Contributions by Alex Flamme, Mechanical Engineer, Huffman Engineering, Inc. (www.huffmaneng.com)
In the competitive environment we all find ourselves in today, competing for talent and technology, there is no greater time to plan for strategic moves to keep your company productive and efficient with an element of automation. Ensuring your plant is up to speed on the latest in automation will be vital to the future performance of your organization.
Everchanging Compliance Regulations
Whether you’re an industrial producer of food and beverage products, manufacture life-saving drugs, clean the water we drink each day or provide the electricity our homes and businesses run on, regulation is a part of your world. Everything needs to be documented, archived and audited to ever-changing specifications. Automation can let software programs do that work for you.
It’s no secret we’re all looking to find the best talent and ramping up our workplace amenities to try to hire and retain them. Why not let a collaborative robot (cobot) or an industrial robot do the things no human really wants to do in the first place? Robots often do them with more speed and accuracy than a human can to begin with and with less wear and tear on the human body, saving healthcare costs in the long run. Automation on the production floor frees up the human mind to do higher level strategic thinking jobs while the production lines seamlessly run, making significant gains in production.
Improved Efficiency and Performance
True seamless gains in production come because controls and automation in processes can work overtime often at speeds and cycles no human can execute. Alarming technologies can be implemented into your processes to detect flaws a human eye could miss. Because these technologies exist, partnering with a system integrator who regularly builds technologies into complex processes will allow you to get the most efficiency based on the specific needs and outcomes of your particular processes.
The sophisticated nature of cyber attacks is growing by the hour. We’ve seen everything in terms of possible security breaches from a password written on a sticky note attached to a computer on a plant floor to machines that have not yet incorporated multi-factor authentication on their systems.
The way to be the most secure in this fight, that simply will not go away, is to combat it by partnering with the most secure technologies and by leaning on subject matter experts to help you. Automating your system with cyber secure technologies provides a major level of security if done well.
If meeting and exceeding compliance regulations, battling workforce shortages, improving your efficiency and performance and protecting against cyber-attacks aren’t enough reason for you as a business owner or manager to employ an automation strategy today, then we encourage you to consider one last reason: competitive advantage. If you’re not thinking automation, you’re falling behind.
Companies looking to the future with a shrinking workforce and higher expectations from international markets will have to employ automation and digital strategies to keep up with the pace of technology and competing markets. This is an exciting time to shape the future of manufacturing and public utilities both in the United States and across the globe. The systems that operate the basics of our society are dependent on automation for the future health of our state and country and Huffman Engineering stands ready to help you along the journey.