Risk Assessment And Machine Safeguarding

Risk Assessment And Machine Safeguarding

It is absolutely essential to ensure that machines operating in your facility are properly safeguarded. Any machine part, process, or function which may cause an injury should be thoroughly assessed and safeguarded. When it comes to machine safeguarding, manufacturers are required to hire professionals with a deep understanding of the risk reduction procedures and risk assessment. There is a need for a considerate approach to planning and implementation services required to accomplish this project.

It is important that all machine guards are appropriate for the hazards involved, and constructed of durable materials. Although many machines are similar in terms of design, but they are used to perform specific or different operations. The best technique to understand the operation and maintenance of a manufacturing machine is to observe it when operational. This will help manufacturers ensure safety and compliance while fully understanding and meeting productivity requirements. What follows are machine safeguarding insights broken down into a 4-step process:

Identification

It is an easy process for safety managers to identify applications that demand a level of safeguarding. In the identification of hazardous scenarios, analysis of a facility’s accident record will provide great assistance. Most of the time, manufacturers assess the high-risk machines first. In some cases, risk assessments are conducted on every machine present before implementing the risk reduction portion of the plan in order to prioritize the plan of attack.

Information collection

Once the machine or process has been identified for a risk assessment, the next step is to collect all of the relevant information relating to the application. This information includes the lifecycle requirements, capacity of a machine, any information concerning energy sources and all available sketches, drawings, system descriptions or other means of establishing the nature of the machine.

Observation

Machines can be identical but they propose different hazards when incorporated into different systems. For example, a manufacturer may design and produce hundreds of identical robots. Each robot can be incorporated into a system with unique hazards. One unit may be used for welding application, one unit may be used for material handling or assembly. It is crucial to observe each individual unit for potentially different risk levels.

Engineering and administrative control

When building and implementing engineering controls to reduce risk, select solutions that can satisfactorily eliminate hazards. In addition to protective technology and devices, efficient control systems should be carefully selected. The next step should focus on implementing administrative controls which may include safe work procedures and training.

At At BP Automation, we provide comprehensive machine guarding solutions for many applications. Being a reputable automation engineering company, our job is to ensure workplace safety while improving productivity and profitability through smart automated machines. Reach us for one-stop automation and machine guarding solutions!

Applications of Robotics in Manufacturing Sector

Applications of Robotics in Manufacturing Sector

Currently, robots are extensively used in the manufacturing industry and have become an indispensable element in a large part of the production processes. A huge number of manufacturers rely on adaptable robots to improve the productivity and quality of the products. Industrial robotics allow the automation of various difficult tasks on the production line and bring flexibility in the process.

Casting Works

The injection molding was the first robotic process implemented in 1960. In this process the material used in a liquid state and injected under pressure in the mold. The latter is formed by two halves that are held together during the injection of the metal by the pressure exerted by two cylinders. The mold, once cleaned of metal residues and is suitably lubricated, can be used again.

Application of Materials

Robots are exclusively used in finishing surfaces by coating a certain material (paint, enamel, metal particles, etc.) for decorative or protective purposes which is a critical part of many manufacturing processes. Both in the painting and in the metallic applications, the problem to be solved is similar. Having the greatest diffusion. Its use is widespread in the manufacturing of automobiles, appliances, furniture, etc.

Welding

The automotive industry has been the great driver of industrial robotics, using most of the robots installed today. The most frequent robotic task in the manufacture of automobiles has been, without doubt, the welding of bodies. In this process, two metal pieces are joined at a point for the joint fusion of both parts. To do this, a high electrical current and low voltage is passed through two opposing electrodes between which the pieces to be joined are placed.

Mounting

Assembly operations present great difficulties for flexible automation due to the high precision and skill they normally require. Hence, many assembly processes in the industry have been automated using intelligent robots that work with great precision and speed. However, the current market requires very flexible systems, which allow introducing frequent changes in products with minimal costs. For this reason, the industrial robots have become the ideal solution for assembly automation.

