The manufacturing landscape is constantly evolving for the better with every new technological innovation. Automation, in particular, has helped dramatically enhance business processes and workflows. Not only does automation improve manufacturing efficiency, but it also provides the information you need to make smart business decisions. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you should know about this valuable resource.
What You Should Know About Automated Systems
When you hear the word “automation,” what do you think of? If a mechanical system programmed to do a job comes to mind, you would be on the right track. Specifically, it’s a process performed with minimal human assistance or without it. These processes are normally carried out using technological solutions. This method optimizes workflows to make existing processes more efficient. To help you better understand how automated systems are used in the manufacturing industry and why manufacturers increasingly rely on these solutions, here are a few things you should know.
What Are Automated Manufacturing Systems?
Automated manufacturing systems (AMS) are interconnected workstations that process materials automatically via computer control. These systems typically perform repetitive operations that include assembling, processing, inspection, and handling of materials. AMS are not only interconnected through material transportation, but also by a communication network that integrates all aspects of the manufacturing process. With AMS, there’s little need for human operator assistance.
Automated solutions have been a boon for the manufacturing industry, allowing manufacturers to meet the growing demand for their products. Without automation, factory output would be severely reduced, production time would be increased and less predictable, and working conditions for employees would be less safe. In short, modern manufacturing wouldn’t be possible without automated solutions.
The Different Types of Manufacturing Automation
There are three different types of automation in the manufacturing industry: fixed, programmable, and flexible.
Fixed automation – Typically used for high-volume workflows, this type of automation involves a facility that uses a production system with a fixed operating sequence due to how the equipment is situated.
Programmable automation – Used for products made in batches, this type of automation requires reprogramming and changing equipment before working on a new batch.
Flexible automation – This version of automation is like programmable automation, but with a twist. In flexible automation, the products that are handled in this workflow are limited to minimize the time needed to change parts.
How HEXA Engineers Handles Automated Systems
An outsourced manufacturing consulting company such as HEXA Engineers can help you find efficient solutions that make sense for your business. We’ll perform an audit, analysis, and issue a report to get a better understanding of your needs so we can provide a perfect automated solution for your facility. Our team members approach AMS installation with a four-step process.
- Select/Register: First and foremost, we’ll identify the process that needs refinement. Then we’ll gather information on that process so we can define a solution that will help you achieve your goals.
- Examine: After compiling the data we’ve collected, our team will review the information and take into account factors such as where the project is taking place, how it’s being carried out, who’s working on the project, and what’s the long-term plan for the project.
- Setup/Evaluate: A solution isn’t much of a solution if you can’t afford it. That’s why the next step in our process involves finding an answer that’s suitable for your budget. We’ll then evaluate your new work process to ensure everything is in working order.
- Define/Implement/Control: Finally, our team will keep an eye on your new AMS to make sure the solution we installed meets your expectations
Partner With HEXA Engineers for Your AMS Solution
At HEXA Engineers, we work closely with you to understand your business needs so we can properly optimize your workflow. Call us today to learn more about how we can help your company become more efficient and productive.
For over 18 years, HEXA Ingenieros has helped companies around the world realize their performance goals with unique, custom-tailored automated solutions. In the wake of our expansion to St. Louis, Missouri, in 2017, we’re proud to announce that we’ve only grown from strength to strength.