September 14, 2021
Industrial Automation Yields Better Results
Many organizations are looking to take advantage of the benefits that come from automating their manufacturing processes. A well-developed industrial automation system can provide numerous operational improvements to your organization including:
- Better product quality
- Improved process efficiency
- Higher material throughput
- More reliable product consistency
- Lower operational costs over the long term
The pressure to upgrade or make the switch also comes with hesitation due to the many choices for vendors and equipment, and even purpose. Many companies have let uncertainty turn to inaction. Those companies could benefit from partnering with a trusted advisor to help pinpoint opportunities for an effective transition to industrial automation, walking them through the best options to meet their immediate and future needs.
A partner like Faith Technologies can be especially helpful in sifting through the options. We can maintain a big-picture vision of your project rather than a vendor who may focus solely on equipment without providing total service.
Dispelling the Myths
There are a few recurring misunderstandings with industrial automation that should be corrected so they don’t hold you back from establishing a strong program.
Myth: Industrial Automation Replaces Employees
One of the most common myths is that automation replaces people, and companies that incorporate it will lay off valued members of their workforce family. In truth, these computers with automation require people to program and run them — people who understand the manufacturing process. Developing an industrial automation system creates opportunities for employee advancement and growth.
Myth: Companies Can Develop Automation Themselves
Another common myth is that tech-savvy employees can develop automation themselves by piecing together a system using inexpensive equipment and learning to program it on their own. There may be up-front cost savings when tackling automation internally, but companies often end up spending more in the long term to integrate and upgrade a piecemeal system to continue to meet their needs.
The truth is that your system is more than the sum of its parts. Creating an effective and efficient industrial automation system requires vision, experience and technical expertise for proper application.
Creating a Cohesive Plan
One of the important pieces of creating a cohesive industrial automation program is to consider how one area or process impacts everything else. Simply put, you should have a vision for how it will all fit and work together.
One way to accomplish this is to approach your system in phases:
- Planning phase: Review your manufacturing processes and determine what pieces of the puzzle should be grouped together. This enables you to plan accordingly and perhaps institute automation in stages that make sense. Find a partner who can help you sort through the different options and recommend a type of system that fits your needs.
- Installation phase: Once you have established an overall direction, you can install pieces of your larger plan in steps or all at once. It will be easier to make decisions about a vendor and equipment if you’ve completed the planning phase first.
- Training and service phase: As you choose an automation partner, find an advisor who doesn’t walk away once the installation is complete. Training your employees and servicing your new automation equipment will be one of the most valuable aspects of your project. For instance, the Faith Technologies’ ICIAN program was developed specifically to provide holistic support for customers from programmable logic controllers (PLCs) to human-machine interface (HMI) and robotics.
At Faith Technologies, we don’t just plan the system; we make sure you are prepared to get the most out of any system you choose. In the end, you should feel comfortable that your industrial automation partner will be available to provide in-depth service and follow up, so you aren’t left with a system that you don’t understand or stranded if any problems arise.
Contact us to schedule a Vision Setting Session to better understand what is possible for industrial automation for your organization. Faith Technologies is happy to work with you from initial planning through implementation and beyond.