What Does Palletiser Mean?

What is a Palletiser?

Palletiser is a term used in the machinery automation industry to describe an automated machine or system that stacks product onto pallets.

There are many different types of palletising systems available on the market from basic box and carton palletisers, through to bag palletisers, barrel palletisers and mixed case palletising. They all have some sort of robotic system that is programmed to pick the incoming product off a production line and place it onto pallets.

Some systems form the product into layers than place whole layers on to pallets, other pick products individually and place them onto pallets. There are many different considerations for specifying a palletiser such as; production speed, range of product types and sizes, weight of products, type of packaging, what type of gripper is needed, etc.

The entry level robotic palletisers are often a basic two station system where the robot has two pallet stacking positions so it can stack these two pallets, and then a member of staff can remove the stacked pallets with a forklift through a safety light curtain or by opening a safety gate. The advanced systems have multiple lanes and automatic pallet feeding. Automatic pallet feeding means that the production can keep running continuously as the pallets will move through the system on conveyors and the stacked pallets will be automatically moved to outside the safety area ready for forklift operators to remove the pallets.

Programming of palletisers is a very important part of the system, often robotic palletisers required skilled robot programming engineers to set them up. The most advanced systems have completely automatic programming where you simply build a 3D model of your pallet using simple user-friendly software and then the system programmes itself (e.g. GA15 series robotic palletiser). The advantage of this advanced software is that you keep control of your system in house and it reduces the cost of expensive robot programmers every time you need to change your palletising layout due to a new product.

Watch this video to see a palletiser with advanced programming software.

 

Granta usually recommend the GA15 series palletising system which is a modular robotic palletising system. Being modular it can be easily adapted for almost any palletising application and it is easy to add extras such as; slip sheets, pallet feeding, stretch wrapping, barcode reading, label application and other bespoke modules. The GA15 series palletiser also has advanced easy programming software which enables you to design your stack pattern in 3D then it automatically programs the robot.

If you unsure if a palletiser is right for you at the moment, Granta also offer a buy back scheme where we buy the palletiser system back off you if within the first 6 months you decide you don’t want it. Granta can also do free trials for you with your product, simply ship a pallet to us and we will run a demonstration for you.

Contact us for help with your project

Find out more…

 

Watch videos…

 

Posted in Bespoke Automated Packing, Bespoke Automation, Bespoke Machinery, Bespoke Machinery Automation, Palletiser, Robotic Palletising | Tagged , , | Comments Off on What Does Palletiser Mean?

How To Define The Value Of Intangible Benefits

 

Calculating ROI is needed to validate any project but often this is not as easy as it appears on the surface.

Often companies start and stop by thinking in terms of ‘how much paid staff time will this project save me?’ E.g. this project may save me 1 salary at £30,000 per year, we want 5 years payback so max project value that is justifiable is £150,000.

 

Some companies dig a lot further into other tangible payback areas such as:

  • What increase in production will this give me due to machinery not stopping during lunch and break times.
  • What increase in production will this give me due to extra shifts/production time, etc.
  • What increase in production will this give me due to faster production speeds.
  • How much downtime will this save me due to less breakdowns, etc.
  • How much will this save me in temporary staff costs while full time staff are on holiday or ill.
  • What % defects will this project save me, and what is the resulting saving in terms of reduced costs of defects, increased production, handling of recalls etc.
  • etc

For help with calculating the tangible benefits of your project try using our payback calculator www.granta-automation.co.uk/automation-project-payback-calculator 

 

Rarely do companies put a value to the intangible benefits of projects such as:

  • Improved Health and Safety
  • Admin of people HR costs savings
  • The increased sales due to the ‘wow factor’ for your customers; improving their perception of your company and encouraging them to trust you and want to use you.
  • The improved buying prices due to the ‘wow factor’ for your suppliers; improving their perception of your company and helping them to want to do business with you.
  • Increased moral of staff due to improved environment and faster production speeds etc.
  • Increased motivation of staff due to results being displayed on a scoreboard https://www.granta-automation.co.uk/news/kpis-dashboards-and-scoreboards-are-key-to-a-better-company-culture/
  • Less fork truck movements/requirements saving on costs of purchasing and maintaining fork trucks
  • Counting/measuring production output is more accurate and less time consuming.
  • The extra marketing and sales opportunity to talk about your investment in automation
  • Improved quality/reduction in defects for the end client/customer.
  • Reduced floor space requirements as a result of the automation project
  • Time savings on product inspection
  • Increased sales due to reduced product costs
  • Better customer service resulting from the above

