Production units are headed by production managers. One of the key attributes of an able manager is the ability to make solid decisions that are in line with the set of business goals and objectives.
In order to ensure real-time efficacy, a production manager needs to ensure that all the systems in place are enabling quick and efficient completion of activities from the input all the way to the final output stage.
The Need for Automation
A continuous and steady flow of production activities calls for computerization or automation of some processes so that repetitive tasks carry on automatically without human interference or the need for a human command. This way, different phases of a production process can flow simultaneously.
Normally, production processes that are repetitive in nature have a high likelihood of human error when carried out manually. This, in the long run, affects the quality of the output which makes other business activities such as brand marketing or loyalty demand hard and challenging.
Advantages of Automation
It increases employee’s productivity. Many manual processes compel employees to learn skills that they are not conversant with. Much as some of these skills are easy to learn, many employees do not find them enjoyable. One of the reasons is they feel that they are doing a job that is menial and one that is contrary to what they are qualified at or were hired to do. Automation helps to leave the repetitive and dirty tasks to robotic systems like industrial robotic arms while they take up other tasks and roles.
Automation helps create a highly effective workforce which is very profitable for many production sectors. This is especially the case with collaborative robots. These are modern-day robots that are designed putting in place technological measures that allow them to work in the same environment with human workers without causing them any damage. Thanks to collaborative robots, human efforts are complemented rather than replaced by collaborative robots also known as cobots.
Another major benefit of automation is that it helps cut down on the total operating cost of running a production unit. A single industrial robot arm can perform tasks that would need ten or fifteen people to accomplish. What’s more, automated systems have low energy consumption, therefore, reducing the total cost of production. Robots are also more accurate and keen to precision and this reduces material wastage that would be experienced if it were humans at work. In general, automation saves energy, reduces the labour expenses, and cuts down on material wastage.
Automation reduces the need to outsource. Automation is a bold step that once embraced expands a company’s production potential and capacity. As a result, firms are able to meet deadlines for processes that would have been outsourced, from in-house. In the long run, this increases a company’s marginal revenue which contributes to growth and expansion.
Automation allows for better planning. When machines are used in production, it is easier to predict the total time required to produce a certain quantity of products or items. The cost of production becomes also easily predictable. This consistency and certainty allow for better planning and appropriate allocation of resources.
Collaborative Robots, an Affordable Way to Achieve Automation
The greatest hindrance actualizing automation is the cost. Autonomous industrial robots have always been expensive to install, run and maintain. In addition to their high costs, they require large and caged working environment to ensure human safety.
Collaborative robots are an ideal alternative. Apart from their low costs of purchase, these robots are easy to use and maintain. They are small in size and can operate in the same working area as humans. They come fitted with technological features that allow them to detect human presence and respond to human proximity accordingly.
Because of these features, collaborative robots are generally acceptable on many factory floors and human employees do not see them as threats, but as helpers.
Managers know that continued improved performance calls for consistency and reliability. They also know that automation is a powerful way of cutting down the cost of production. A smooth running process allows for proper planning and laying down strategies, all which are important for the growth of the business.