Various Levels of Shop Floor Automation

Technology has completely changed the way activities are performed on the manufacturing floor. Growth-oriented companies cannot afford to continue with old school techniques following the development and widespread adoption of automation technologies such as welding robots, intelligent machine sensors, and efficient material handling equipment. The advanced manufacturing technology is now within the reach of small and family-owned businesses. You can choose from a broad range of automation solutions that offer everything from material handling and quality control to welding and metal fabrication.

Shop floor automation is a necessity for competitive manufacturing, an environment where it is challenging to meet customers’ expectations. The only solution to keep up with market expectations in a profitable way is to improve operational processes. Bringing innovative automation solutions to your shop floor will help you streamline activities, minimize production cost, and boost profitability. However, you have to choose the type of technology that makes the most sense for your manufacturing processes.

Basic automation solutions

Paper-based systems, where you can only achieve a low level of accuracy and efficiency, is not sufficient when you have to operate with tight margins and intense competition. The basic level of automation can identify gaps in workflow, idle machines, and delays due to stock-outs. By tracking performance and identifying variables that could cause operational inefficiencies, it would be easy to find economically viable automation solutions.

Basic automation tools enable manufacturers to track variables such as order-to-delivery times and cycle times. The tracking ability of this basic system assists manufacturers in areas such as resource planning, logistics tracking, and buying trends. A bar code scanner is a good example of how such a basic technology can bring about big improvements.

Intermediate-level solutions

Intermediate-level automation solutions enable companies to streamline and automate carefully selected manufacturing operations. Sensors are utilized in order to monitor equipment performance. Modern sensors can track down performance degradation and disruptions while improving the efficiency of quality control processes. They enable business managers to track material consumption, scrap rates, and machine run rates for different components.

Advanced automation

Advanced automation level often refers to a fully automated manufacturing environment where robots, sensors, and other machines perform most of the work with great precision and efficiency while maintaining minimal human intervention. In a sophisticated automated environment, machines guide other machines when to take action. Businesses can move gradually from a basic level of automation to more advanced automated solutions depending on their compatibility.

The development of new technologies often stems from experience acquired during the production of a previous series by the same manufacturer. This allows for compatibility with older, in-house, versions of software/hardware solutions. In order to remain competitive in the highly global marketplace, it is crucial for organizations to continually evaluate their current processes and look for opportunities for improvement.

BP Automation offers custom engineering solutions ranging from prototype development and electrical controls to automated pipe cladding and welding in Edmonton and across Canada. Our highly experienced team of in-house engineers has the ability to turn your complex manufacturing problems into simple and affordable automated machines.