 

Then there are the intangible risks of not carrying out the project to consider as well, e.g if I don’t go ahead with the project:

  • Might my competition automated ahead of me instead, and what impact could this have on our market?
  • Can I meet required production quantities and if not what impact will this have?
  • Will I need to pay for extra shifts/staff etc. anyhow to meet market demand?
  • Can I keep up with my markets production quality standards and if not what impact will this have?
  • What will happen to staff morale? Are staff struggling/getting bored with their job? Is staff turnover going to be an issue?
  • Is there any health and safety risk with the current process? Have their been any H&S issues like RSI or staff sickness as a result of the job role.

 

So how do I calculate the value of these intangible benefits?

Essentially the aim is to somehow make the intangible tangible, and there are several methods that can be used;

 

1. Process of elimination

This is really a cheat method and not defined or accurate but is simply a process of starting with the balance between required payback and tangible benefits and evaluating if you feel the intangible benefits easily cover the difference? Obviously in many situations the tangible benefits are enough to justify the project without the intangible benefits anyhow or the difference is so small that the intangibles are clearly worth more than the difference.

Worked example:

£200,000 project cost

4 year payback period

Therefore at least £200,000/4 = £50,000 per year of benefits needed to justify the project.

Tangible benefits:

  • Labour saving = £30,000 per year
  • Extra production = £15,000 per year

By eliminating the tangible benefits the balance needed to justify the project is £5,000 per year of intangible benefits to justify the project

Intangible benefits:

  • Less H&S issues and risks
  • Improved product quality to better a standard that is better than the competition (currently it is worse than the competition) potentially resulting in increased sales
  • The extra marketing and sales opportunity automating the process will bring us
  • Improved staff morale; staff morale is currently very low
  • The competition may automate at some point

It is clear to management that these intangible benefits are worth more than £5,000 so they go ahead with the project.

 

2. Weighted estimation

This is the most common method and is very similar to the risk assessment processes used for assessing health and safety risks. Each of the intangible items is listed. An estimated saving/cost in £ is assigned to each of the list items as to what they are estimated to be if they did happen. A percentage likelihood of the intangible happening is assigned to each of the list items. Finally the estimated saving/cost is multiplied by the % likelihood to give a monetary value to the intangible items.

Worked example:

Intangible benefits if we were to automate 

Intangible £ if it did happen Likelihood of it happening Weighted estimated intangible benefits value
Less staff sickness due to improved H&S £1,000 50% £500
Increased sales due to improved product quality £10,000 70% £7,000
Increased sales due to the extra marketing and sales opportunity automation will bring £3,000 30% £900
Improved staff output due to improved staff morale £1,000 50% £500

 

Intangible risks if we didn’t automate

Intangible £ if it did happen Likelihood of it happening Weighted estimated intangible risks value
H&S claims due to RSI £5,000 30% £1,500
Poor staff morale causing staff turnover and/or poor performance £3,000 80% £2,400
The competition may automate at some point improving quality and price meaning we are no longer competitive £20,000 25% £5,000

 

3. Comparative analysis

This is where you compare intangibles with previous scenarios that have put a value to an intangible and then compare them to give them a defined value. This method is commonly used in valuing intangible business assets such as brand names and patents. If other companies have previously sold similar brand names or patents, then the price of these can be used to establish a price for your own brand name or patents. An example of this in relation to automation project intangible benefits could be to compare to another automation project you have completed in your factory, or to compare with case studies from other companies that have automated.

Examples:

Less staff sickness due to improved health and safety – could be compared with how much staff sickness you have in this non automated process vs another automated process in your factory.

Increased sales due to improved product quality – could be compared with how much sales improved for another similar product when you improved it.  Or it could be compared with how much your sales have dropped due to your competition improving the quality of their product.

