Manufacturers are turning to automation and Industry 4.0 solutions to help them meet the demands of higher throughput and lower costs. Automated manufacturing will be examined in this article, as well as the many forms of automation, real-world instances, and the key advantages of Malaysia factory automation.
What Exactly Is the Automated Manufacturing Process?
The use of equipment to automate systems or production processes is referred to as automation in the manufacturing industry. Greater efficiency can be achieved by either expanding production capacity or decreasing costs, which is frequently the case.
The term “automation” currently refers to the use of machines to reduce the amount of human labour required. When used in conjunction with electromechanical systems, it’s become a byword for multitasking. Most firms can profit from one of the following sorts of automation even if it’s not suited for them all: Either fixed or programmed.
Types of Automated Manufacturing
Fixed automation frequently has a specific role and is characterised by huge production volumes and a high barrier to entry. The majority of automation programming, also referred to as hard automation, is housed within individual machines. The equipment or production line dictates the speed and sequence of processes.
Body-in-white and vehicle panels are two examples of fixed automation. Vehicle suppliers may make a million or more parts before making a design change. Processes like stamping or casting, on the other hand, may not necessitate control systems as complex as automated milling or robotic welding.
Changeovers are frequently not feasible due to the high volume of production associated with fixed automation. However, any alterations to the fixed automation would necessitate the shutdown of a line and the manual swapping of tooling by technicians. This downtime comes at a great cost in terms of both money and time. Consider programmable automation for low-volume or short-lifecycle products.
Automaton with Programmable Rules
Batch manufacturing is related with programmable automation because it can produce anywhere from a few dozens to tens of thousands of units. Programmable automation enables the production of a greater variety of parts and goods. Changeovers, on the other hand, necessitate downtime. This downtime is to be expected, and it has been factored into the project timeline and batch size. Due of the high cost of downtime, programmable automation has been extended to include flexible automation.
Changeovers can be carried out automatically thanks to flexible automation. So the equipment can only operate identical tools or additional devices are required to allow for automated changeovers.
As a result, flexible automation is frequently linked to a network, which adds value by enabling remote monitoring or control. Offline on a computer, programmes are created. Designers can upload, execute new programmes, or integrate them into existing production from anywhere they have access to the device.