Automated manufacturing operations help a facility run more efficiently and productively. By automating manufacturing production processes, companies can remain competitive in an evolving market. Automation technologies help reduce waste, increase efficiency, improve product quality, and empower employees. Dive deeper into the benefits of implementing automated manufacturing systems.
Increase Efficiency and Productivity
Perhaps the most common benefit associated with automated manufacturing is increased efficiency. Robots and other automation technologies are designed to work nonstop. They don’t need vacations or breaks, and can essentially work 24/7 if they are properly maintained. Since automated robots can work at a consistent pace without stopping, they are more productive than human workers on production lines.
The increase in efficiency provided by automation has several advantages for manufacturers. Robots work consistently and continuously, which increases the production rate. This allows manufacturers to make more products, increase their bandwidth to onboard new customers, and get products to market faster. Having this level of control over production speed also helps manufacturers react more effectively to market changes. All of these advantages give manufacturers a competitive edge in the marketplace.
Improve Product Quality
Manufacturers who implement automation into their production processes also benefit from improved product quality. Automated robots are replacing human workers and freeing them up to focus on more value-added tasks. Removing human workers from production lines eliminates human error. Automated manufacturing systems aren’t limited by human restrictions; they don’t get tired, distracted, or make mistakes.
Additionally, automated machines will run the same way every time and produce the same end result. Not only does this result in consistency, but also accuracy. Automated systems can be programmed to make exact measurements, installations, placements and more. This ensures each part has the same level of quality, while also allowing manufacturers to easily make production adjustments to continue to improve quality.
Pairing automation technologies with data sensors and collectors is another way to enhance part quality. These tools can detect errors in production, including malfunctions, misalignments, and excessive wear. Identifying such errors as soon as they happen helps manufacturers quickly fix issues with limited product loss. So, by using automation, manufacturers can continuously improve product quality.
Many of the automation advantages that improve product quality also reduce product and material waste. Programming automated manufacturing systems with tight tolerances and implementing data sensors essentially eliminates scrap and rework of parts. When utilized effectively, these systems can bring a facility’s material waste down to zero.
Automation doesn’t just reduce material waste, though. This technology also helps to minimize time and operational waste. Companies with dynamic operations and frequent process changes tend to experience a lot of waste. The changes may be optimizing production, but it takes time for human workers to get used to changes and into the flow of new processes. These shifts go much smoother for facilities with automated systems that can simply be reprogrammed. In these situations, automation saves time and maintains operational efficiency, eliminating production waste caused by mistakes.
An often-overlooked benefit of automation is the positive impact it can have on a manufacturing facility’s employees. Many people assume that automated robots and systems will put human workers out of a job. However, automation isn’t meant to entirely replace human workers, but rather take over tasks that are unsafe and not enjoyable for humans.
Automated manufacturing technologies help employees focus on more value-added tasks, allowing them to collaborate and work on innovative initiatives. Meanwhile, automated robots and systems can take over unsafe, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks. This makes employees safer and happier, which increases employee satisfaction and retention.
In this way, automation helps empower employees. They are afforded more agency over their jobs and have more opportunity to advance within their workplace. Due to this, manufacturers should view automation not only as a means to enhance operations and improve productivity, but also as a tool to help them attract talent and retain a knowledgeable workforce.To learn more about automated manufacturing, and connect with vendors and industry leaders who can help you improve production processes, attend Smart Manufacturing Experience.