July 15, 2024
Automating Your Manufacturing Firm

Automating Your Manufacturing Firm

Automation is the use of technology in certain processes that reduce or eliminate the need for human input. It can be utilised across a range of different industries including logistics, transportation and manufacturing.

Digital technology is increasing in the UK and the government recently announced a £50 million data innovation hub at Ulster University that will help support manufacturers.

Alongside data gathering, there are multiple ways in which your manufacturing businesses can implement and benefit from automation in your daily processes.

Benefits of Automating Your Manufacturing Firm

Benefits of Automating Your Manufacturing Firm

Some advantages of using automation to streamline operations include:

1. Increased productivity: as automated technologies can achieve faster ways of working, productivity and volume can be increased.

2. Efficiency: as productivity increases, so does efficiency across orders. Manual worker skills can be put to better and more creative use elsewhere in the business, resulting in improved outcomes for both your business and customers.

3. Quality assurance: automating production processes leads to reduced errors and greater accuracy, meaning improved all-round product quality.

4. Improved safety: all businesses should prioritise workplace safety, especially across the manufacturing industry. Automation can remove the need for workers to use dangerous machinery and equipment.

How to Implement Automation

How to Implement Automation

As a manufacturing business, you should identify which areas can be automated. Processes such as assembly, packaging and handling can often be carried out via digital technology, freeing up staff to focus on other areas.

Investing in the right technology is vital and options include robotics, digital data entry, automated guided vehicles, Internet of Things (IOT) and artificial intelligence.

It’s usually beneficial to begin with one or two automated processes to be able to identify any teething trouble, before increasing the use of technology.

Maintaining Automated Machinery

Maintaining Automated Machinery

You’ll need to take into consideration the cost of maintaining the relevant equipment and ensure that you have access to any necessary spare parts such as control cables, which are widely used across automation.

It’s better to prevent issues rather than having to solve them so regular servicing is advised across all automation equipment. It’s worth getting into the habit of checking that all components are in good working order and allocating a particular team or employee to take on the responsibility.

Keeping on top of maintenance means any repairs can be identified and solved promptly.

Training Staff

Training staff

Proper employee training is crucial to ensure the safety of all staff and efficiency of your own business. Workers will need to be trained on how to use equipment as well as how to identify any issues. Employees might also need to be reassured that any new technology is not there to replace their job, but to make processes smoother and easier. While this might take some time to get used to, your staff, as well as your business, will soon reap the benefits of automation.

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