Industrial automation is the use of machines to perform repetitive tasks in a manufacturing process. It reduces production time, saves energy, and increases quality. It also helps companies stay compliant with labor laws and worker protocols. Additionally, automated systems are designed to work rigorously throughout the day without breaks or shift changes, making them a perfect fit for continuous production processes.
Automation is not new, in fact it has been around for centuries. From prehistoric times, humans have been striving to increase the productivity of their workforce through mechanical means. The latest advancements in technology have given rise to a new generation of industrial automation.
Modern automation solutions use accurate data integration and connectivity to achieve precision results. They are also able to detect any changes in the quality of a product and send notifications to anyone with access, which helps improve transparency and ensures that all products produced meet a company’s high standards before leaving the factory floor.
There are several types of industrial automation, including hard automation, soft automation and connected automation. Hard automation involves pieces of equipment that are set up to do a single action, such as feeding and handling parts or other robotic systems, vision inspecting, packing, welding, cutting, or rotary indexing tables. It is the most economical form of automation and ideal for processes with a high load volume and low work variability.
Soft automation uses computer software to control machines. It is the most advanced and intelligent type of automation. This allows for a flexible system that can adapt to a variety of product configurations. It is ideal for companies that manufacture a wide range of items with different and varied specifications. Connected automation refers to a system that is connected to a network of sensors and devices. It collects real-time data and provides a digital replica of an object, which is then analysed, manipulated and optimised by the machine.
The most important advantage of industrial automation is the significant reduction in labor costs. By replacing human workers with machines, businesses can save money on wages, insurance and training. They can also avoid the cost of paying overtime or sick leave. Additionally, implementing automated systems frees employees to spend more time on valuable work rather than menial tasks.
While it may seem like a big expense, investing in industrial automation starts saving you money right away. While you will still need to pay for the initial costs of the machines, ongoing operating expenses are much lower than the payment of employee salaries and benefits. Additionally, the machine will only require maintenance and energy when it needs to execute a task.
With the right solution, you can automate almost any aspect of your business from warehouse management to routing manufacturing and logistics. It can even allow you to automate your customer service responses, which will help you to offer better support and provide a more personalised experience. This will improve your brand image and customer satisfaction.