What does industrial automation mean?

News of 10.18.2017

Before facing the issue of "industrial automation", businesses need to identify individual processes, evaluate the necessary changes to be made, elaborate a new perspective on work performance, and understand what are the ideal ways to introduce digital management. This implies the organization of meetings among the heads of departments to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each activity: how to improve the process, what determines its inefficiency and how to intervene to find a common ground between human and automated intervention. During this analysis process it’s important to proceed by attempts and simulations. You cannot find the perfect solution for your business right away, but it's natural to take small steps, carefully calibrating every decision, until you get to a complete automation project, tailor-made for your business. Once you define the workflow, you create a reference model that needs continuous improvements and approvals. This too is part of a larger process, which has as its ultimate goal the optimization of industrial processes and should not therefore frighten companies. Every change has its timing and it is definitely better to devote more time and resources to define a detailed action plan than to face the same old problems.

Let’s see the reasons why a company should choose automated production

1. Control of the process activities The execution of each order requires total control in order to comply with the scheduled times. It consists of several stages with specific objectives. By using a management software, you can check the status of each step and take action to correct errors or delays.

2. Faster and easier communication between the company’s departments An issue that is always problematic for different businesses is the communication between the various departments, from sales to administration, from the technical to the purchasing office. Specifically, once the order has been confirmed, the sales department informs the technical department about the project’s characteristics, which in turn is communicated to the purchasing department to proceed with the order of the materials or services. In this phase, the management software allows you to keep under control all the existing variables: staff costs, cost of material, respect of working hours, execution, available margins, actual earnings for each client’s order, workload for each department.

3.Data collection from customers and suppliers A key aspect for every business is the ability to access data and retrieve communications of interest in a short time. A software allows you to store the information safely and accurately, ensuring maximum consultation’s speed.

4. Quick order’s analysis Everything that had to do with paper or Excel so far is obsolete. The "human" analysis of the progress state entails a considerable time loss, since a person in charge must deal with the control of each phase. A MES solution (manufacturing execution system) allows you to analyze the costs and timings associated with each resource, and if there are any discrepancies, you can quickly get into the details and find the causes of the problem in order to intervene. Graphs and statistics are processed to further simplify the analysis of orders.

5. Constant monitoring of results Thanks to the automation of industrial processes, it is also possible to analyze the overall performance of your business both in the short and long term. It’s possible to evaluate how this choice has affected profitability, what activities take more time and which departments need more attention.

6. Possibility of growing It is the logical consequence of the advantages listed above. From effective communication, to the reduction of waste, optimization of every process, problem analysis and real-time intervention, the company can only grow.

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