Automation & you: the key to success in the Manufacturing industry
From humble beginnings in the textile and pottery sectors, where basic machines were introduced to help the workers and artisans produce their wares quicker and more easily, to the advent or robotics, the manufacturing industry has steadily embraced automation as a means to increase production and revenue. Over the last three decades, factories worldwide have become more automated, sometimes to the detriment of the human factor. A single machine can do the work of 5, 10, or more people, faster and more efficiently. But this was offset by the need of recruiting people to repair and maintain the machinery itself.
There’s no doubt that automation is key to the success of any medium to large manufacturing operation. Specialized machinery is essential to produce miniaturized items for instance, or to work with hazardous materials. This blogpost explains why automation is a pillar of success.
Rise of the machines: automation in Manufacturing
The term automation can be defined as the integration of industrial machinery that can perform dangerous or repetitive tasks such as welding, packing, dispensing, and many others. Automation enables a relatively safer and more productive manufacturing environment, and the level of automation required will be largely dictated by the industry sector itself. The progressive automation of a factory ensures that the facility will achieve, or at the very least, maintain its operational competitiveness. Manufacturing is literally an industry that lives by numbers: yield, production rate, costs, supply figures, etc., so maintaining a competitive edge is essential.
Automation brings the following advantages:
- Reduced Production Cost – While an initial (and fairly substantial) financial outlay will be required, your business will quickly recoup the monies through greatly reduced production costs and quicker turnaround.
- Streamlined & faster production process – Automation promotes efficiency through simpler and more effective production processes.
- Improved Quality – An automated production process means that items will be manufactured in the exact same way, and in greater quantities, every time. But the same token, the actual process must be error-free to ensure that the same defect is not introduced time and time again in hundreds, or thousands of products.
- More efficient space utilization – Machinery will free up valuable space across the factory floor.
- Waste reduction – Streamlined manufacturing processes and improved quality will mean less waste of raw materials or defective final products.
Automating your future: How to get started
The basis and the case for automation has been established. Your manufacturing business needs to be fully, or partially at least, automated to ensure profitability and longevity. But the first step in the process is sometimes the hardest, and you may not quite know where to start, or who can help. On the personal side, System Integrators (or simply, ‘integrators’) are individuals or companies specialized in the automation process. They can help you succeed through their expertise and technological knowledge.
On the software side, a digital solution such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations will turn your factory into a digital, Cloud-enabled manufacturing powerhouse, equipped with all the tools to future-proof your business. Dynamics 365 for Operations encapsulates all the concepts and ideas to integrate and monitor machinery and other devices.
The increasingly predominant role of machinery across the manufacturing industry is a well-documented fact. Most factories nowadays are either fully or almost fully automated. Machines have become commonplace, and we can hardly do without many such devices anymore. There is no doubt on the advantages that automation brings, as explained above, and by learning the intricacies of how machinery automation can help, you’re ensuring the success and longevity of your business.