Industrial automation uses control systems, such as computers or robots, and information technologies for handling different processes and types of machinery in an industry to replace a human being. It is the second step beyond mechanization in the scope of industrialization.
Increase Quality and Flexibility in Your Manufacturing Process
Earlier the purpose of automation was to increase productivity (since automated systems can work 24 hours a day) and reduce the cost associated with human operators (i.e., wages & benefits). However, today, the focus of automation has shifted to increasing quality and flexibility in the manufacturing process. In the automobile industry, installing pistons into the engine used to be performed manually with an error rate of 1-1.5%. Presently, this task is performed using automated machinery with an error rate of 0.00001%.
Advantages of Industrial Automation
Lower operating cost: Industrial automation eliminates healthcare costs and paid leave and holidays associated with a human operator. Further, industrial automation does not require other employee benefits such as bonuses, pension coverage, etc. Above all, although it is associated with a high initial cost, it saves the workers’ monthly wages, which leads to substantial cost savings for the company. The maintenance cost associated with machinery used for industrial automation is less because it does not often fail. If it fails, only computer and maintenance engineers must repair it.
Although many companies hire hundreds of production workers for up to three shifts to run the plant for the maximum number of hours, the plant still needs to be closed for maintenance and holidays. Industrial automation fulfills the company’s aim by allowing the company to run a manufacturing plant 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. This leads to a significant improvement in the productivity of the company.
Automation alleviates the error associated with a human being. Further, unlike human beings, robots do not involve any fatigue, resulting in products of uniform quality manufactured at different times.
Adding a new task in the assembly line requires training with a human operator; however, robots can be programmed to do any job. This makes the manufacturing process more flexible.
High Information Accuracy
Adding automated data collection can allow you to collect essential production information, improve data accuracy, and reduce your data collection costs. This provides you with the facts to make the right decisions regarding reducing waste and improving your processes.
Industrial automation can make the production line safe for employees by deploying robots to handle hazardous conditions.
Disadvantages of Industrial Automation
High Initial Cost
The initial investment associated with switching from a human production line to an automatic production line is very high. Also, substantial costs involve training employees to handle this new sophisticated equipment.
Industrial automation in uae has recently gained acceptance from various industries because of its vast benefits, such as increased productivity, quality, and safety at low costs.