Pros and Cons of Industrial Automation

Industrial Automation is necessary to be competitive in today’s market for its increased speed, higher efficiency, scalability, cost, and more. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t cons to industrial automation, such as high installation and configuration costs.

Are you trying to understand what’s involved in automating your factory, lab, or business around Modesto or Stockton, California? Perhaps you need to transition to an automated system or update an outdated or obsolete automation process.

Keep reading to discover a thoughtful analysis of the pros and cons of industrial automation in California.

In this article, Access Industrial Automation will discuss the benefits of automation and the challenges that automation presents.

If you have questions about manufacturing automation, find out more about what industrial automation means in this article.

Pros of Industrial Automation

The benefits of industrial automation include scalability, increased speed, enhanced efficiency, consistency, quality, cost savings, and safety. All of these pros mean that a business has the capacity to expand its operations.

  1. Increased Speed

One of the benefits of automation is how quickly your production becomes. Having the latest automation features for your production line reduces your cycle times and accelerates your time-to-market.

  1. Enhanced Efficiency

Another benefit of automation is enhanced efficiency. Automation means reducing downtime and the potential to produce goods 24/7. With an automated model, you’re able to maximize existing resources too.

  1. Consistency

It’s no secret that modern automated processes produce the most consistent product and minimize defects during production. This consistency is key to maintaining or improving quality over time. 

  1. Quality

When the product is produced consistently, the margins of error shrink. Your business will have more control over the quality of products by maintaining the automation system and selecting materials of the right quality.

  1. Savings through Cost Reduction

Automation reduces waste and reduces labor costs. This is an important benefit to offset the upfront expense of transitioning to an automated production model. If your company has an older automation model, updating the system will reduce waste, improve consistency, and enhance efficiency.

  1. Scalability

Scalability is arguably the most important reason to transition to an automated production process or update an old one that can no longer meet demand. Without the ability to produce enough products for the demand, you cannot grow your business.

  1. Safety

Safety is another pro of automation. Workplace safety continues to improve as the technology for automation advances. Automation means less human intervention in hazardous environments or situations, which prevents workplace injuries.

Cons of Industrial Automation

The challenges of industrial automation include the high upfront costs, how complex integration can be, the new skilled workforce requirements, and the potential for displacement of the existing workforce.

  1. Upfront Expenses

The cost of transitioning to or updating automation can be overwhelming. Automation requires infrastructure, technology, and installation. Each one of these components has a substantial upfront expense. Although finding the funds can be challenging, the growth potential for automation offsets this.

  1. Complex Integration

There are a lot of technologies and components behind a modern, automated production process. Optimizing these diverse systems and integrating them requires monitoring through data collection, knowledge of the individual components, knowledge of the system, and testing.

  1. Skilled Workforce

An automated system still requires a human component for maintenance and some operations. These workers need the skills to maintain the equipment and processes. This will require training or hiring a workforce with the right skills and education.

While your workforce has the potential to shrink, a budget for hiring or training a skilled workforce is necessary for successfully transitioning to an automated system.

  1. Workforce Displacement

Workforces are displaced as automation performs tasks once done by human labor. This workforce displacement presents a challenge to workforce management that needs to be approached thoughtfully. 

Planning for the reality of workforce displacement can help businesses and employees with this transition. Decision-makers for the company can consult company mission statements and core values and make determinations that suit the financial and ethical goals of the business.

Access Industrial Automation offers training services to your employees. Automation engineers and program managers deliver training from AIA.

Industrial Automation Services

Planning ahead for the pros and cons of industrial automation can make the transition happen smoothly. You can also get help with the complex integration and installation from a professional with experience in industrial automation services.

Access Industrial Automation offers industrial automation services in the central California region. Contact us online today for more information, or call 209-577-1491.

Our services include helping you design and install a full automation system tailored to your business needs. We have already helped hundreds of manufacturers design and automate their processes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there disadvantages of industrial automation?

Disadvantages of industrial automation include the upfront cost for design and installation, the complexity of integrated systems and technologies, hiring or training a skilled workforce to operate and maintain the system, and the potential displacement of the previous workforce.

Are there problems with industrial automation?

One of the most notable problems with industrial automation is the potential to displace a workforce. Companies can take thoughtful approaches to minimize the displacement of workers by training them for new positions or reducing the impact of displacement by giving plenty of notice.

Is the cost of manufacturing automation worth it?

The enhanced efficiency through waste reduction, labor reduction, and increased production time of manufacturing automation offset the cost of design and installation. Improving your time to market is essential for being able to meet demand and grow your business.

Is there a disadvantage to waiting for automated production?

Waiting to transition to automated production can cost your business in multiple ways. Decreased production without automation means losing out on potential sales. Inflation can also drive up the cost of installation and the components of industrial automation.

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