Thinking about automation in manufacturing processes will often lead to thoughts about massive factories with intimidating-looking machines that work around the clock for some of the world’s largest businesses. Although this is undoubtedly the case, there are also lots of smaller businesses that now take advantage of automation and it’s certainly something worth considering if you deal with manufacturing processes.
How can automation help both small and large businesses?
In years gone by, automation was reserved for mass production within which heavy duty machinery would be tasked with getting certain jobs done. These days, advances in technology have paved the way for both large and small manufacturing processes to be automated. This has brought about several benefits to both small and large businesses.
One of the main benefits of automating manufacturing processes is the fact that it allows for faster production times. Machines don’t need to think about what they’re doing, don’t require breaks, and don’t get tired.
With automated manufacturing processes, you can be sure that the work will be accurate because the machine is following a pre-programmed set of instructions. This is a benefit over human manufacturing because people, at times, make mistakes. This can lead to downtime, wasted materials, and unsatisfactory products.
Accuracy and quality go hand in hand. Because automated processes follow instructions perfectly, you’ll have peace of mind that any product being produced is of the best quality possible. The fact that automation leads to faster production also means businesses have more time to spend on developing higher quality products going forward.
Many manufacturing processes come with an element of safety risk. Although employees may be fully trained and follow safety protocols, accidents do happen in the workplace during manual manufacturing processes. By allowing machines to do some of these more dangerous tasks, you’re reducing the likelihood of employees being injured in the workplace. There is also the additional bonus that automated machinery can deal with tasks that are beyond the scope of a human employee, for example when manufacturing parts are too heavy for individuals to lift.
More Options for Businesses
Manufacturing businesses were often caught between choosing the path of high volume or low volume production. The fact that advances in technology have allowed for smaller businesses to make use of automated processes means that machines can be used as part of both high and low volume production. This helps to alleviate issues with labour costs as businesses are no longer having to spend money on employees where machines can do a better job. Of course, this also means that those potential employees can be deployed elsewhere to help drive the business forward in other ways. This isn’t a case of not requiring human employees, but rather moving them over to other more productive tasks.
Ultimately, manufacturing automation makes sense to both small and larger businesses. Increased productivity, better quality products, safer environments, saved time, and reduced cost in the long run make it a no-brainer for all kinds of manufacturing processes. This is no longer a case of high-volume verses low volume, but rather a positive addition to both.