Everything You Need to Know Before Getting Started with Automation
Making the leap to automation can seem daunting at first glance – you’re introducing a new technology to your machines and your operators, and you’re changing the way your shop floor operates. However, automation can ultimately simplify your day-to-day manufacturing operations, saving you time and money. Discover all you need to know when considering an automation solution and how to seamlessly integrate it into your manufacturing.
Seeing Value in the Investment
Automation is an investment, just like your machine tools. While automation solutions come with a significant price tag, the investment will start returning results as soon as it’s implemented. Automated parts moving and machining will always be more precise than manual actions and bring consistency to the quality of your parts. With less time spent machining parts and less raw material used in machining, you’ll see savings all around from the beginning.
Additionally, an automation solution removes the need for your operators to perform repetitive tasks, which will allow them to focus on more complex tasks, such as critical decision-making.
Preparing Your Shop Floor for Automation
Before you start considering an automation solution, you need to identify the processes where you see room for improvement. What is your current production capacity? How much time does it take to machine a part? Which of my current machines would be best suited for automation? Am I looking to introduce a new machine that includes automation technology to my shop floor?
To physically prepare your shop floor, you’ll need to prepare both your machines and your operators. Ensure that your operators are trained on the new technology so they can manually intervene when necessary, and ensure your shop floor has adequate room for any additional equipment required.
Knowing which machines you want to introduce automation to allows you to determine what type of automation solution would work best based on the processes of that machine. Identifying your current baseline productivity on those machines will allow you to set goals that an automation solution can help you reach, whether it’s increased productivity, reduced waste, or faster production speed.
Want to learn more about how automation can have an impact on your shop floor? Discover all of Okuma’s automation solutions, including the new ROID series robots.