Application of Adhesives and Sealants

Robots are frequently used for the application of sealing material cords or adhesives in various industries. In this process, the material to be applied is in the liquid or paste form in a tank, being pumped up to the application gun that carries the robot which regulates the flow of material that is projected. In addition, robotics in the manufacturing industry are also used to screw, assemble, label, manipulate and in quality control. By automating production, the industrial robotics are facilitating various manufacturing industries to increase productivity and improve the quality of products.

Industrial Automation: An Opportunity To Stay Ahead Of The Curve

Industrial Automation: An Opportunity To Stay Ahead Of The Curve

There was a time when starting a manufacturing business was relatively risk-free. With technology giants reshaping the B2C customer experience, B2B buyers are also looking for agility, rapid order cycles, and competitive pricing. This is happening mainly due to technology changing at an exponential rate. The rapid technological advancements and growing customer expectations demand from business to stay up to date or to be at the forefront of change in order to stay ahead of the competition and achieve sustainable growth.

Industrial automation continues to help the modern manufacturing business achieve high levels of productivity through scalable automation solutions. From the internet of things (IoT) to artificial intelligence, industrial technology is ever-evolving. As a progressive business owner, you have to be receptive and adaptive to change, however challenging it may be. In the manufacturing industry, automation technology is no more an option but a necessity.

Shop floor automation has been transformed dramatically over the past few years. The use of industrial robotics, M2M technologies, smart sensors and QC systems does not require huge resources. This is the reason why small and family-owned businesses can afford to implement automation technologies to their production processes. Being a manufacturer, you have the freedom to choose from a broad range of enterprise solutions from basic sensors and QC systems to complicated welding robots and material handling equipment.

Related: Robots seem to be improving productivity, not costing jobs

Automation is about exploring the new opportunities to grow a business. It allows your employees to generate big ideas from new information and innovative way of looking at the existing infrastructure. For example, adding an automated welding system to your existing infrastructure will help you understand the effectiveness of smart machines and how you can further modernize your shop floor with better automation solutions.

Data collection and processing is another critical aspect of today’s manufacturing environment. Automated data collection coupled with efficient reporting tools can magnify the impact of your conventional production assets. A smart way of collecting data and generating applicable insights not only reduce labor costs but also help identify operational deficiencies.

For manufacturers looking to drive productivity, improve the bottom line, and cut costs, industrial automation is the right platform for them. Innovative technologies such as robotics, automated welding systems, sensors, measurement and QC devices, etc. will surely give manufacturers the competitive edge they are looking for and capabilities to meet growing demand for precision, speed, and efficiency.

BP Automation is an engineering company in Canada where we design and build mechanical hardware, industrial software, and electronic control systems for a range of customer applications. Our product research and prototype development process is designed to build successful machines. From improving the existing infrastructure to building new automation solutions, our focus is to help our clients stay ahead of the competition in a profitable way. Feel free to discuss your project with us!

Welding Robots: An Essential Component of Today’s Welding Operations

Welding Robots: An Essential Component of Today’s Welding Operations

High-quality products at lower price and the need to improve productivity are two of the major challenges manufacturers face when working in a competitive environment. It is hard for a company to survive or to remain profitable without thoroughly addressing the emerging issues. Flexibility and agility are also important characteristics of modern production processes. Businesses have to respond to a very dynamic market with products showing short life-cycles due to the growing demand for innovation and precision. Being a business manager, you need to thoroughly address the market requirements in an efficient manner. Embracing industrial automation technology, robotics, intelligent sensors and machines is the only way to meet future challenges.

Welding is a major component of the production process in most of the industries and manufacturing plants. A large number of products require welding operations in their production process. The automotive industry is one of the examples where welding operations take place at a large scale. The quality of a welding process has a direct impact on the quality of finished products. We understand that welding operations are technical, complex, challenging to parameterize and control. Despite the rapid progress in industrial technology, robotic welding technology still needs to add more features and reach its true potential.

A welding process can impose extremely high temperature concentrated in small areas, which can lead to changes in the materials and deformations. The modern technology focuses on improving the overall quality and productivity of welding operations through sophisticated systems such as robots and automated welding plants.

Undoubtedly, automated machines and robots are essential components of today’s manufacturing plants. The demand for automated welding systems has increased over the past the few years due to the potential for flexibility, innovation, low costs, and operational efficiency. Machines clearly outsmart manual work in terms of speed, accuracy, and efficiency. The automobile is the most highlighted industry that use robots extensively to carry out welding, material handling, assembling, and other major operations. It is estimated that 25% of industrial robots are being used in the welding applications.

