So you’re interested in automation—but where do you start? Our Implementing Automation Series will walk you through some of our best tips to help your facility keep up with the latest technology. Keep reading to learn how having a growth mindset will set you and your facility up for success.
How to Maintain Gradual Growth
Automation can be costly. In the traditional sense, it’s not so different from making any other kind of machinery or equipment change—it costs time and money. It also requires a good deal of human resources to replace or redesign a facility. The great thing about automation, however, is that it’s a long-term investment. Implemented the right way, automation should more than pay for itself over time.
It’s not only more useful, but also safer to start small when it comes to implementing automation. Start with a single process or particular step in a process to automate—one that will be highly beneficial to your team. This is a great way to get your feet wet when it comes to both implementing and maintaining an automated facility. Your workforce will get the same, gradual introduction to automation, as they can gain experience working alongside the equipment. Starting with a single process gradually allows everyone on your team to reach the same level of understanding, and the same level of overall performance.
Automation also requires equipment choices tailored to your plant’s regular operation—there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all automation machinery. Different solutions and platforms are ideal for different situations, so you’ll need to do your research before making these kinds of decisions. Luckily, we can help you there.
As you and your workforce grow accustomed to your automation setup, you can begin expanding where you can and slowly implement more automated processes and tools along the way.
Getting Ready for Growth
If you’re upgrading an existing facility with older hardware, you’ll have to consider your boundaries carefully. We’ve already talked about automating gradually, but it’s equally as important to figure out how your facility will handle future expansion. As with any business, you should always leave room for improvements and future growth.
When it comes to expanding your facility, what will that look like? What should it look like? What part numbers, machines, processes, etc. should you implement in the future? What are the best ways to accomplish your growth goals, and in what order should you accomplish them? What equipment needs to be installed or upgraded before other equipment?
Facility layout is always a multistep process, whether you’re starting from scratch or updating gradually. Planning is an essential part of automating your facility. To keep your facility running smoothly and efficiently, you’ll need to be ready to accommodate for a variety of obstacles.
Ready to take the next step toward updating your facility with smart automation? Learn more on our website.