Automation and increasing productivity

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  Automation and the Power of Productivity

By Scott Fawcett, Divisional Manager, Essentra Components

In recent years, the manufacturing industry has undergone significant change and fundamentally changed the manufacturing process. Automation takes on traditional manufacturing processes, ultimately increasing efficiency and improving industrial productivity. This development of practices promises to overburden manufacturing capacity once and for all, and it is important for manufacturers to respond to this transition and start investing in change.

A New Wave of Automation

As technological developments continue to dominate every aspect of society, it has been inevitable that digitization has had an impact on how products are made. The integration of digitization and data exchange into the manufacturing process has led to the rapid growth of so-called smart factories. These facilities, which include intelligent planning, intelligent machines and intelligent data, are completely changing traditional manufacturing processes.

Manufacturers will now be able to collect and analyze data with a more rational approach, which in turn will enable them to make more informed decisions on inventory, work planning, purchasing and production. Creating intelligent machines connected to each other and to the cloud ultimately speeds up setup times and installation processes, which increases production efficiency while reducing costs. By connecting these intelligent machines to the cloud, process engineers can remotely access machines, diagnose and fix problems faster, and ensure machines are up and running in no time. The rapid exchange of information increases the agility and responsiveness of the entire chain.

Increasing Efficiency

According to a report by Accenture, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will bring the world economy a massive $ 14.2 trillion by 2030. [1] The company predicts that increased automation will result in machines ordering their own spares or sending automated email alerts to technicians to report problems before a crisis. Proactivity is important here: Automated machines can detect problems in good time rather than waiting for them to react as soon as the problem occurs. This not only saves time, but ultimately also money and leads to a massive reduction in the cost per unit.

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Time is from the Essence

There is simply no time to waste when it comes to fully automate the manufacturing process. Obviously, this is not a small task and manufacturers need to invest time and money in this important upgrade. However, manufacturers need to be confident that once the processes are fully automated, the company will reap the benefits for years to come.

A recent study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) on the rise of Industry 4.0 [2] revealed that one-third of the companies surveyed have already begun to digitize their supply chains, and 72% of respondents expect this over the next five years , The report also showed that forward-looking manufacturers can expect annual efficiency gains of 4.1%, while revenues increase by 2.6% annually. [3] Essentra Components is responding to this demand and is working to replace and upgrade existing injection molding machines to strengthen its capabilities and develop a more digitized and automated model. The company will upgrade another 3 machines in the near future, increasing the number of fully connected machines to 27.

Automation will ultimately increase productivity and improve experience for both the manufacturer and the customer. Manufacturers who want to compete in global competition must immediately start automating their manufacturing processes or risk being left behind. There is no quick fix to invest in digitizing and automating the entire manufacturing process. It's a long-term investment, but companies will be able to reap the benefits for many years to come.

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