It is relatively easy for large organizations to test and implement new technologies as they have enough resources to go through a complicated product development process. Implementation of new technology into an existing process is also a challenging task that requires planning.

In order to meet the requirements of market and customer expectations, businesses should limit the use of manual welding. The required setup time, slow production process, low-quality welds, health risks are some of the factors that do not fit into the modern day manufacturing.

In order to achieve sustainable growth, you have to embrace automation so that you can address growth challenges such as the demand for high-quality products, low productivity, lack of flexibility and agility in the process, and, at the same time, remain profitable.

BP Automation is one of the most reputable engineering companies in Canada where we design and manufacture practical and cost-effective automation solutions for various industries. Our objective is to streamline manufacturing processes for our clients through custom machines. Robotics, automated welding systems, material handling equipment, QC systems, and sensor technology are some of our expertise. Let us know how we can improve your production process and make it more productive and profitable!

IIoT And Significance Of Implementing New Industrial Technologies

IIoT And Significance Of Implementing New Industrial Technologies

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a potentially revolutionary concept that can unlock a new era of competitiveness and economic growth. Accenture defines the concept of Industrial Internet of Things as “a universe of intelligent industrial products, processes, and services that communicate with each other and with people over a global network”. The concept of smart analytics and centrally connected devices is transforming the way manufacturers collect data and implement communication channels on factory floors. With the possibility to collect and analyze data in real-time, the focus has been shifted on how big data can be turned into actionable and effective insights.

Intelligent equipment and devices are meant to upgrade production processes on your plant floor and make it smarter, reliable, and optimized so that you can increase operational efficiencies and reduce downtime. Implementing smart manufacturing solutions also enable you to expedite equipment repair through smart analytics. Whether your factory floor operates metal fabrication devices, welding cells, PLCs or sensors, IIoT will enable you to bring data together and improve the overall effectiveness of your equipment.

First, it is important to understand the difference between traditional analytics and IIoT analytics. In traditional analytics, data is analyzed after it is centralized, whereas, IIoT analytics analyze data at origination stage. With a feature to monetize insights at different stages of a production process, manufacturers can optimize operational efficiencies as well as generate additional revenue. However, in order to truly materialize the power of IIoT, manufacturers have to determine why and how they can utilize IIoT and then work on converting data into applicable insights.

The growing industrial capabilities and adoption of IIoT offers manufacturers with incredible business opportunities. Understanding the needs of customers, clients, and stakeholders is absolutely essential. IIoT helps manufacturers collect and apply insights from a connected network of devices to generate monetization opportunities.

A study reveals that more than 70% of companies have already invested more than 20% of their technology budgets in IIoT analytics. As the IIoT is flourishing, it is expected that the number of internet-connected devices will increase dramatically. IIoT will blend together IT and operations technology and become smarter through sensors and machine application.

The advancements in industrial automation and internet is driving greater operational efficiency and materializing new era of connected industrial assets. Progressive companies are moving aggressively towards implementing new technologies and using proper strategy to guide their efforts.

At BP Automation, we provide top-notch automation engineering solutions in Canada. Our diverse in-house team of engineers and researchers design and manufacture a range of automated machines including robotics, automated welding cells, cutting and milling, material handling equipment, measurement and quality control, to name a few. Through innovative automation technologies and capabilities, we focus on exploring not only what is possible but also what is feasible for our clients. Reach us to find out how we can improve your productivity and bottom line through innovative manufacturing and automation solutions.

The Impact Of Smart Sensors On The Future Of Manufacturing

The Impact Of Smart Sensors On The Future Of Manufacturing

Within a manufacturing environment, smart sensors can be applied to equipment platforms to help with quality control and monitoring. Smart sensors are capable of converting workhorse machines into intelligent devices that can perform independently. The advancements in sensor technology have attracted future-minded manufacturers and helped them improve operational efficiencies. What follows are some of the major functions of smart sensors and how automation technologies can help manufacturers make substantial growth in a competitive environment:

Monitoring

Lean manufacturing techniques are used to reduce waste and variability in the production processes and improve the quality of products. However, factory managers need to apply a more granular approach to troubleshooting and rectifying process flaws. Companies have to learn how to make business decisions based on data. How can smart sensor technology help companies in this respect?

