation strategies will fail. Embrace changes and motivate your employees.
5. Employ Small Working Steps
Startup manufacturing companies are usually very optimistic initially, and this always breeds a tendency to engage in many things at a time. This usually paves the way for failure even from the onset because such projects usually always encounter setbacks. The wisest thing to do is to pick up one project at a time, automate it, and ensure that it provides value.
6. Ensure That You Have Skilled Employers
Most organizations often neglect the importance of having skilled employees. In automation, it’s necessary to have the right people with the right skills because it requires a technical skillset. Organizations need good software and programming knowledge to run the automation process.
Therefore, before you begin any new automation process, check your internal workers and ensure that you have the right skills and talents that can handle any challenge that may come up.
The need for digitalization has increased tremendously since the Covid-19 outbreak – manufacturers who have implemented the automation process have recorded improvement.
Automation becomes easy when you have the suitable skillset, measure the right variables, and know exactly what to automate.
You can choose to get an automation partner that’ll work you through the planning process and help you create a custom implementation scheme based on specific needs and resources.