There is an old saying, ‘Time is money’. Since necessity is the mother of invention, the revolution of automated products has greatly helped in many areas of the modern era. From the utilisation of robots in production lines and also automated software, time and money saving measures are greatly achieved by the methods applied. No longer does a car take days to build or a large block of wood needs to be cut into precise specifications.

Tesla Motors factory
photo credit: Steve Jurvetson / Flickr

With the development of automation and its implementation with robots, software and other mechanical devices, huge advantages are gained by those who take advantage of its true capabilities. One would be foolish enough not to apply automation if they are to operate a factory these days.

Application of Automation

However, automated robots themselves are not enough to increase a factory’s efficiency. One would have to apply special software integration and analysis to generate results. Now, smart factory automation is coming into play and more companies are applying its wonders. By using smart factory automation, a factory can gain advantage in many areas such as cost saving measures, increased production efficiency, possibilities for a safer working environment, production tracking, as well as for monitoring changes or progress.

The initial steps that a factory manager or owner might consider before they can apply smart factory automation is deciding what areas they wish to improve upon and why they are shifting towards this new system. Perhaps they wish to simply collect data and use it later on for productive information that can be valuable for customers. On the other hand, they might need to collect information and provide it to the factory supervisor for future projects or analysis, where the supervisor or manager can make adjustments accordingly to ensure that operations are running up to speed. Whatever the requirement, smart factory automation makes this all possible.

Further applications of smart factory automation can be for absolute control of the whole factory. Not only can the whole factory be monitored and controlled using the power of the internet and networking systems, but every aspect of production can be adjusted.

For instance, controlling robots including their speed and direction, accessing separate systems drives, maintaining production lines, controlling air conditioners, controlling packers and the list goes on. What is even more important is that these systems can be integrated together from the production process all the way to storage at the warehouse.

Smart factory automation does not end there. Interfacing ERP to business systems for the purpose of extracting order requests, managing the inventory, deciding what products to make on a particular shift, scheduling and all many more are also made possible through smart factory automation. The information is then relayed to the production floor, which helps in making important decisions. Even micromanagement is made possible by using this incredible system where everything can be recorded and tracked.

Coca-Cola factory assembly line
photo credit: DrDevious14 / Flickr

Benefits of Automation

The benefits of applying smart factory automation outweigh the price of installing one in the long run.

Cut operational costs

One can expect high cost saving measures that are determined by monitoring the progress of one area of operation. A single fraction or percentage of efficiency can equal to millions of Pound sterling. Having the ability to track these problems and save money is one advantage that every factory operator desires.   In order to achieve that, you should focus on efficiency, ranging from your choice of software to hardware selection, like whether you should go for Tri rated bs6231 cable or other types of cable for your control panel.

Comprehensive operational information

Small aspects such as production tracking and maintenance information are vital to the operations of a factory. Having access to that information from anywhere in the world only brings an even greater advantage.

Enhanced safety, effectiveness and efficiency

Lastly, advantages such as factory worker safety, machine precision, item specification accuracy and production efficiency is all in the game. Again, through the application of smart factory automation, one can only expect perfect operations and higher profits through cost cutting methods using automation.

Takeaway

To sum up, using automation really brings more advantages than costs. A lot of benefits can be gained by applying it to factories. Not only by reducing the human risk factor and employment levels, but also by gaining an edge through time, money and efficiency.

Although safety is always a concern for many factory operators, automation already provides us with monitoring capabilities that greatly reduce this risk anyway. What is more is that through data collection, control and monitoring, one can generate improvements for their factories and updated information supplied to managers.

There is no harm in harnessing technology to do what man can already do.