Before we custom design automated assembly machines for our clients, ADS and the client need to understand the budget they can work within and how they intend to support their new automation. Our goal is to provide each and every customer with all of the information they need to make the most informed, correct decision for their business. Below is an overview of the information necessary to establish a budget for new automation and determine what support it may require.
When aiding our customers in formulating their budget, it is always important to determine what level of automation they are seeking. Automation aimed at assisting an already present human operator will more easily fit into a smaller budget. In contrast, total automation, and any materials or technology needed to maintain it, will require a larger budget.
While the most directly cost-effective option is to invest in automation that would assist an already present operator, the return on investment of a fully automated piece of equipment is certainly something to consider. Long term, though initially more of an investment, a fully automated machine lends itself to maximized productivity, quality, and output. Complete automation provides our customers with results that can potentially increase revenue and efficiency over time, making it the more fiscally beneficial choice in the long run.
However, some questions to ask while formulating your budget for full automation are as follows:
- What is the upfront cost of full automation?
- What is the cost of any supporting technology?
- What do routine maintenance costs entail?
- What is the cost of educating staff on the new automation, such as software licenses?
The technology required to support a new piece of equipment again depends on how fully automated it is. If the piece is just a manual fixture, the supporting requirements will be significantly less. Manual automation only truly requires the assistant operator who will already be present. However, high-end automation requires a resource within the company trained in the technology responsible for maintaining the automation. Proficiency in software used to identify features or orientations of a part is necessary to ensure the new automation functions correctly and that it is handled properly. This ensures that when the automation arrives at our client’s location, a knowledgeable party will be there to receive it, set it up correctly, and maintain it well. Operators in charge of fully automated machines should have at least a general understanding of the following:
- Vision Software
- Wiring Diagrams
- Pneumatic Circuits
- Robotic Software
It is always our goal to support our clients however we can. We are always available to answer questions and refer customers to industry colleagues who can aid them in cultivating a well-rounded, supportive environment to acquire all the needed resources for new automation. We always aim to work with whatever internal resources our customers already possess, saving them time and money.