 

Contact us for help with your project

Find out more…

 

Watch videos…

 

Posted in Automation Consultant, Bespoke Automated Packing, Bespoke Automation, Bespoke Control Systems, Bespoke Machinery, Bespoke Machinery Automation, Company news, Custom Automation, Custom Built Machinery, Custom Control Systems, Custom Machinery Automation, Datalogging, Granta Updates, Machinery Integration, Old Machinery Automation, Production Line Control Systems, Production Monitoring, Robot Integrators, Robotic Automation, Robotic Palletising, Technical Information, Vision Inspection | Tagged , , | Comments Off on How To Define The Value Of Intangible Benefits

4 Effective Ways to Boost Factory Staff Morale and Keep The Pace Up

There are many different ways to boost staff morale, and if you do a google search like this  https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=how+to+boost+factory+staff+morale you will get 1000’s of ideas, but we want to cover 4 really important ones that are less easily found on google. These ideas are not ground-breaking, but they can have a profound impact on your staff morale, factory output and productivity.

The 4 ideas in this blog are proven to boost staff morale and keep the pace up.  They are not just ideas that we have heard of, but ideas that we have seen very successfully in action and are proven to work!

 

The Challenge

Factory staff are often working relatively long hours on repetitive tasks that quickly become mind numbing and boring. As the boredom sets in, the pace unintentionally slows and very quickly the production output can settle to a pace that is a lot less efficient and effective than it could be. Also, when staff are bored and only half concentrating on the job at hand, mistakes start to happen, which can then result in product defects or health and safety issues etc.

 

The 4 Solutions:

  1. Reduce The Walking

It a basic lean principal to reduce motion in a work cell and production area to save wasted time in walking/moving.  However, there is a further significance to reducing the walking that is not often talked about, and this is the fact that it also reduces unnecessary socialising. When staff have to walk off from the production area to get something, pass a few other staff members on the way and have a quick chat, before you know it 5 wasted minutes have passed. If there is one of these chats every 50 minutes that is reducing your productivity by 10%! I know it sounds too simple and obvious to put in a blog, but just try it, look at all the areas a production worker has to walk to during the day and try to reduce the walking to a minimum. You will reduce the chats and make significant productivity increases.

  1. Daily Improvements And Suggestions

Employee engagement is always a buzzword, and building an ownership mentality amongst all staff reaps dividends in building staff morale and productivity. How do you do this though? There is one simple method that yields large results and that is to ask all of your staff to make daily improvements or improvement suggestions. Don’t limit them to their own work area, let them make suggestions and improvements anywhere in the business; you will be amazed at what ideas come out of these sessions and how much this builds employee engagement! Ideally you need to include this in your morning huddle or start of shift stand up meeting. Simply ask all members of the team to say what improvement they made yesterday or what suggestions they have for improvements. Try and encourage staff to name something simple every day but don’t hound them if they miss a day or two. What you will find is that staff start taking ownership of improving the business and driving better results, they get motivation from seeing their improvements work and enjoy seeing management taking up their suggestions. The boost in culture from one 3 minute extra addition to your daily huddle will yield great results!  This also works in the office environment as well; here at Granta we have a whole team huddle every day and some of the suggestions that have come out of these sessions are incredible!

  1. Scoreboards Tracking A Directly Influenceable Target

Everyone loves to know if they are winning or not! If you watch kids playing football on the village green you can easily tell if they are keeping score or not just by how much energy is going into the game. Maybe you haven’t related your production line and workers to kids playing football on the village green before but in reality there is not much difference: your staff will be far more motivated with a live scoreboard than without one. There is one really important thing about the score that is being counted though and this is that the score has to be directly influenceable by the team players. If the score is not achievable, and not directly influenceable by them, it won’t have the same motivation. For example; if you had a factory with 100 staff and you had a dashboard showing total production output, although this is great and staff would be interested, it is not a good score to count. If one of those staff members works harder, or even a small team of 10 works harder, the score is not going to move much, if at all, and they can’t influence it enough. To drive real results you would need to have an individual score per person or small team so that when they put the extra effort in they get immediate results showing on the scoreboard.  As the score goes up and they can see their success on the scoreboard, the pace speeds up and production increases. It is also important to make sure that your staff are involved with setting the targets. If they set their own targets they then take ownership and drive themselves. If the targets are forced on them then there won’t be the same buy-in or motivation to meet targets.

  1. Pacing Your Staff With Automation

This is a very simple concept, if staff can work at their own pace, the pace will by default vary and will most likely slow down throughout the day. This is not intentional, it is just a fact of human nature, but it does not mean that staff are unable to work at a faster pace either. The simple solution for this is to put an automated process in the production line which will then set the pace for the workers. This could be as simple as a slow moving conveyor that moves products past staff at a set pace. The other option is to automate a part of the process that can be automated very simply and cheaply, e.g. feeding product, labelling, vision inspection, applying glue or almost anything in the production process that can be used to set the pace required. Once the pace is set by the automated process, staff happily pace themselves to the automation. This technique alone can easily increase production throughput by 20%+.

