Manufacturing is a traditional domain, which relies on a specific way of doing things. But a lot has changed for the industry over the years, with technology making inroads into it. Automation is the latest innovation that most manufacturers are making a beeline for. The pandemic has made it even more popular as there is a need to reduce dependence on people and cut costs in the new normal. Rightly, automation is the way of the future for the industry. But it is natural to feel apprehensive about transformation, specifically when changing the business processes from the core.
You may see automation as an additional business expense to start with. At the same time, the need for a high level of technical expertise to implement the technology could be another concern. You may think it lacks the flexibility to address intricate business processes. It may appear suitable only for short-term solutions. These are only myths, and automation has a lot more to offer if you scratch the surface. Here are the reasons why every manufacturing business should embrace automation right now.
Brings efficiency in the use of materials
When you automate operations, you improve the entire production chain in more than one way. It leads to faster production with the assurance of better quality and greater consistency. Machines and software applications take over labor positions, reducing errors and curbing wastage. In the end, you secure more efficiency in the use of materials. Resource wastage is one of the key concerns for manufacturers in the new normal. It increases expenses and cuts down your margins, which are the reasons you must make conscious efforts to avoid it. Thankfully, automation gets you a step closer to more efficiency and less wastage.
Reduces dependence on labor
Automating processes is relevant in current times because it reduces the dependence on labor. Workers are safer in an automated workplace as there are fewer errors and accidents when machines take over. Also, it lets you carry on operations with a fewer number of people on the factory floor. The concept matches the current need for social distancing and makes your workplace virus-safe. Workers also end up benefitting from fewer hours on the clock. It leads to a significant boost in employee morale and loyalty. They can ditch repetitive tasks and focus on ones that require human intelligence and creativity. You can expect them to find new ways to improve products and operations during their spare time.
Enables visibility and informed decisions
One of the most daunting challenges manufacturers face is the lack of visibility in processes spread over a large plant. It often leads to bottlenecks and wrong decisions that may result in losses for the business. Luckily, automation covers you on this front too. A SCADA(Supervisory control and data acquisition) system brings more visibility and enables informed decisions. Plant supervisors have a better view of all production lines with this system. They can consider the plants’ current performance and take steps to improve uptime and reduce downtime. The SCADA system issues alert when something is amiss in the production line, and the line supervisor can quickly address the bottleneck before the whole line gets affected.
Makes your business future-ready
Manufacturing automation is not about automating everything. It involves the automation of individual processes to bring efficiency in production. You build a future-ready business with a collaborative work environment where workers use collaborative tools. They end up handling their jobs more effectively and efficiently, and it improves the business outcomes. Advanced automation solutions are flexible and can automate even the most intricate of tasks. You can even customize them according to the business needs and take your process to the next level.
Enhances business reputation
The advantages of automating processes go beyond increasing productivity, performance, and efficiency. Manufacturing companies can even use it to boost their reputation down the line. By embracing new technologies, you can showcase innovation to employees, partners, and customers. All stakeholders are happier to work with innovative companies that go the extra mile with quality and consistency in their operations and outputs. Consider it as an opportunity to create brand awareness and brand loyalty. You can expect to see a boost in customer retention and employee engagement too. Moreover, automation supports a responsible manufacturing process with sustainability and cost-effectiveness at its core. You can deliver high-quality products at low prices.
Gives a competitive advantage
Another valid reason to embrace automated manufacturing sooner rather than later is that it gives your business a competitive advantage. Early adopters can become market leaders with better processes and consistent products. Missing out on the technology can throw your business off-track in more than one way. Customers are less likely to stay with a company that does not keep pace with innovation, even if your offerings are at par with the competition. You are less likely to attract the best talent as an employer too. Pick automation today and secure a competitive edge!
Serves as a long-term value-driven investment
The value and benefits of automation far outweigh the initial investment in the technology. Even better, it lasts for a lifetime, provided you upgrade when something better is around. You empower your business with a strategy that facilitates long-term growth and sustainability. It also gives low-cost solutions for fixing challenges in the production line, which is better with a long-term approach. Any business that picks automation becomes scalable, sustainable, and competitive for good.
Survival in the new normal is more challenging than you can imagine. Manufacturers need to innovate and integrate new technologies to remain efficient and competitive. Automation covers you on all fronts as it empowers your factory with better processes. You end up delivering on your promise to customers and employees. It is a worthwhile transition, even if it appears daunting and expensive to begin with. Think of it as a critical business asset you must embrace if you want to succeed. More importantly, you must pick it right now rather than wait for the others to gain an advantage with automation.