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The manufacturing sector has witnessed an increasing need for automation over the past few years. It is undoubtedly one of the most prevalent and important areas for automation technology. As companies are looking forward to the ways in which they can increase productivity at a lower cost, automation in factories, Industry 4.0, and other connected manufacturing solutions will continue to become more widespread. So, let’s dive deeper to know the details regarding the increasing demand for manufacturing automation.
What is Manufacturing Automation?
Automation refers to the process of using equipment to automate the system. The goal is to increase production capacity along with reducing costs. Automating is particularly helpful for carrying on repetitive, tiring tasks. It can be used in manufacturing business management and can even help in improving workplace safety by machines performing tasks that can be dangerous for human workers.
Industries Utilizing Manufacturing Automation
Manufacturing automation has become widespread across numerous industries. Some of the rapidly growing industries are listed below:
Automotive: Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has not only increased the productivity of the industry but has also increased its safety. These robotic automation work alongside humans to get more work done in less time with high-quality control. Manufacturing automation helps in reducing human error in all those processes that require precise functioning in manufacturing, automated reporting, and documentation.
Medical Devices & Pharmaceuticals: Manufacturing automation in the medical industry help perform tasks more precisely and thus reduces the chances of error compared to what humans can do. Therefore, it has become instrumental in the documentation, reporting, and manufacturing of pharmaceutical products and medical devices.
Food & Beverage: Automation helps to ensure that a consistent product is prepared and processed for every customer. It helps in reducing human interaction for improved food safety and risks. Furthermore, the automated tracking and tracing of inventory and automated reporting and analytics can help to improve decision-making for adjusting scheduling and workflows to reduce food waste or product loss.
Consumer Products: To meet the increasing demands without affecting the cost, especially during the labour shortage, the consumer products, and the consumer goods industry depends on automated processes. Manufacturing automation in consumer-packaged goods (CPG) is an integral part. It can be tracked from starting of the work to the end procedure, including assembly, packaging, material handling, shipping, inspection, testing, scheduling, and reporting.
Electronics & High Technology: With the increasing demands and huge dependence on electronics and tech products, manufacturing automation robotics is all you need. It can drastically enhance production speed, test and remove defective products, along with maintaining optimal manufacturing conditions to ensure high-quality products are manufactured with less production cost.
Packaging: Automating the task in the packaging industry helps manufacturers to stay competitive and consistent in their products, keeps employees safer, and improves packaging flexibility to accommodate larger and more diverse product varieties.
Benefits of Automated Manufacturing
There are numerous benefits associated with implementing automation in the manufacturing sector.
Shortened Production Period
Because automation may speed up manufacturing, it allows businesses to adapt more quickly to market changes. Additionally, it makes the manufacturing sector more competitive. Robotics and cutting-edge sensors can collaborate to complete validation and inspection procedures to ensure quality control and boost production. As a result, machines can manufacture more products in less time with fewer errors.
Less Danger and Human Error
Reduction in human error leads to better production along with ensuring higher safety. Thus, it helps to lower serious injuries, repair costs, and recalls. By giving the option to divert human capital from routine duties and toward research and development, it also enables more effective resource utilization.
Help to Overcome the Issue of Skill Gap and Labor Shortage
Contrary to human workers, machines are less likely to be in short supply. This is because automation technology fills both the skills gap and the labour shortfall, which significantly impacts a manufacturing company’s profitability and even survival.
Enhanced Analytics and Production Monitoring
The supply chain can readily distribute data, all thanks to the use of sensors, robotics, and smart machinery for tracking inventories, system maintenance, and finished goods. This enables better decision-making, more efficient planning, and an increased return on investment.
The Role of Automation in Manufacturing in the Future?
In this digital world, technologies are getting smarter day by day. The manufacturing sector will surely benefit from the automation capacity to accomplish complicated jobs quickly and effectively, more consistently, and with less risk. The track of recent technical developments suggests that factory automation has a promising future.
In terms of where manufacturing automation is expected to go, we’re likely to witness a sharp increase in the use and development of:
- Machine learning
- AI and much more
There is undoubtedly a misconception that the introduction and involvement of robots, AI, and manufacturing automation technology will replace human intervention. But this is not true. Most processes require human involvement because people are more flexible and innovative than machines. Because of this, they can be retrained more quickly than a robot can be disassembled and rebuilt.
It’s critical to realize that automation is intended to change responsibilities rather than necessarily replace them. Humans can now be more effectively used in roles that are safer, less physically demanding, and focus more on problem-solving, creativity, people management, and innovation, as opposed to duties that may offer ergonomic and safety difficulties.
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