 

Conclusion

Try any or all of these 4 ideas and they will have a profound impact on staff morale and production throughput. Don’t just trust us, try it for yourself, the ideas are simple and easy to implement. If you want any further help and advice with any of these ideas get in touch and we will be glad to help.

 

 

Contact us for help with your project

Find out more…

 

Watch videos…

 

Posted in Automation Consultant, Bespoke Automated Packing, Bespoke Automation, Bespoke Control Systems, Bespoke Machinery, Bespoke Machinery Automation, Control panels, Custom Automation, Custom Built Machinery, Custom Control Systems, Custom Machinery Automation, Datalogging, Machinery Integration, Old Machinery Automation, Production Line Control Systems, Production Monitoring, Robotic Automation, Robotic Palletising, Uncategorized, Vision Inspection | Tagged , , | Comments Off on 4 Effective Ways to Boost Factory Staff Morale and Keep The Pace Up

Invest in Automation to Stay Ahead of Your Competition

In this fast changing world it’s all too easy to get left behind. The competitive nature of every industry sector means that standing still will only see you lose ground to other companies vying for your share of the market. In today’s uncertain political environment it is more important than ever to future-proof your business and to capitalise on the opportunities that automation affords. The question is no longer whether you can afford to invest in automation, but whether you can afford not to.

The vast majority of your competitors are experiencing the same challenges as you – however big they may be – and will each be doing all they can to remain at least one step ahead. If that means the installation of new and advanced technology, many will already be analysing how automation can make their operations leaner and more efficient.

 

Automation is here to stay

Brexit has had an impact on a number of businesses plans to invest in automation due to the uncertainty surrounding global trade relations. However, this uncertainty is also resulting in less European staff being available for the UK manufacturing industry. This is having a significant impact on many manufacturing plants ability to recruit enough production workers, resulting in them turning to automation to fulfil these requirements.

Also as the 2018/19 EEF/Santander Investment Monitor report highlights, over the past two years turnover investment by manufacturing companies increased as a result of the world economy’s robust growth.

From 2005 to 2015, productivity in the UK manufacturing sector grew three times faster than the entire economy. In 2019, we are still the second largest industrial producer in Europe, with 45% of all UK exports coming from the sector.

Regardless of what happens with Brexit, Industry 4.0 (the use of technology that is also referred to as the fourth industrial revolution) is here to stay. Whether it’s AI automation, the industrial internet of things (IIoT) or cloud-based solutions, companies that are willing to adopt the use of cutting-edge technology within their infrastructure will be well positioned to adapt to changes in their markets. Not only will they stay ahead of the pack to lead the way, but also create a resilient operational model that will enable them to remain agile and responsive to market conditions.

 

How automation complements the workforce

The dynamics of the workforce environment are changing as we speak. Employees no longer want mundane jobs that offer minimal progression and next-to-no satisfaction. They want the opportunity to learn real skills that will allow them to grow and broaden their horizons.

At present, the availability of low paid production workers is at an all-time low, as revealed by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) whose report stated the manufacturing sector is facing the greatest shortest of skills in 30 years. The BCC canvassed 6,000 UK manufacturers, who collectively employ over one million workers. They stated that as recently as the last quarter of 2018, 81% found it difficult to find staff with right level of experience and qualifications.

Many fear that automation will simply be used to replace the human workforce, especially in the manufacturer sector. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Implementing automation removes the need to limit staff to performing menial, restrictive job roles. Not only will machinery improve productivity and lower costs, it enables you to put staff skills to work elsewhere, improving other areas of the business. It also means staff receive the training they need that can then be reinvested back into the success of your business on a long-term basis.

Today, staff are more health conscious and less likely to remain in a job that requires heavy lifting that will impact on their quality of life outside of work. Job satisfaction is essential to retaining skilled staff, who in turn will be more engaged and productive, supporting the business in achieving its wider commercial goals.

 

Invest in automation today

Stay ahead of the challenge and automate now to avoid being hit by skills shortages and the increasing costs of staff, so you are not placed at a competitive disadvantage. Not only will automation lower production costs, it allows you to strategise to remain ahead of rival companies and to improve customer satisfaction, increasing both quality of product and service.

