In recent years, there have been remarkable innovations in industrial automation around the world wherein machines and robots play an integral part in manufacturing tasks, which were mostly done by humans alone in previous years. This incredible innovation is called assembly line automation, which refers to using machines and robots in the manufacturing industry to help ease production processes at high speeds.
In some cases, automation technologies continuously transform the manufacturing industry to have better and faster production, create efficient productivity, reduce costs, and enhance product quality. Would you also consider assembly line automation in your business?
Continue reading this article to deeply understand the realm of assembly line automation, its benefits, types, components, challenges, and automation’s future in the industry.
Benefits of Assembly Line Automation
Assembly Line Automation has countless benefits to business operations and creates incredible innovations. Through this automation method, companies can optimize the production of goods much faster and more efficiently, minimizing the time in bringing products to the market. Indeed, automated assembly lines can revolutionize production processes.
Listed below are some significant benefits of Assembly Line Automation:
Automation increases the volume of productivity with less workforce. It is more likely to improve the production cycle and meet the goal number of production, which in return results in significant profitability for businesses.
Enhanced Product Quality
Most companies have been incorporating assembly line automation to ensure high-quality produced goods with uniformity, precision, and accuracy. These machines help in reducing the risk of defective products or bottlenecks. This automation process is set to have fully autonomous and interconnected production systems throughout the manufacturing process.
Automated assembly lines minimize manual labor costs and lessen the risk of errors, which can result in reworking. Though it may be costly to purchase and set up automated machines, it greatly affects businesses to have faster and higher returns on investment.
Having safety measures in the workspace is very essential. Businesses must always prioritize safety in the workplace to protect the workers, the workplace, and the technologies used in production. That is why assembly line automation is being incorporated into the manufacturing industry to enhance safety and lessen the need for human workers to be exposed to and perform dangerous and repetitive tasks.
Unlike humans, machines and robots can execute production tasks even in the most hazardous work environments, this will minimize the risk of workplace accidents and injuries.
Examples of Successful Assembly Line Automation
Listed below are successful associations of assembly line automation in their manufacturing industry:
Henry Ford’s Model T Production Line
Henry Ford is known for revolutionizing the way cars are made decades back. The method that immensely helped them to put car pieces together in a faster way. This allows the movement of the product to the worker instead of workers moving around. This innovation of car-making has led other automotive businesses to incorporate automation for a better use of time and resources.
After countless trials and errors, Henry Ford and his employees succeeded in using this innovative discovery of his assembly line. Model T was successfully built in only ninety minutes through this amazing car manufacturing process.
Tesla is one of the most known companies in the tech and automobile industry. It is known for creating renowned electric vehicles and automotive products. The production in Tesla’s Gigafactory started in 2014.
Their mission allows them to create such a significant impact on transitioning the world to sustainable energy. Tesla is continuously expanding their Gigafactories in some parts of the world and hoping that the world will have more sustainable energy.
Coca-Cola’s Can Filling Plant
Coca-Cola Bottling Company is a known company that produces various carbonated drinks and refreshments. They use automated carbonated filler machines, which are multifunctional and serve different purposes and functions in their production, such as washing, filling, and capping.
They use modern and automated machines to optimize and boost their production. These machines have been playing a crucial role in their production, which also helps them increase their product sales.
Their bottle washing area is composed of the different supporting parts:
- Separating water seal and gutter;
- Reversal guiding rail;
- Bottle clamp;
- Lifting part; and
- Transmission parts
- The bottle-filling area also consists of supporting parts:
- Protuberant wheel;
- Main liquid pipe component;
- Filling machine pipe;
- Filling valve; and
- Controlling ring parts
- In their bottle capping area, they use
- Cap separating mechanism;
- Capping machine, and
- Cap arranging mechanism.
Components of an Automated Assembly Line
Assembly line automation involves using various components to optimize manufacturing productivity. These components also change along with the change of modern technology.
Here are some components of assembly line automation:
Robots and Machines
Industrial Robotics and machines are some fundamental components of assembly line automation. It can perform different manufacturing tasks, which include picking components, welding, painting, and assembly.
Some robots and machines also have sensors and vision systems to create precision and accuracy in repetitive manufacturing tasks. These assembly line automation components incredibly improve production efficiency and quality while reducing the potential for human error.
Conveyors are identical to assembly lines. Conveyors move items from one station to another during production; they move products up and down inclines or even around curves. Conveyors ease the manual transport processes in production, which leads to time-saving, ergonomic, and organized operations.
Conveyors are commonly used in warehouses and airports to transport luggage, especially heavy ones, and other manufacturing establishments.
Challenges and Risks of Assembly Line Automation
There may be a lot of benefits in associating assembly line automation with manufacturing operations; it may create a few challenges that need to be considered before integrating assembly line automation into your business.
Here are some challenges with assembly line automation:
High Cost of Investment
Purchasing and installing automation machines requires high cost. Also, the more companies implement and use automation will significantly affect the workforce. However, in the long run, it leads to increased efficiency and faster return on investment.
Experts and Skilled Workers
This is also considered a challenge when using automated machines because having experts and skilled workers is essential since automation needs to be designed accordingly, programmed, and created data analytics.
As automation technologies are revolutionizing, the need for highly skilled workers to utilize and maintain these automation systems will also increase significantly when more innovations arise.
Cyber-attacks and Machine Failure
There are some instances of machine failure during operation that need immediate inspection and troubleshooting. Some other risks must also be thoroughly observed and managed to ensure the safety of using these automated systems.
To minimize these challenges and risks in the implementation of automation it is best to do thorough research and ensure that it aligns with the needs and success of the project. It is also vital that employees are involved in the planning and implementation of this assembly line automation method. Companies must be equipped to manage and develop automation technologies.
Assembly line automation has exceptionally helped the manufacturing industry in improving the production cycle of goods, enhancing safety for employees, minimizing the cost for manual labor and resulting in faster return of investment to business companies. We cannot really deny the fact that advancement of our technologies these days has immensely affected the business industry in significant ways and transformed us to adapt to the changes and become more skilled and efficient.