How to Know If Your Business Needs Manufacturing Automation

Over the past several decades manufacturing automation has revolutionized industries around the world. Factories and production plants of all sizes have increasingly turned to automation to perform tasks ranging from routine to advanced processes. As a result, companies that have introduced manufacturing automation initiatives have benefited from increased production and productivity, higher efficiency, improved quality, a safer workplace, and much more.

Few would argue that manufacturing automation allows companies to produce more products more efficiently in less time than in any previous period. Nonetheless, though the benefits of automation are well defined, for several valid reasons, some companies still need to start to automate. From making the initial investment in new technology to transforming your company’s operations—the way you do things—knowing when your company needs to introduce partial or full manufacturing automation is an important decision and may depend on several factors. If your company is on the fence, here are six sure indications that your business needs manufacturing automation.  

Increased Demand

Suppose your company is experiencing higher production volume, and it’s become a challenge to meet demand with manual production alone consistently. In that case, it’s a good indication that it’s time to invest in automation to increase productivity. Having a great product but not being able to meet demand places your company at a disadvantage with your competitors. Companies with just partial production processes automated are more likely to meet increased demand than companies using manual labor alone. If your company is growing, and demand has consistently increased, it’s a sure sign to automate.

The Need for Increased Productivity and Efficiency

With an increase in demand, there is a need to increase productivity more efficiently. Automation can significantly improve manufacturing efficiency by streamlining production processes that will, in turn, increase productivity. Automating repetitive tasks performed by manual labor improves efficiency by eliminating human error and reducing the time required to complete those tasks. Automated systems perform repetitive tasks faster with greater precision, increasing productivity and output.

The Need for Improved Safety

As safety is at the forefront of any industrial work environment, automation can help create a safer workplace where manufacturing processes involve handling hazardous materials or performing dangerous or repetitive tasks. Automating tasks that pose a risk to employee safety, like heavy lifting, exposure to harmful substances, or repetitive motions, can minimize the risk of workplace injuries and improve employee safety. For example, employees at risk of injury due to repetitive tasks that robots could perform is a sure sign to begin the automation process. This makes for a safer work environment for all employees but also frees your workforce to perform higher-value tasks that are much more productive and valuable for the company.

Reduced Manufacturing Costs

Automation helps reduce manufacturing costs in various ways. By automating repetitive tasks, companies can decrease labor costs and minimize waste. Manual production processes often lead to imprecise usage of raw materials, creating unnecessary waste of material that could have been used more efficiently. Because manufacturing automation allows the production process to be precisely programmed, all production materials are used to their fullest with minimal waste. Additionally, automated industrial robots perform programmable tasks at a higher level of precision than manual labor. By handling materials more accurately and efficiently, the likelihood of errors or unnecessary waste is further reduced. If your production processes yield high material waste, your company could drive cost savings through manufacturing automation.

Scalability and Flexibility

Automation allows companies to adjust production levels whenever necessary and more efficiently accommodate product variations or changes in product requirements. Once production processes are automated, production capacity can be scaled to meet ever-changing market demands. Automation also allows for easy integration of other manufacturing technologies when needed. Such flexibility allows companies to respond to market fluctuations and customer preferences more quickly. If your company cannot quickly adapt to fluctuations in product demands, it’s time to consider manufacturing automation.

Enhanced Quality and Consistency

An automated manufacturing system will consistently produce high-quality products with minimal variations. Once a process is programmed, it will adhere to precise specifications, measurements, and tolerances, resulting in greater product consistency and reliability. Automation can also integrate quality control checks at each production stage, reducing defects and ensuring compliance with industry standards.

Knowing when it’s time for your company to introduce partial or full manufacturing automation is an important decision. Transitioning to automated processes offers businesses numerous advantages, from meeting increased demand to enhancing the quality of products, from reducing operational costs to optimizing production processes more efficiently. By leveraging automation, companies can gain a competitive edge, improve their bottom line, open up more possibilities for business, create a safe workplace, and meet evolving market demands.

Contact the Experts at EAM, Inc.

EAM has provided custom manufacturing automation solutions to a diverse group of customers for decades, making us some of the most trusted leaders in custom automated manufacturing machinery and industrial-engineered automation systems. Please contact us today to learn more about our automated manufacturing and how it can help your business.