How does Automation Affect Productivity?

Improved productivity is the golden ticket that every business hopes to win!

golden-ticketIf this can be achieved while also reducing costs then this perfect combination will only lead to improvements across the business as a whole. The main purpose of automation is to meet these two crucial factors which is why the use of technology is becoming so common place right across the supply chain. Productivity is crucial to gaining a sustainable advantage over competitors and increasing a foothold in the market. Meeting those targets is an analysis that needs constant attention, and the implementation of the smallest of changes can have a hugely beneficial effect. We’ve listed a small number of productivity benefits that can be gained from the introduction of automation into your manufacturing process.

 

Less Manual Delays

With less interruptions in production flow, the benefits here are easy to understand. Manual quality assurance checks are no longer required if an automated equivalent is installed, increasing the hourly throughput. This also applies to faults that occur during manual production processes. Human error results in the loss of significant response time when assessing and repairing the problem. In-built technology within an automated system such as vision inspection can perform on-going checks and balances, and if production is forced to halt, the downtime is far shorter.

 

Optimal Machine Efficiency  

Rather than spread elements of the production process across multiple machines or devices, automation allows one machine to perform an array of different tasks. Without the need to transfer product parts from one machine to another and with more accuracy gained, a larger number of units can be produced within the same period. Bespoke automation allows each machine to be designed and built to match the specific demands of the manufacturing process it is being installed into.

 

Manual Productivity

Not every part of the business can be automated and the growing fear over its impact on job stability is one of the main concerns in the workforce. However, increased use of automation does not have to result in a reduction of the human work force. Rather than placing staff on boring, repetitive tasks – which often leads to injuries and interruptions in production – re-positioning them onto jobs that utilise their skills will enhance their experience and improve productivity in other areas of the business. Improving productivity does not just mean directly within production, but also how this naturally filters through and impacts other connected areas of the business.

 

Manufacturing Data

Valuable information about the production process can be retained through the use of automation ensuring that knowledge typically lost during a manual process is instead stored for analysis. This is essential to further improving the use of the automated machines that are currently in use. Data logging systems allow this to be shared across the business, especially within the early design stage. The connection between these two business functions allows product designers to understand where changes can be made to find extra productivity in production once the product is ready to be made.

 

Management and Supervision

Similar to how workers can be moved away from repetitive tasks into areas that reflect and encourage skill development, there is a positive effect felt with the management staff. Rather than spending more time micro-managing, automation allows managers to be more creative with their resources. Of course, they will always be available to step in where required, but with more concentration focused in other areas of the business, they too can utilise their experience and skill more wisely. Management are typically in possession of years of experience, and being able to implement this within the company on a more widespread basis will only prove to be hugely beneficial.

 

Introducing New Products

The introduction of a new line of products opens the door to increased commercial possibilities but also creates new manufacturing problems to be solved. More often than not, new items are combined with existing products on the same line. Using traditional manufacturing methods this naturally slows down production due to increased changeover time, lowering the overall effectiveness of the machine. Automation, through the use of integrated robotics, can provide the ideal solution. Improved end-of-arm tooling can help maintain and improve the speed of production that existed before the implementation of the new products.

 

Conclusion

This is only a brief insight into how productivity can be improved through the addition of automation. Improved efficiency and significant cost savings will also be felt once the technology has integrated fully into the operational set-up. From production, to employees and ultimately the consumer, automation encourages a far more productive manufacturing process when compared to manual production lines.

Every manufacturing and production facility faces individual challenges that are unique to their business and market. We have worked with companies of all sizes to find sustainable solutions that can be implemented in real-time.

If you are looking for ways to increase productivity within your business, you can contact one of our sales team who can talk through the options available to you. Simply email our helpline helpline@granta-automation.co.uk, or call us on 01223 499488.

 

 

Why not use our productivity calculators to calculate the productivity of your production process and see where productivity could be improved? 2 Ways to Measure the Productivity, Effectiveness or Efficiency of your Machinery or Factory

 

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