What Is Industrial Automation?
Industrial automation involves sourcing control systems to handle different or all processes of the manufacturing industry that would otherwise be handled by a human being. Many automation processes depend highly on Information Technology and involve the use of machines like computers and robots.
Reasons for Industrial Automation
There are a number of reasons why industries may opt for automation of its processes. Whatever the reasons are, it is important to look for an automation option that is cost effective and efficient. Reasons for automation include:
In order to run 24 hours a day and to do so effectively, many industrial firms are forced to hire many human workers so that they can provide labour in shifts. Even then, many are still affected by boredom and there are go-slows which affect the firm’s production rate.
Such firms can find a lasting solution in automation. Automation systems like robots can work for 24 hours a day for the whole year. This way, the firm is able to meet its production goal and to realize a significant increase in its productivity.
Desire for Flexibility
Some production processes are dynamic in nature. There can be new regulations, improvements, or packaging methods being introduced at any given time. Without automation, firms are required to bring in a new qualified professional every time there is change. Alternatively, they may be compelled to invest in a local training of the existing operators.
Automation is a viable solution for many flexibility needs. How? Because robots run under the command of specific programs, they can be ‘taught’ how to follow new instructions whenever a need arises by changing or updating the current software they are operating on.
The desire for Safe Factory Floors
Some processes are simply life-threatening for human labourers. For instance, tasks involving chemical and gas handling, exploration of gold mines, and the like. Investing in an automation process leaves the potentially dangerous tasks to machines like robots while the human workers are assigned other human-friendly tasks.
Machines and robots follow commands exactly as they are given to them. This allows for high precision and accuracy in the production process. Human beings are prone to making errors either due to fatigue, boredom or by sheer accident.
With automation, a firm is able to seal many of the loopholes where errors can occur improving general accuracy and reducing resource wastage in cases where raw materials are involved.
Need To Reduce the Cost of Production and Boost Profits
Although the initial cost of automating a production process may be high, this is a move that reduces the total cost of production in the long run. As already mentioned, the firm is able to increase its productivity and this means it can reach greater market share over a short period of time.
The firm is also able to cut on raw material wastage upon automation and can, therefore, produce more using the same quantity of initial materials. It is also cheaper to maintain a machine as opposed to paying hundreds of workers to do that which a single robotic arm can do.
Automation Using Collaborative Robots
Previously, automation was only through the traditional industrial robots. Today, there is a new design of collaborative robots from the world’s robotics market leader: universal-robots.com. Also known as cobots, these are a cost-effective modern way of increasing the flexibility and quality of work done by the manufacturing industries.
Cobots are different from industrial robots in that they are more affordable, small in size and have a broad versatility. They are user-friendly and run on robot software that is easy to install and use. What’s more? A single collaborative robotic arm can be used to complete a number of tasks. All that one is needed to do is change the robot software.
Another feature that makes cobots very appealing is their ability to work side by side with the human worker. That’s right! You do not have to think of putting up cages and other secluded places if you automate your production process. Cobots have uniquely designed sensory technique that enables them to detect human presence for safe co-existence.
It is the desire of a production manager to be able to produce more, improve on quality and do so in time and at the lowest cost possible. Many production firms have been able to realize these benefits using cobots. Do not limit yours, automate your processes using a collaborative robot; today!