What To Consider When Investing in Custom Automated Machinery

For companies large and small, the transition to custom automated machinery and equipment is well underway. Factories, fabrication shops, production plants, and warehouses worldwide have benefited from emerging technologies and ongoing advances in design and automation systems to improve production environments significantly. 

Custom automated machinery is a specialized application designed to improve efficiency, production, and quality in production environments. Such custom solutions support various industries, from automotive and food processing to microelectronics and precision medical equipment assembly. 

It is essential to know what to consider when investing in custom automated machinery to realize these benefits. Such considerations can range from knowing the right time to automate, developing and implementing a strategy of investment, and how that investment will benefit your company. 

Consider Custom Automation

There is an exceptional body of literature about the benefits of automated machinery and manufacturing equipment for companies on the move. Nonetheless, it’s just as important to know not only when the time to automate has arrived but the time to consider what part of the process or processes will need to be automated. Automation should be considered when production output is lagging behind demand. Automated repeatable processing will ensure quality and reduce waste when production volumes are rising and increasing beyond current capacity. It can also reduce workplace injuries to employees long associated with repetitive actions. 

Consider a Strategy For Investment

Unless the funds are readily available, the high initial investment can cause hesitation for many companies when considering the integration of custom automated machinery for the first time. It’s too easy to get overwhelmed in a numbers game, especially when estimates of hundreds of thousands of dollars are being bantered about. However, if the investment is a concern, choose to invest in the technology as needed, one step at a time. Custom automation’s prime advantage is that you can decide what to invest in and when. It may be as fundamental as adding a bar feeder to a lathe, improving output with labeling automation, mechanical feed devices, or automating a conveyor with turn stations to rotate parts for the next automated process. After all, you are not buying a packaged product off the shelf. In the initial phase, start by integrating one automated core process at a time that can help increase production and productivity while realizing a return on investment.  

Consider the End Goal

Whatever investment strategy is reached, even if you start with one core process, expansion plans must be included in phase one. In other words, look ahead, and consider the end goal—the secondary process must be compatible with the first, the third phase must be compatible with the first and second, and so forth. When planning the system, consider how flexible it should be to accommodate future product variations. Integrating custom automated machinery and manufacturing equipment can significantly increase companies’ production, efficiency, and quality, but the automated system must be compatible. To realize that goal, it’s important from the get-go to plan the system with the end in mind.

Consider the Benefits of Custom Automated Machinery

As mentioned above, there are many benefits and advantages to consider in deciding to invest in the custom automation of machinery for a company, even if it is only one core process at a time. The most significant advantage of automating is increasing production and efficiency while improving product quality and consistency. Automated machines are programmed to perform tasks and complete functions consistently and efficiently for each process with no variation. Custom automating a machine process, whether for assembly or fabrication, removes the human element of error and injury from the point in production. The result is finished products of consistently higher quality, produced in higher volumes, to meet production demands on time at lower costs. 

By investing in custom automated machine processes, companies can increase production and efficiency, reduce lead times, improve quality, become more competitive, and provide a safer workplace for employees. 

EAM has been providing custom automation solutions to various companies for decades. If you are ready to invest in custom automated machinery, contact us to learn how we can help you increase productivity and profits today.