The installation of automation will also help position you as an innovator; a market leader pioneering new technology that benefits its customers. It adds a ‘wow’ factor to your production line unlike anything else and demonstrates your willingness to invest and improve the final product enjoyed by consumers.

In the vast majority of cases automation does not cost as much as you may think, with payback on your investment often being received within the first year, followed by significant savings going forward. You can use our free Payback Calculator to assess potential costs and the finance lease options that are available to you right now.

There are automation solutions available to suit almost everyone – here at Granta Automation we build bespoke solutions tailored to your exact requirements.

Get in touch today on 01223 499 488 or email helpline@granta-automation.co.uk to stay one step ahead of the curve and your competition.

Contact us for help with your project

Find out more…

 

Watch videos…

 

Posted in Bespoke Automated Packing, Bespoke Automation, Bespoke Machinery, Bespoke Machinery Automation, Custom Automation, Custom Built Machinery, Custom Machinery Automation, Machinery Integration, Old Machinery Automation, Production Line Control Systems, Production Monitoring, Robotic Automation, Robotic Palletising, Vision Inspection | Tagged , | Comments Off on Invest in Automation to Stay Ahead of Your Competition

New Robotic Palletiser Video!

Have you seen our new Robotic Palletiser video?

Follow this link to book your free assessment visit https://www.granta-automation.co.uk/types-of-automation/robotic-palletising

Contact us for help with your project

Find out more…

 

Watch videos…

 

Posted in Robotic Palletising | Tagged , | Comments Off on New Robotic Palletiser Video!

5 Things About Bespoke Automation You May Not Have Thought Of…

When we hear the words Bespoke Automation, our minds usually turn to the image of machines running by themselves, with little human input.  These machine churn out multiple items – each one exactly the same as the one before.  Every once in a while the machine will emit a low, solemn beep, and the light on the machine turns to red, as it rejects a product that didn’t meet the stringent quality measures that the products are being checked to.  Whilst this image isn’t incorrect in any way, there are other aspects of bespoke automation that you may never have thought of before.

 

Motivates Staff
Bespoke automation has been proven to motivate workers.  Not only do the machines make their life easier but it also increases what they can achieve in a day. With the ability to automatically generate live scoreboards from the data that the machine collects as it runs, your workers become motivated by seeing live results of their labours.  Tie this to a reward scheme and it motivates staff beyond any other method. Find out more – How Do I Incentivise And Motivate Factory Staff Who Are Doing Repetitive Tasks?

 

Reduces the Risk of Repetitive Strain Injury
Repetitive strain injury risks are lowered when bespoke automation is installed.  This is due to the fact that automation removes the need for human input to complete repetitive manual tasks. Not sure how high the risk of RSI is in your factory? Download our repetitive strain injury risk assessment form and find out now. Find out more – How Do I Prevent Repetitive Strain Injury In The Workplace?

 

Improves Throughput Capacity
Improved throughput is another of the benefits of bespoke automation.  Improved quality, increased accuracy, instant fault reporting, reduced downtime and improved traceability are just a few of the key factors that enable bespoke automation to improve throughput. Find out more – How Can I Improve The Throughput Capacity Of My Machinery?

 

Reduces Manufacturing Costs
Bespoke automation that has been designed to suit your requirements is able to perform multiple functions with one machine.  This reduces the need to transfer parts between machines and therefore improves production speeds and reduces wasted time and costs. Find out more – 3 Ways To Reduced manufacturing Costs

 

Boost Productivity and Efficiency
Productivity is boosted by bespoke automation as it increases efficiency, enables greater repeatability, improves product quality and allows for faster, more reliable production speeds.  Find out more – What Impact Does Automation Have On The Working Environment?

Contact us for help with your project

Find out more…

 

Watch videos…

 

Posted in Bespoke Automated Packing, Bespoke Automation, Bespoke Machinery, Bespoke Machinery Automation, Custom Automation, Custom Built Machinery, Custom Machinery Automation, Datalogging, Production Monitoring, Robotic Automation | Tagged , | Comments Off on 5 Things About Bespoke Automation You May Not Have Thought Of…

Fast, Flexible Palletising

In the fast paced environment that we now live in, things are changing all the time.  Products change: sizes, quantities, types, weights, material.  With the breadth of knowledge and range of materials now available to us products evolve and change far quicker than they ever have done before. You may design a new product and then find that due to the fast pace of product development, in less than a year, you need to alter or change your product in some way to keep abreast of market developments.

