Industrial automation is a set of systems that enable manufacturers to control and optimize their production processes. It can include anything from simple machine tools to complete automated manufacturing lines. This technology helps improve productivity, reduce operating expenses and enhance product quality. While the advantages of industrial automation are numerous, it’s important to consider the potential downsides before making the leap to automated processes.
Despite the widespread use of industrial automation, many people still have misconceptions about the process and how it benefits businesses. Some of the most common concerns involve societal impact, cost and worker safety. However, many of these misconceptions can be addressed with the right knowledge and planning. This article will explore the basics of industrial automation, some of its most common uses, and how it can help businesses achieve success in today’s challenging market.
Automation can take care of tasks that require a high level of skill, precision and safety. These tasks include welding, painting, assembling, material handling and packaging. Thanks to latest tech innovations such as machine vision, AI and Edge computing, industrial automation solutions can now handle more complex and demanding tasks. This allows manufacturers to step up production and meet growing customer demands.
The most common benefit of industrial automation is improved productivity. It allows companies to produce more product in less time and with fewer errors. Additionally, it frees up employees to focus on tasks that have a greater value add and can be more rewarding for them. This can result in reduced work hours, which can lead to better working conditions and a more positive employee experience.
Industrial automation can also help reduce manufacturing costs, as it eliminates the need for human labor. In addition, it can provide a more stable production process and consistent results. Additionally, it can increase the speed of production and allow for a wider variety of product configurations. These benefits make industrial automation an invaluable tool for manufacturers in a competitive marketplace.
Moreover, automated systems are more accurate than human workers. For example, a robot can install pistons into a car engine with an error rate of 0.00001%, compared to the manual error rate of 1-1.5%. This accuracy translates into lower operational expenses and higher profit margins.
Another major benefit of industrial automation is a reduction in waste. By eliminating human error and reducing the amount of scrap produced, companies can save significant amounts of money. Furthermore, industrial automation can reduce the amount of time spent on maintenance and repairs, resulting in a more efficient and productive production system.
While the benefits of industrial automation are numerous, some manufacturing organizations are reluctant to implement this technology due to the initial investment required. This is particularly true for larger companies that already have a well-established legacy infrastructure and want to avoid disrupting their current workflows. However, by highlighting the long-term benefits of automation and providing case studies of similar companies that have achieved success, managers can help convince leadership to invest in industrial automation.