When you consider the possibility of automating your production line or a part of it, you will have to consider a range of different variables. Afterall, while automation could be a big boon to your business’s productivity, brand and profitability, it can also introduce unnecessary complications or not return the desired return on investment. As such, before you make any purchase decision, you should be considering the following factors.
Technical feasibility is, certainly, an essential precondition for automating a given work activity or collection of tasks. If your current setup is simply incompatible with the technologies available on the market or if your workforce is not ready to work with such technologies, then automation could give you too much costs at the start as opposed to earnings.
Price of Development
If there is no existing solution on the market that perfectly fits your production line, then you would have to develop a custom solution. Be it an inhouse research and development project or one that is outsourced to a technology solutions company, this approach would certainly entail greater capital cost.
You should also consider partial implementations of automation if it is more suitable for your current production line. For example, when considering the power dispenser machine, production managers can choose between fully automated workbench and semi-automated handheld models.
Cost of Labour
Ultimately, automation should aim to increase productivity and drop the cost of operations. As such, a comparison with the cost of labour in the market must be made. Simply put, if the cost of labour is cheaper and offers a sufficient return, then upgrading to automated technologies might backfire on your business.
For instance, an automotive supplier in India has discovered that after introducing affordable automation of a couple of phases on its assembly line– which minimized staffing levels from 17 to 8– its expenses are now equivalent to those for a Japanese firm running the identical sort of production line with a higher degree of automation and a staffing degree of just two.
Other Benefits of Automation
A final variable to consider is the benefits past labor alternative, including greater levels of productivity, far better quality, and fewer mistakes .While it is alluring for a manufacturer to regard automation mostly as a labor-savings lever, these other benefits are commonly larger than those of decreasing labor costs.
Automation options ought to be considered and evaluated employing a clear approach focused on minimizing the complete cost of operations. We find that business generally make use of automation to attend to a number of opportunities, including raising throughput and productivity, eliminating variation and enhancing quality, enhancing dexterity and ensuring versatility, and boosting safety and ergonomics.