Like any entrepreneur or manager in a manufacturing company, you are probably looking for solutions to speed up your daily operations. Automation can not only be the ideal solution to help you save time and money, but it can also enhance beneficial to your employees’ experience in the workplace. In this article, we present you the processes that can benefit from automation.
An initial analysis of your planning and production systems will allow you to better understand your process flow and operational processes. This understanding can then allow you to focus on task optimization.
Analyzing the improvement of current processes and the resultant projected on investment (ROI), will determine the relevance of deciding for or against automating the required tasks.
Indeed, repetitive tasks such as handling and transporting raw materials or finished products can be automated through the use of robots or automated transport systems. All production cycles are therefore affected by automation.
In addition, recurring operations, with a “low mix high volume” production mode, focus on the mass production of a large number of parts in the shortest possible time. These tasks can be automated and will bring a gain in productivity.
Thus, by automating the tasks that are boring to workers, and therefore potentially harmful to their health and safety, it will be possible to reassign workers into more rewarding roles. The workforce will then achieve its full potential by working on value-added tasks that increase the team’s efficiency.
Control and Monitoring Processes
Quality verification or equipment condition monitoring can be automated through the use of sensors and/or control systems. These solutions provide the operator with the necessary information to properly control the process and produce quality parts or assemblies.
There are several scenarios when it comes to control and monitoring processes:
- Quality Control: Are the machines operating properly? Are the shipping boxes closed and sealed properly?
- Production stops: Do you have enough equipment in the automated cells to manufacture your product?
- Cycle time: Are you producing at your expected volume rate?
What types of sensors or cameras would be relevant and functional to verify all operations?
This question can arise, depending on the situation, in many different types of manufacturing companies. The answer depends on the level of automation desired.
Sensor and camera connectivity allows you to check operation status remotely and detect technical failures as soon as they happens. An automate call can even be made directly to the maintenance department with this type of advanced automation.
Additionally, the control and monitoring processes can be made to detect process drift or prevent potential machine stoppages, representing a considerable gain toward the smooth running of manufacturing operations.
Mass Production Processes
Mass production processes, such as the assembly of parts or the manufacture of products in large quantities, can also be automated on dedicated production lines.
The specialization of individual workstations in a serial production mode ensures increased economies of scale. The machines are installed with a planned production objective on the short, medium and long term.
In this case, the success of the implementation of automation depends on the training and support of the personnel. From operator to management, the better the team is trained on the equipment, the more efficient the operations will be over time.
Thereafter, for its proper functioning, the increase in speed must be thought out in relation to the entire production line, i.e. take into account all stages that precede and follow the potential area of change.
The end result will be, the acceleration of daily operations to the point of being automatic!
The Processes of Data Processing
Data processing, such as data entry or report generation, can also be automated.
The connectivity of equipment allows for the collection of important information. However, maximizing the value of this connectivity requires specialized resources to both obtain significant productivity gains and to act in real time on the operations.
Merkur can give you an expert hand in your connectivity and data valuation projects. This is done by employing a KPI approach that is linked to the achievement of business objectives. For example, data on parts, including their origin, durability, location, series, and production path, provide exploitable information that allows you to generate gains in line with your business objectives.
The automation of manufacturing processes aims at a better deployment of resources and less waste. When well planned, it results in optimized productivity and increased profitability. Well-targeted processes can also reduce the risks or errors associated with poor material handling on production lines. Resulting in increased workplace safety and employee well-being. The benefits of automation are numerous if done right and care is taken to not to create new bottlenecks during the automating processes and, thereby moving the problem. Implement your automation projects correctly so that you can sit back and reap the rewards!
MERKUR was founded in 1994 as an engineering consulting firm working for manufacturing companies inside and outside of Quebec. At Merkur we are known for our in-depth offers and our knowledge of small, medium, and large manufacturing companies. Here at Merkur we are proud contributors of innovation and productivity in Quebec, for over the past 25 years!
KHROME PRODUCT TRANSPORT is an integrated manufacturing company located in Drummondville Quebec, specializing in the design and manufacturing of interior and exterior train cars. Its strength lies in its strong engineering capacity and manufacturing agility. Among its main clients are Alstom, Bombardier Transportation and Kawasaki Rail Car.
SYNKRO is a software solution developed by Merkur and designed specifically for high-performance manufacturers. It collects, classifies, and distributes the right data to the right people at the right time. Synkro gives you real insight into your operations. Synkro is the software solution that finally connects your floor and your office!