Today there is a high pressure on businesses to provide high quality and consistently better products at a competitive price. To address this challenge, businesses are approaching to industrial automation companies to design and develop products through robotic process automation.
Industrial automation helps improve the product quality and reduce design cost by adopting new, innovative and integrated technologies and services.
Industrial automation is made replacement to humans with computers and machines. The word Automation means a “mechanism move by itself”. Automation focuses on to automate operations and drive industrial processes without human involvement and achieve superior outcomes than manual operations.
Types of Industrial Automation:
Hard or fixed automation
This type of automation is deployed to perform fixed and repetitive operations in order to get high production rates. It leverages special purpose or dedicated equipment to automate the fixed sequence assembling or processing operations. Once it starts to work, it is difficult to change or modify the product design. So it is not flexible in providing varieties in products, but it improves the efficiency with greater production rate and decreases unit cost.
Soft or Flexible Automation
This automation system provides the automatic control equipment, which adds a flexibility for making changes in the product design. These changes can be made quickly through the commands given by the operators.
By using soft or flexible automation, manufactures can manufacture multiple products with different ranges of collective combination of processes rather than a separate process.
In this automation, assembling or processing operations are changed with the adjustment of control program in the automated equipment.
This automation is best fit for batch production process where product volume flows from medium to high. But in this automation, it is difficult to change and reconfigure the system for a new product or sequence of operations. So new product or the process to reconfigure a sequence of operations needs a lengthy setup.
Advantages of Industrial Automation
Increased productivity and efficiency
Human labours have some limitations and they may do errors, but machines have less chance to commit mistakes. For instance, computers don’t get tired from continuous working. On the other hand, machines can’t match human creativity. But they can do repetitive works, delivering better accuracy within less time.
Automation is used in areas where a high degree of accuracy is required. Machines can also be used in dangerous environments.
Improves product quality
Since the automation is used to reduce the human involvement, the possibility to reduce human errors is possible. In fact, industrial automation helps achieve uniformity and product quality and also it helps monitor all the industrial processes, from the inception of product to the completion of an end product.
Improves opportunities for customization
Today customers demand customized products to meet the needs of their particular markets. Therefore, manufacturers should be able to meet customer demands without compromising in quality.
Some companies focus on to increase flexibility in production by implementing automation through the use of sensors and configurable robots. They are able to produce products as for individual customer needs.
Increases the level of safety
Industrial automation increases the level of safety to workers by replacing them with automated machines in dangerous working conditions. Today, industrial robots and robotic devices are largely being used in such areas.
Before industrial automation companies were focused on to improve productivity and cut down costs, but today the focus is towards improving quality and bringing agility to the process.