Smart sensors connect various operating systems and enable different machines to communicate and make intelligent decisions. As compared to traditional old-fashioned sensors, smart sensors use microprocessors to customize outputs and provide interpretive data while ensuring reliable results. The reliable data and effective machine-to-machine communication allow factory managers to make educated choices about their operations.

Equipment failure predictions

Sometimes manufacturers have to cut operations and maintenance budget in order to stay competitive and profitable. Advanced sensors enable manufacturers to reduce unexpected and unnecessary maintenance, downtime, and premature replacement of parts. Timely detection of operational issues leads to reduced downtime. An effective monitoring of production machines minimizes costs associated with machinery breakdown.

Sensors enable IoT

Technology to materialize effective data collection is key to smart factory environment. Smart sensors play a key role in developing IoT applications for manufacturing as they streamline connectivity and analytics. Smart sensing technology have already transformed the way manufacturers implement IoT. Smart sensors are at the heart of industrial IoT. They identify objects, locate them, and generate data regarding their environmental conditions which is critical throughout the supply chain and manufacturing.

The complexity of modern production processes often demands multiple sensing technologies to meet manufacturing needs. A combination of monitoring systems is ideal when managers have to track down multiple factors such as temperature, pressure, vibration, humidity, altitude, motion, maintenance, etc. Companies have to develop new applications to make a good use of all the big data that intelligent sensors can generate.

The need for automation and sensor technology can vary from business to business. How can you determine whether or not your production processes require smart sensors? Understanding the cost of sensor integration into an existing system and the consequence of an evolving workforce will help you determine whether switching to smart sensors is appropriate for you. You can consult an automation engineering company to figure out technologies that can improve operational efficiencies and, consequently, your profitability.

About Us

BP Automation is an automation engineering company in Canada where we design and manufacture custom sensor technology for the manufacturing industry. We also manufacture a comprehensive range of custom machines and engineered solutions which include automated welding systems, material handling equipment, robotics, electrical control systems, and metal fabrication systems. Reach us for a free consultation and we will be happy to analyze how our diverse engineering capabilities can resolve your complex manufacturing problems.

Reasons Why You Should Automate Your Food Processing Plant

Reasons Why You Should Automate Your Food Processing Plant

Industrial robots and automated manufacturing systems have completely transformed almost every industrial sector and have improved productivity and operational efficiency to an unprecedented level. The food industry, however, is accepting new technology rather reluctantly and gradually due to food products differing significantly in shape and consistency. It is challenging to develop economically viable automation solutions for a variety of complex production procedures. This is why many manufacturers in this industry still rely on manual operations.

The larger manufacturers mostly utilize state-of-the-art automation technology as they can afford to invest in product development and engineering research. Industrial automation makes it easy to adapt to consumer’s rapidly changing requirements. In fact, streamlining production processes through technology is the only way to meet or exceed market expectations. Being a manufacturer, you can either improve your existing equipment and make it more efficient or install innovative engineering solutions in order to meet future challenges.

Automated processing and packaging systems connect various components in a plant and enable managers to control the entire process and gather valuable data through a central computer. A central control allows facility managers to obtain quick access to information related to raw material, operating parameters of a machine, and overall operational efficiency. Following are some reasons why the food industry should invest in modern automation technology:

Consistent Quality

The implementation of modern technology is inevitable when it comes to producing high-quality products consistently. Automated processing and packaging gives operator greater control over consistency, which means a producer can deliver quality products time after time. Since automation makes it easy to monitor equipment performance parameters, the process to locate and resolve issues becomes hazard-free.

Improved traceability

The element of traceability has gained considerable attention as it allows to quickly recall products and track production. It is important to trace the history of products at any stage in the chain and to track down product information: raw material intake, packaging data, processing procedures, distributions channels, etc. By adopting automation and streamlining traceability, a manufacturer can cut down on regulatory compliance costs and improve key operations.

