Maximizing efficiency and ROI with industrial automation: Consulting strategies
The role of industrial automation in modern manufacturing
Modern manufacturing and industrial automation have a long historical link. In fact, you could regard modern manufacturing as the byproduct of industrial automation.
It was industrial automation that allowed the successful conveyor-belt assembly of Henry Ford’s automobiles. It was also industrial automation that allowed the US to rapidly turn out vast quantities of equipment and materials during World Wars I and II.
Today, industrial automation continues to allow businesses to produce more in less time at reduced costs using fewer people.
Challenges in implementing industrial automation
The primary challenge of updating your procedures is knowing where to begin and charting a achievable path to your automation objective.
The most successful implementations of industrial automation always involve a dedicated team of experienced professionals monitoring and adjusting the process. Consultants can advise on such things as investment costs, training of existing employees, troubleshooting, and maintenance.
Consulting in industrial automation: An overview
Industrial automation consultants don’t try to impose upon a client a preconceived set of solutions. Instead, they analyze the way the company currently operates.
Then they look for ways they can simplify the processes, such as by eliminating unnecessary redundancies. They also identify procedures that are running too slowly to be efficient.
Selecting the right automation solutions
For long-range success, you want to select a solution tailor-made for your business. There’s no need to invest in a generic trendy technology if it won’t have a significant impact on the way you operate.
A consultant can help you identify the specific areas of your enterprise where automation could result in major improvement. For example, an entirely robotic workforce may not justify its purchase. On the other hand, a few digital bots may pay for themselves within days.
ROI assessment and planning
The classic method for determining ROI in automation involves comparing the system’s benefits and costs. The formula is as follows: ROI = (Benefits – Costs) / Costs x 100%.
Besides your financial gains, your production goals will help determine your ultimate success. You’ll need to have clearly in mind the improvements you expect.
For example, does the automation successfully address customers’ issues? Does the automation allow for faster innovation and release of new products? Has the automation resulted in increased employee job satisfaction?
Streamlining operations for efficiency
Automation can help weed out inefficiency in your daily operations. For example, your staff may have to enter key data separately into multiple databases. Typical data include customers’ contact information, the model number of the purchased product, and the shipping.
Automation would allow an employee to enter the data only once. Bots could reenter the data as many times as needed into as many databases as necessary. This simple change could save an incredible amount of hours and dollars daily. It would also lower the likelihood of human error.
Risk management and compliance in automation
Often, businesses fail to comply due to being unaware of their error. Automation can pull the required data from throughout your network to compile all necessary information to meet regulatory requirements.
Automation can also analyze your operation for risk assessment. For example, the system could spot a pattern of near accidents under certain conditions in specific areas of your facility. That information could alert you to the need to make procedural or even structural changes that could ward off a major incident.
The importance of finding industrial technology consultants
When independent experts examine your operations they bring a non-biased, non-emotional approach to the task. They see things that insiders no longer notice, such as redundancies and inefficiencies.
You don’t have to accept all of their recommendations. But receiving expert analysis from industrial technology consulting will help you see ways to make your business better equipped to adjust and adapt to your industry’s changing demands.