How successful businesses make the most of their factory automation
April 06, 2023
Automation is transforming manufacturing. It’s changing the way factories operate.
With automation, smart businesses can streamline production processes to save valuable time, reduce human error – and most importantly boost productivity and cut costs.
That’s why more businesses are transitioning to automation as a priority. Those who remain with traditional manual processes risk losing out on transformative benefits that factory automation brings.
What is automation in manufacturing?
Factory automation refers to the use of technology, robots and automated equipment to power production processes and systems.
Why is it vital in 2023?
Rising costs, supply chain delays and labour shortages are disrupting assembly lines. This is driving manufacturers to abandon outdated manual processes and explore more efficient new methods.
Automation delivers rapid results, removes human error and addresses chronic skill shortages. It helps manufacturers to remain agile, efficient and productive.
As automated technology and systems become increasingly smarter, more cost-effective, adaptable and accessible, advanced technology becomes easier to implement.
The cost of automation has previously made implementing new technology a challenge for manufacturing SMEs. But now, labour costs have risen and the cost of robotics and automation systems is rapidly falling.
So, SMEs should seriously consider the long-term benefit of investing in automation tools and technology.
Many tasks can be easily automated
Automation can not only improve productivity and cut costs, it can also improve customer and employee experience, and give companies a long-term competitive edge.
Successful businesses are constantly looking for new automation advancements to stay ahead of the curve.
Is your business making the most of the latest factory automation technologies? If you’re your new to automation, where do you start?
Firstly, you should determine the areas that would benefit most from automation. Not every task can be automated, but there are many that can be automated easily.
Repetitive, time-sensitive and resource-heavy manufacturing tasks and processes are a sure indicator that your organisation will benefit from automation.
Just ask yourself: Is the task repetitive? Time-sensitive? Does it involve several people and processes?
You could start by implementing some simple solutions.
For example, you could use advanced collaborative robots to handle repetitive pick & place applications or mobile robots to assist with internal logistics tasks such as palletising. These technologies can free your team members from mundane and tedious tasks. And by removing repetitive tasks and giving employees more valuable and interesting roles, they will gain more job satisfaction. This in turn results in more positive business outcomes.
Engage with employees
Also, you should create a road map of your current processes and highlight the steps you can take to transition to greater levels of automation.
As part of the process, it’s important to consult with team members to ensure they clearly understand the benefits of automation. This will avoid any potential resistance down the track.
Then, as part of the transitioning process, you must choose the right tools for automation and make sure they can meet your business objectives.
Finally, you should set and track goals for continuous improvement.
Choosing the best automation options for your applications is a key to success. You must find automation systems that offer a variety of tools, can be integrated, and are scalable and dynamic enough to grow with the business.
Ease of integration is essential when choosing automation systems.
Intelligent automation now incorporates plug-and-play technology that allows you to closely monitor your operations and performance. You can gather data in real time to help you troubleshoot and identify and prevent any machine maintenance issues.
Explore new capabilities
Robotics are getting smarter and more intuitive. Successful businesses are now deploying robots that can integrate information from multiple sensors to help streamline your production lines. And with the use of powerful software technology robots are capable of checking product quality at each assembly point. This reduces the need for time-consuming manual post-production inspections.
To remain successful, smart businesses focus on areas of automation that are experiencing continued growth.
This includes Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning that can provide companies with greater data than ever before. With AI technology smart manufacturers can improve vital aspects of a manufacturing operation, including asset tracking, supply chain visibility and inventory control.
Partner with a reputable, well-established supplier
There is great value in partnering with a robotics and automation specialist with a proven track record.
Omron Automation and Robotics can help you to find the best solutions for your business.
Our expert team works closely with clients to ensure you stay up-to-date with the latest technology. We’ll show you how to seamlessly integrate advanced technologies into your business.
We know what works. We’ll help you avoid costly pitfalls to ensure your business remains competitive, highly productive and profitable.
Contact us now to discover how you can make the most of your factory automation.