A century ago, Ford Motor Company revolutionized the production industry by introducing the concept of an assembly line. It allowed them to produce their cars 8 times faster and made the work environment much safer for employees. Since then, we’ve figured out how to make production even faster by using machines to carry out complicated and tedious tasks that used to be done by hand. That process, known as automation, is quickly becoming an essential part of many companies’ production, quality control, packaging, and shipping.
Let’s face it: humans are not as efficient as fast-paced machinery. One of the biggest advantages of automation is the remarkable increase in the speed of production. A machine doesn’t get tired and slow down or ever need to take a bathroom break. As long as it’s functioning properly, it can do a job repeatedly and repeat a task identically every time. That means the overall precision and quality of the work being done is also improved.
In addition to faster, more precise production, automation can also reduce costs. Although purchasing the machines requires upfront costs, the lower operational costs make it worth the investment in the long run. Since an automated process doesn’t require human workers, the employees who would have been working on the production line can now be used on another project.
Whenever we see a potential to increase productivity and quality with automation, we take advantage of it. In addition to the automation capabilities offered with our standard CNC machining services, we also design automated solutions to satisfy specific customer needs.
For instance, we have a customer in the computer industry that needed a part with a tiny threaded hole. While machining that hole was no problem, cleaning it out afterwards proved quite difficult. We designed and built an automated machine that shot air through the hole to make sure it was debris-free. The client’s goal was for every hole to be cleaned before they received the part, and we made that happen. We even went one step further and added a gauging station to check the threaded hole.
We also have a customer in the dental industry to whom we’ve been steadily providing a series of products. Recently, the need for those products increased, and we were only able to keep up with the demand by automating the production process. We’ve come to realize that once you reach a demand for a certain quantity, automation essentially becomes a necessity.
Although automation has many benefits, some worry that these high tech machines are replacing the need for human workers altogether. We believe that automation does not eliminate the need for employees; it simply provides an opportunity to use them more efficiently.