Improved safety

When machine vision and automated systems work together, managers get a more granular view of every step in the process. The process to modify safety standards becomes smooth as a change in one process does not affect other areas.

Conclusively speaking, automation brings about safety, error-free production, transparency, and consistent quality which is critical to maintaining a brand’s good reputation and keeping both consumer and retailer satisfied. If you are still relying on manual food processing, it’s high time to implement automation and improve your bottom line.

BP Automation is an automation engineering company in Canada where we design and manufacture automation solutions that streamline complex production processes and make them more profitable. Reach us for a free consultation and see how we can help you improve the productivity and efficiency of your food processing plant.

How Automation Can Improve Warehouse Efficiency And Productivity

How Automation Can Improve Warehouse Efficiency And Productivity

A well-thought-out automation solution can bring about operational efficiency and drive your business towards increased productivity and profitability. It is hard for business managers to justify the change in their existing manufacturing and material handling operations. No doubt, automating a warehouse or any other manufacturing facility demands investment and planning. However, it has become inevitable to invest in the innovative automation solutions in order to remain profitable and competitive.

Intelligent machines and software offer a futuristic approach to handle increased warehouse density, volume, and the demand for outsourced logistics providers. In Canada, according to Boston Consulting Group, robots will cut labor costs by 24% by 2025. The study further revealed that the cost of owning and operating a robotic spot welder, for instance, has dropped from $182,000 in 2005 to $133,000 last year, and will drop to $103,000 by 2025. Automation has already transformed the factory floors and warehouses, and the pace of change is expected to accelerate as automated material handling systems has become, affordable, easier and safer to use.

It is challenging to deal with the operational growth and increased labor costs. It is hard to keep costs down while improving operational efficiencies. Well-planned automation engineering solutions can have a big impact on your warehouse operations. Following are some of the benefits that automation technologies can bring to your warehouse operations:

Improved operational efficiency

Robotic automation not only helps manufacturers achieve greater warehouse productivity, but it can also drive significant cost savings as compared to employing workers. Warehouse management software, on the other hand, enables facility managers to find out inefficiencies and address them. It becomes easy to track down how much time an average warehouse operator takes to complete a task. Once you are aware of the inefficiencies in your warehouse operations, you can take steps to eliminate them by deploying automated material handling and management systems.

Efficient use of available space

It is critical to take advantage of every inch of available space on your production floor. Warehouse management software enables you to make the most of available space. It can help you assign lesser used inventory to higher shelves and keep frequently used items near the shipping area. This is how you can maximize the utility of your warehouse shelves.

Related: The principles of material handling

Lean manufacturing

Most of the modern facilities now strive to implement lean manufacturing as an effort to improve operational efficiencies and decrease production costs. Lean production and material handling techniques help manufacturers with waste minimization, continuous improvements, services, and delivery.

Advantages of automation

  • Increased throughput and the productivity of labor
  • Increased accuracy of orders
  • Elimination of latency and errors with manual data processing
  • Continuity in operations
  • Safe material handling processes
  • Reduced energy use
  • Reduced product damage

Keep looking for process improvements and how new technologies can benefit your production processes as an ideal approach to drive profit, productivity, and efficiency. Set long-term goals and implement automation to make them happen.

Being a rapidly growing automation engineering company in Canada, BP Automation strives to design and manufacture highly profitable material handling and facility management solutions for various industries. Consult our experts to help you evaluate and improve your existing manufacturing and warehouse operations.

Industrial Automation Software: Development And Applications

Industrial Automation Software: Development And Applications

Before the personal computer (PC) was incorporated into the manufacturing systems, the quality control (QC) process was carried out by skilled operators. For instance, in the welding processes, operators were supposed to maintain the quality and precision during work. On top of that, operators had to perform most of their work manually. Another example was the condition monitoring systems for the natural gas pipeline network.

It was not practically possible to accurately monitor the remote measurement parameters as operators were prone to mistakes in dealing with large and complex data. Therefore, it was absolutely necessary to develop intelligent automation machines and software which could perform complex tasks with great speed, accuracy, and efficiency.

The adoption of industrial PC in a broad range of industrial applications has completely changed the manufacturing landscape. The rapid development of information technologies has provided manufacturers with sufficient technical support for building efficient production and quality control systems.

