How can my business benefit from industrial automation?

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Advances in computing and technology have had a direct impact on the nature of manufacturing and industry. In order to maintain a competitive edge in their marketplace, more and more companies are turning to industrial automation to set themselves apart.

The specifics of where and how industrial automation can improve a business will depend entirely on what the company does, and when properly designed and integrated, industrial automation will bring significant benefit to your business.

How can my business benefit from industrial automation?| The advantages

A key advantage of an automated system is a reduced production time. An automated system is able to work at a constant pace, which will result in faster production runs, will reduce lead times on your products, and take pressure off your workforce. Equally, you will be able to increase the volume of product manufactured, allowing you to fulfil larger orders. There is also flexibility in an automated system. Adding a new process will require one machine to be reprogrammed in accordance with the change, whereas in the past, all workers involved in the process would require re-training.

A further benefit can be found in quality. A programmed process will perform the same task consistently, which will eliminate variations in the finished product that can arise from manual operations. This will result in a higher quality product and better results. An automated solution can also allow for automated data collection, which will allow you to collect production information and statistics, such as part counters, cycle times, idle times and error logs, plus traceability of alterations to parameters. Whether your requirement relates to a manufactured products or control of a process, a consistent production and end result will lead to satisfied customers and a higher levels of quality. There is also an environmental benefit to consider. Whilst there is certainly a greater dependence on electricity for automated machinery, this machinery can result in much less waste product compared to a manual process, as well as potentially making more efficient use of available floor space.

How can my business benefit from industrial automation?| Job loss needn’t be the case

Whilst there may be a commonly held belief that adding an automated solution will result in widespread job losses for the existing workforce, this needn’t be the case, and can actually provide a better and more fulfilling working environment for employees. If an activity which would expose workers to potentially dangerous or hazardous situations can be automated, this would provide a higher standard of safety for the workforce. There may also be a reduction in potential repetitive strain injuries. Workers can be re-trained into operative, maintenance or engineering roles to work alongside the automated systems, giving them a broader skill set and value to the business.

There’s no denying that the question of whether automation is right for your business is one which requires careful thought, and industrial automation is a long term investment. However, there are clear potential benefits on offer for the competitive and ever-changing industrial marketplace which should be given serious consideration.

If you would like any further information or to discuss the benefits of industrial automation in more detail please contact us.

Tom LeMasonry
Project Engineer
Feed4ward Control Ltd


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