If you run a small factory, you are probably interested in automation, indeed, you may well be using it to some degree or another, which streamlines your manufacturing processes and makes your organisation more efficient.
There are basically 4 types of industrial automation, which are as follows:
- Tech automation – This typically involves the use of AI or machine learning to manage the manufacturing process. A supercomputer might manage a program logic controller and the entire system might be managed by a single technician.
- Fixed automation – Also known as hard automation, this usually involves a series of processes with a single output. A company might produce a single component and their automation would be geared around that one product.
- Programmable automation – Used primarily to produce several components or products, the system can easily be reprogrammed to handle additional processes.
- Flexible automation – This serves as a middle ground between fixed and programmable automation, which is ideal for low-volume production.
There is always room for improvement regarding automation and by approaching a reputable automation provider, you can make your business more efficient and therefore more profitable.
Areas that automation can be effectively used
There are numerous areas that automation can be used, including:
- Procurement – Raw material procurement can be semi-automated, which saves both time and money. Raw materials ordering can be semi-automated, saving you in many ways.
- Production – Automation can streamline your production processes in so many ways; if you would like to learn how automation can help your manufacturing business, search online for an established industrial automation provider.
- Quality control – You can boost your QC department using automation; such a system can identify weaknesses before they cause problems. AI can be set up to find fault in products as they roll off the production line and it can do this far more efficiently than a human being.
- Supply chain – Your supply chain can be automated to a degree by analysing data and automating processes such as purchasing orders, shipping bills, inventories and invoices.
The best way forward is to approach a company that produces automation systems for manufacturers; they can tailor their services to suit the client and they would first carry out a needs assessment, which enables them to put together a proposal that can transform your business.