Full automation of an industrial measurement system can only be realized with the help of computerized real-time monitoring analysis and automation technologies. Information technology can help system operators and decision makers to improve the overall efficiency of a system.

Applications of industrial automation software

We can classify the applications of industrial automation software into following categories:

  • Measurement and control
  • Monitoring of process parameters
  • Search, processing, presentation and acquisition of industrial parameters
  • Communication and network sharing
  • Quality testing and analysis
  • Power management
  • Equipment monitoring and management
  • Condition monitoring for large machines
  • Safety and security management

Over the past few years, automation and software engineering companies have developed successful software applications for various industrial fields. There is a number of commercially available software packages that manufacturer can utilize to improve their manufacturing operations.

Modern industrial software products are built with diverse and independently functioning modules. They provide manufacturers with opportunities to increase productivity and management effectiveness of their operations. The considerate use of data acquisition across factory floor can help you improve productivity and profitability. The scope of industrial information technology will be broadened as companies are demanding enhanced capabilities in terms of flexibility, responsiveness, scalability, expandability, and interoperability.

Information technology and automated machines can bring dramatic improvements to your existing manufacturing processes. The rapid development of microprocessors and other innovative technologies have transformed the industrial measurement and instrumentation systems. Manufacturers should make a timely use of automation technologies in order to satisfy more and more demanding user requirements. It is the only way you can stay competitive and profitable in an increasingly demanding industrial environment.

Considering the growing demand for highly efficient and intelligent machines and control systems, BP Automation designs and manufactures economically viable and efficient automation solutions for a broad range of industrial applications including machining, welding & fabrication, electronics & sensors, measurement & instrumentation, and product development. Feel free to discuss your manufacturing complexities and needs with us.

Industrial Automation And Its Inevitability

Industrial Automation And Its Inevitability

Technological progress has helped lift people out of the poverty cycle, raised standards of living and improved the way manufacturing processes were performed. Development in the industrial technology has already made it feasible for manufacturers to achieve the higher level of growth and productivity by adopting smart machines. The increased use of industrial robots is the one indication that automation can produce the finest products in short periods of time. The automotive industry accounts for almost half of the industrial robots sold in Canada. Metal and machinery manufacturing industries come after auto manufacturing.

The impact of automation can also be measured in terms of the number of robots per 10,000 workers or, in other words, robot density. This way of measuring progress suggests that South Korea is leading the chart followed by Japan, Germany, and Canada. The loss of human labor is one of the common fears people express about the growing use of robots. However, the development of novel means of production can only improve the employment situation in a region.

The use of advanced manufacturing tools does not create higher unemployment. On the contrary, it creates job opportunities for skilled labor. Currently, there is a considerable shortage of skilled labor, people who can work with highly sophisticated automated working environments. Despite the unprecedented advancements in automation technology, there are some manufacturing tasks that cannot be performed by machines and that human intervention is inevitable.

The decision to invest in new technologies depends on a number of factors: the cost of machines, competitive pressure, ability to operate and maintain machines, potential benefits, to name a few. Small businesses sometimes cannot afford to go for newly invented manufacturing techniques. Some technologies require years to reach their full potential and become commercially viable. However, there are fully developed and economically viable technologies such as automated welding machines that are within the reach of small metal fabrication shops. Robotic welding systems get the job done quickly and produce great results in terms of precision, speed, and quality. Make sure you are following the trends that will dominate the manufacturing industry in coming years.

Keeping in mind the intensity of competition and demand for high-quality products, automation is the only solution that can help you meet the market requirements. Automated machines will not only increase your productivity but also improve your safety standards. Therefore, stay ahead of the competition and use automation as a solid way to dominate your market.

Related: How to improve productivity and profitability of your manufacturing processes?

BP Automation is an automation engineering company in Edmonton that designs and manufactures automated solutions for various manufacturing processes such as welding, pipe cladding, prototype development, assembling, precision machining, material handling, food processing, metal fabrication, to name a few. We have resources and in-house capabilities to make your complex manufacturing processes lean and highly profitable. Feel free to discuss your manufacturing problems and see how we can help to resolve them.