Many industries are reaping the rewards of using automation on their production line processes, products and services. We’re here to dive into what manufacturing automation actually is.
What is manufacturing automation or production automation?
You may have heard of production automation rather than manufacturing automation. Both of these titles umbrella the same things. Manufacturing automation is the use of machinery and equipment to automate production processes and systems in various industries.
Below are a few examples of the benefits pulled from automation. They should help you further understand why industries such as automotive, food and hygiene and chemical handling are so drawn to implementing automation in their manufacturing processes.
What is an automated industry?
An automated industry is a field in which systems, computers and robots aid the production through the streamlining of processes without the interaction of human employees.
With the ability to create and produce an automation that delivers a process specifically for your industry is what is so appealing to operational directors and board members. The industries listed below will all use production automation for different purposes but with the same end result of wanting to increase productivity and lower costs.
Assembling and welding large parts of metal together is a common function of automation as well as working alongside 3D printers that can create detailed car parts with accuracy.
Precast walls and rooms which are built off site and then delivered are ever popular within construction. The scale of the orders on multi million pound contracts require manufacturing automations to work at pace and with extreme accuracy.
In delivery warehouses the ability of being able to sort through deliveries, parcels, packages and letters at incredible speeds with automation is hugely efficient. The backbone of most delivery companies are automations.
The detail required to produce products in the electronic field is very sophisticated. With notorious damage prevalent on eye sight because of this need for accuracy, automation once again saves on this issue of health and safety.
You’ll see automations in the form of a self service interface in fast-food restaurants. With no need to speak to the cashier, companies are able to reduce their staff force. There are also huge benefits of reducing transmittable diseases when it comes to preparing and packaging food products.
Pharmaceutical companies champion the ability to reduce human contamination in their medicines as well as being able to deliver precise formulas and qualities of medication for different products and pharmaceuticals.
What are the benefits of automation?
There are a number of reasons why various industries are reaping the benefits of automation. Just looking at efficiency and productivity alone allows us to understand its real power.
Efficacy and pace of manufacturing
Without having to use employees/ operators or physical labour, industries are finding that they are able to lower human errors which effectively cost time and money. The Harvard Business Review back in 2017 reported that the global manufacturing GBD could increase 1.4% per year with the implementation of automation across multiple industries.
With any product or service based company, the ability to remain consistent with quality with its deliverable is highly attractive to the business and stakeholders and investors alike. Switching to manufacturing automation simply increases this probability and enables data to be collected.
With a clear understanding of what is achievable through automation, projections and forecasts are increasingly clearer to draw up. Having this broader view of directions of the company allows accurate and measured progressions to be taken by major stakeholders.
Safety and responsibility through automation
Many of the industries currently using the benefits of automation are industries where there is high risk and often highly skilled operative work needed. This is not to say humans are incapable of performing such tasks but firstly human error can prove costly and in some cases fatal.
The use of chemicals, heavy machinery and speedy movement on production lines fall to the hands of automation rather than physical labour. In hand with this, companies are championing automation simply because you do not have to pay national insurance, pensions or maternity leave. Automation will never need a day off.