Manufacturing is a competitive industry. Domestic manufacturers have been competing with overseas manufacturers for decades, which often offer lower cost labor. With competition high and approximately 96.4 percent of U.S. manufacturers qualifying as small businesses, per the U.S. Census Bureau, they are turning toward automation for leaner operations.
Automation Increases Productivity
Automation delivers higher productivity and is represented in various applications including robotics. According to Robotic Industries Association (RIA), end-to-end automation in manufacturing can double or even triple throughput. With automation, the equipment can also keep running, giving these manufacturers a competitive edge.
How Will Automation Help You?
Automation is no longer a nice thing to have. It’s imperative. According to a McKinsey study, 478 billion of the 749 billion working hours (64 percent) spent on manufacturing activities globally were automatable with current technology. That’s over half, making it clear that automation is the answer for 21st century manufacturing.
But how will you know what automation application is right for your operations? It can be a challenging scope of work to take on, especially if you’re not experts in automation. ARC Specialties offers manufacturers a Manufacturing Automation Audit Program (MAAP), wherein we evaluate your processes and advise of areas that would be a good fit for automation. We empower manufacturers with automation. All it takes is a consultation and site visit, and you’ll have our recommendations.
It’s not just about embracing automation in your business. It also matters how you integrate it into your workflows. To find these answers, there are nine key automation evaluation points:
- Production volume
- Part size
- Part accuracy
- Weld acceptance criteria
- Weld process
- Joint configuration
- Material thickness
- Base material
- Technical capability of the facility
With these points evaluated, you can proceed with establishing automation to best fit your needs. While so many manufacturers are already using automation, some might not be doing so strategically. Sometimes, businesses rush to take advantage of technology without thinking it through. By partnering with us and allowing us to complete the MAAP, we’ll look at all nine of these points to determine the best set-up for your business.
How You’ll Benefit from MAAP
Go down a strategic path to automation, instead of rushing. In the long-term you’ll be glad you chose to start with a MAAP. From our analysis, key conclusions will be derived about how to employ automation. Those areas include:
- Machined parts vs. forged parts: machined parts are consistent, whereas forged ones have differences
- Automation best fits: high volume, low variety areas are best
- With highly complex processes, more investment is needed in automation, which will impact the return on investment
- Importance of implementing the technology; even in the best fit scenarios, automation must be engaged to work
- Determining if the physical facility has the technical capabilities to support automation
- Easy to use automation is necessary for operators to resolve any concerns with usage
At ARC Specialties, we’re serious about automation and making it work for your specific application. We aren’t keen to sell you something you don’t need. We are focused on being a partner to manufacturers as they embrace automation. Contact us today to talk more about MAAP and how we can help you automate.