This can have its challenges as we all know!  Production processes have to change, packing processes have to change, and production speeds may well have to change as well.  All this has cost implications which have to be weighed up against the enhanced value of the new product to decide if the change is financially viable.

Often the cost of making these production and packaging changes make it unviable to enhance your product, and you miss the opportunity to realise the value of selling an enhanced product and becoming an industry leader.  This is the type of conundrum that manufacturers are faced with day after day. If I modify my product will I ever realise the value of my capital investment in the production process during the lifetime of the product?  But, all this is about to change…

Here’s the good news!  We have developed the World’s Best Palletiser.  It’s as flexible and adaptable as your production process needs to be to keep up with market demands. If your product size increases, a quick touch of the button and the palletiser is ready to go.  If you want to stack more products per pallet, another quick touch of the button and it’s ready to go.  There has never before been so much adaptability in a palletising system.

What if I stop making a product you ask…  We’ve considered for that as well. Simply unbolt the palletiser and use your forklift to transfer the system to another production process in your factory.  In less than a day the palletising system will be up and running on your new line, leaving nothing in the old location other than 4 bolt holes where the robot was once bolted to the floor.

Still not sure about all this?  Then try before you buy.  We’ve developed our try before you buy scheme to give you the opportunity to see how your product would work on the GA15 palletising series before you commit to investing capital in the system.  There’s two ways of doing this, either send us your product to try on the palletiser before you buy, or visit Granta with your product to see how it works on the palletiser.

Want to book up your free trial?  Let us know at helpline@granta-automation.co.uk or give us a call on 01223 499488.

Contact us for help with your project

Find out more…

 

Watch videos…

 

Posted in Robotic Palletising | Tagged , | Comments Off on Fast, Flexible Palletising

Automation Expectations vs Reality

In the world of manufacturing, the thought of changing from one method of working to something new can raise a number of concerns. Businesses become reliant on established procedures, even if they know they could be improved by implementing new ideas. That is certainly the case for many when it comes to the idea of installing automation.

There are a number of misconceptions about automation and the way it will impact manufacturing operations. From loss of jobs to the financial implications, it can make some business owners cautious about investing in automation. However, once installed, they quickly discover that the reality of the technology is vastly different to their original expectations. We cover the main concerns held by business owners below whilst highlighting the positive ways it will add value to your production process.

 

Expectations: Perceived View of Automation

 The idea of using automation can bring with it some negative pre-conceptions about its impact. Some of this can be down to the way it has been perceived outside of specialists industries, with fears that the technology will dramatically change the entire business model: Some of these concerns include:

  • Loss of jobs
    One of the main worries attached to the installation of automation is that it will lead to mass unemployment as robots take the place of humans. Automation is designed to make processes more efficient, while also improving the customer’s experience in terms of product quality and delivery times. It also means human workers can move away from working on repetitive, laborious jobs that do not make use of their full skill sets, into other job roles within the company. This benefits both the staff and the business as a whole. Other areas of the company that require human input will then be able to use the skills of the workers who are no longer tied to menial tasks. While there may be some initial loss of jobs after the implementation of automation, new jobs and opportunities are created in other departments due to the growth of the business sustained from the use of the technology.
  • High costs
    Whilst it’s true that businesses have to ensure they can afford the initial down payment for an automated system, increasingly there are more flexible payment packages available to help make it less of a financial burden. When looking into investing in automation, the long-term financial savings it will offer the business must always be taken into consideration. Automated technology can work longer and faster than human staff, with no shift times to adhere to. Machines also won’t fall sick, book holidays or take lunch breaks. The throughput within any facility instantly increases, improving efficiency, profit and allowing automation to eventually pay for itself. Using a comprehensive Automation Payback Calculator to accurately calculate the project payback is important as this will give you a true picture of the return on investment and enable you to see if it is a worthwhile investment for your company.  Any reputable automation company will also be able to offer you finance on your automation purchase, enabling you to spread the cost out over a longer period of time.
  • Reduced flexibility
    An ongoing issue bring raised within the manufacturing sector is the lack of available staff with specialised skills. When automation is installed into a new facility, there will also be a requirement to have it programmed and managed on an ongoing basis. This ties into the idea of job creation and new opportunities being developed for workers. Using an automation company to arrange the existing installation and programming will ensure it can be up and running in a short space of time. They can then hand over to existing employees who are able to learn and undergo further training to ensure the machines continue to operate effectively. However, with the development of technology, automation systems are now becoming more user friendly, and some automation systems now come with programming software that can be programmed quickly and easily in-house, without the need to undergo extensive training. This gives you increased in-house flexibility as you can then easily modify the system operation as your product or processes change, without the need to call in an automation expert to re-program your machine.

