Early industrial revolutions took some of the weight of production off of human shoulders. The fourth industrial revolution—the one we’re currently living through—seeks to seal the deal and remove all the production weight from our shoulders. Read on to discover the benefits of industrial automation for your facility.
What Is Industrial Automation?
While there is certainly a complex way to describe industrial automation, there’s a straightforward answer, too. Industrial automation refers to the robotic and computerized control of processes and machinery in a variety of industries. When computer programs or artificial intelligence can take over some aspects of production, that’s industrial automation at work.
Industrial automation is a complicated set of processes, and there’s always more to learn about it. This is just a basic overview of what industrial automation entails.
One massive benefit of industrial automation is productivity. While machines can break down and require maintenance, those requirements are far less restrictive than human needs. A person has to stop working to eat and take breaks, not to mention go home at the end of the day.
Barring breakdowns, machines have no such requirements—as long as there are people or processes in place to supervise the machines, they can work 24/7 and produce far more than humans operating machines ever could.
Humanity brings a lot to the world, but one thing people are notoriously bad at is consistency. Even if you show 20 people the same training video and teach them exactly how something should be done, it’s nearly impossible to avoid slight variations in the final output. With machines, however, variations are the anomaly, and consistency is the rule.
Workers operating machinery cost money. While computer programs managing machinery costs money initially, the value you get over time is far greater than with workers. This doesn’t mean you need to fire your staff—instead, you can train them in new fields as people are still required in a factory to make certain decisions.
Now that you know the benefits of industrial automation, start making strides in your facility to move toward automation. Your shareholders will thank you for the investment you make!