Manufacturing is an economic driver.
According to the ASME (American Society for Mechanical Engineers), in 2018 manufacturing contributed nearly $2.4 billion to the economy in the United States. This is 11 percent of the total economy. It’s safe to say America runs on manufacturing.
Which is why it is critical for manufacturers to continue to innovate and improve. Rather than looking back and relying on processes of the past, it’s important we look ahead and embrace the future.
That’s why there has never been a better time for manufacturers to embrace automation.
What is Automation?
Put simply, automation is:
The application of technology and digital processes to monitor and manage the production and transfer of goods and services.
Today, automation has an impact on almost every industry, including manufacturing. Marketing automation allows businesses to reach and communicate with more customers and prospects. In ecommerce distribution, automation allows companies to ship more efficiently, Property managers can better handle facility operations like security, energy management and environmental control using building automation.
The benefits of automation for manufacturing are potentially even greater.
The Benefits of Automation for Manufacturers
For many manufacturers, automation is empowering, allowing the business to better handle critical work with less resources and at a lower cost. It makes the manufacturing operations more competitive, better able to handle more work with lower risk.
Companies that embrace automation see many benefits, including:
Depending how automation is used, it can speed up production time especially for repetitive tasks. Some manufacturers implementing end-to-end automation systems report double, even triple, production compared to previous processes without automation.
While repetitive work is one area where automation can benefit production, it can also mean that machines and equipment can be run longer without interruption. Shift changes, down time and line slowdowns can be eliminated as automation takes over.
Every year, manufacturers lose manpower and critical resources to accidents. Employees then miss work as they recover from the accident, and the manufacturer scrambles to cover for the lost expertise and manpower.
By moving hazardous work over to an automated system like a robot, there is less exposure to danger for employees. Often it is this work that is first automated. This also means you have more manpower at your disposal, less downtime and recovery, and can keep your facility working at maximum efficiency.
The process of automating a workflow will often lead to much lower production costs. This process will often simplify material fabrication and the production process. It reveals unnecessary work and steps as the team narrows the process down to only the most efficient and controlled movements.
The result is lower costs and higher profits for the company.
Eliminate Errors and Higher Quality
Quality escapes and errors often occur during the most repetitious and tedious tasks in a production process. By moving this work over to automation and robots, which are much better suited repetitious work, you will see an overall increase in quality and a reduction in errors.
Better Manufacturing Visibility
Visibility into manufacturing processes is critical for continual improvement and process control.
Employees often need to stop work and enter data to provide that visibility, which means a loss in productivity, and often leads to errors in the data collection as employees rush to maintain productivity. Automated systems typically provide automated data collection and real-time monitoring. Depending on how your systems are designed and integrated, you can collect as much or as little data as you need.
How to Implement Automation at your Facility
Automation starts by tracking assets at your facility.
You need a way of linking the physical world – the products you are working on – with the digital world that manages the automation system, and that’s where asset tracking comes in. You need a way of linking data to objects in the system.
If you want to know more about the latest in automation and asset tracking, especially for metals manufacturers, then contact GO2 Partners and schedule an appointment with our Material ID team. Their expertise solves problems and increases production for manufacturers.