Already, automation has become well-established in the manufacturing industry, with robots carrying out a range of manufacturing tasks from welding and assembly to product packing, handling materials and shipping, but increasingly, manufacturers are leveraging automation for even more applications.
So, what does the future hold for automation in this key sector? Here, we take a closer look.
Automation has led to “lights out” manufacturing being developed – the capability to run 24/7 with only a skeleton staff required for the night shifts. Usually, running more shifts requires time to schedule and plan, not to mention extra labour costs. Automation makes it possible to work all through the night with no need for a full human staff. Although at the present time manufacturers require skilled operators to create more complex components, automated production of other parts allows for increased production together with lower costs and no need to sacrifice on quality. In the future, even these more complex components will be able to be created by machines leading to even more savings and even greater productivity.
The latest systems are robust and sophisticated but they’re unable to do everything. This is why third-party applications are now being integrated to simplify production processes. For example, CAD software shows how automation makes good processes even more effective.
Companies making complex products can utilise this software to make it easier and faster to design, visualise, modify, share and evaluate the specifications and drawings necessary to make components. Now, however, new third-party software is taking this to a whole new level. The latest CAD interface software imports this design data into the system with only a few key strokes and uses them to build the component automatically, saving costly engineering time through eliminating the errors which may occur when using manual forms of data entry.
Configurator automations also address manufacturers’ needs when making products that have lots of different customisable options. This software allows many options to be selected and the system will then work alone to create the list of materials, generate the work order and then schedule production in just minutes. This popular automation tool is used by many companies which allow their customers to choose options online and place orders over the internet. It allows for pricing and quoting to be sped up and made more accurate while enabling self-serving styling for customers.
Although automation offers many benefits, it needs to have processes that are well-designed. A well-designed automated process will make the manufacturing industry more efficient and more cost-effective, despite the investment required in machinery and software. Businesses in the future will be able to enjoy excellent returns on this investment, and by hiring the right professionals to work in this field, they will find that their processes become more effective and their revenues rise substantially.Back to NewsJob Search