 

Reality: Actual Outcomes of Installing Automation

 Whilst there is understandably some uncertainty about automation before investing in the technology, what businesses quickly discover is a vastly different reality compared to their initial expectations. This include things such as:

  • Increased levels of production
    By installing bespoke automation, companies are able to address specific issues within their manufacturing processes. There is a constant need to increase efficiency and automation provides that in any part of the production chain. In most cases it increases production throughput to at least 150% of a manual process.
  • Exceeding manufacturing targets
    The use of automation technology, such as a production monitoring system, allows businesses to get a clear and up-to-the-minute view of what is happening on the production line. Some Production Managers have even commented that it allowed them to exceed target expectations by 40% only 3 months after installation. This insightful data helps to pinpoint bottlenecks to ensure production remains seamless at all times.
  • Reduction of staff injuries
    Due to the repetitive nature of many manual tasks on a production line, businesses tend to suffer a high number of repetitive strain injuries to staff members. Repetitive strain injuries can lead to long layoffs which can prove to be costly. The use of automation, such as robotic palletising, improves production rates and removes the need for employees to repeatedly perform tasks that could lead to injury. Palletising also improves stacking quality and makes the working environment much safer for all staff.
  • Lower production costs
    Manufacturing facilities constantly need to find ways of lowering costs while sustaining quality of product. Automation allows businesses to reduce labour costs without compromising the standard of the items being produced. One machine can perform the task of a number of workers, while never falling sick, taking time off or requiring lunch breaks, making production even more cost effective. Automation of quality control processes also reduces production costs as it eliminates the risk of human error in detecting faulty parts and products.  Automated inspection processes ensure that faulty parts and products are rejected before reaching despatch.
  • Creation of new jobs
    There is naturally a concern that automation will replace human workers, leading to mass unemployment. However, there has been research to show that is far from the case. Workers no longer have to do boring, repetitive tasks. The technology improves profits and allows businesses to expand, creating new job opportunities elsewhere that allows workers to learn new skills that will benefit the company as a whole. Usually if you put automation alongside a person, rather than  replacing the person, you can improve the output more than enough to justify the project in it’s own right.  Project justification rarely needs head count to reduce to justify it as the increased and better quality throughput usually self-justifies the project.

In conclusion, whilst there will always be many different aspects to consider when investigating the case for installing automation in your business, if you have used a comprehensive Automation Payback Calculator to accurately calculate the project payback, you will be able to quickly see if there is a business case for investment.

Contact us for help with your project

Find out more…

 

Watch videos…

 

Posted in Automation Consultant, Bespoke Automated Packing, Bespoke Automation, Bespoke Machinery, Bespoke Machinery Automation, Custom Automation, Custom Built Machinery, Custom Control Systems, Custom Machinery Automation, Datalogging, Machinery Integration, Production Line Control Systems, Production Monitoring, Robot Integrators, Robotic Automation, Robotic Palletising, Vision Inspection | Tagged , | Comments Off on Automation Expectations vs Reality

We’re looking forward to helping our customers Achieve with Automation in 2019!

We’re looking forward to working with our customers in 2019 to help them Achieve with Automation.

We help our customers achieve with automation by designing, prototyping, building and installing bespoke automation and robotic systems.  All of our machinery is special purpose and we develop and manufacture custom solutions to automate manufacturing processes; from small control panels and machines through to complete robotic production lines.

Visit our types of automation page to view the many different types of automation that are available –  https://www.granta-automation.co.uk/types-of-automation

If you’re unsure what the best type of automation is for you then just contact us on 01223 499488 and we’ll be glad to help.

Find out more…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Bespoke Automation, Custom Automation, Custom Machinery Automation, Robotic Automation | Tagged , | Comments Off on We’re looking forward to helping our customers Achieve with Automation in 2019!

Granta Automation – What Do We Do?

This informative video will give you a brief overview of what we do at Granta Automation and how we manage our processes to ensure the success of your automation project.

 

Posted in Company news, Granta Updates | Tagged , | Comments Off on Granta Automation – What Do We Do?