Automation in Production
Automation in Production
The global economic market demands from modern companies greater speed and efficiency in their production phases, in order to increase their competitive potential and their positioning in the market. For the achievement of a productive improvement, different areas of engineering such as robotics, electronics and mechanics, unified their efforts to fully computerize mass production. That's what the automation of industrial production is about.
Automating a production process involves the application of intelligent technologies and systems in the control of machinery and raw materials, managing to do without human hands and eyes in every phase of production. This not only means a decrease in the cost of salaries and training per worker, but represents a prevention in terms of occupational health and industrial safety.
Three types of automation
Fixed automation applies when we talk about powerful manufacturing processes and volume. Through a continuous and stable sequence, specialized equipment is used for the production of a product, either in its entirety or a part of it. This stable process is supposed to be ideal when talking about manufacturing in long volumes, especially with products whose design does not vary, which have a long validity and suppose a great demand from the consumer. Although the long-term investment is decreasing, it requires a substantial investment in the first phase of application.
Programming automation is used in a production that segments by parts, specifically for lower production volumes. With this type it is possible the constant reprogramming of each sequence and phase through a specialized system, so that the product can be constantly redesigned. Programmable logic controllers, robots and numerical control equipment are the most used in this type of automation.
Finally, flexible automation places us at an average level of production. It can be said that it is the achievement of expanding automation by programming. In this type it is possible to produce different products in series alternately with the flexibility of the programming process. This flexibility means that teams can accept changes to the configuration and design of the product, saving a considerable amount of money in operating costs for the company.
Advantages of automating production
Achieves the increase in manufacturing efficiency while reducing operating costs. It achieves the substitution of the work of men in many phases, decreasing costs as well, while avoiding the possibility of work accidents. In addition, quality and safety controls throughout the production process are shielded against errors and a better constructed product is achieved which adapts to current market needs.
Disadvantages of automating production
Although automating processes allows us to get rid of them to a large extent, technological dependence may arise if personnel are constantly trained. It also entails a great economic responsibility, which although it represents a considerable saving in the long term, constitutes a fairly high initial investment and the possibility of replacing equipment and systems when they become obsolete. It is also an art in achieving synchronicity between digital equipment with that of operators, insisting on the constant training of each and the impulse of balance between both entities.
From the voice of Francisco Rolando Archila Dehesa:
"One of the most important aspects to clarify is that automating does not represent a danger to human labor. It does not mean an increase in unemployment rates because it does not represent a replacement, it represents an integration between man and technology. Automation in the industry has become a necessity and it is the task of every manager and production manager to elevate the work in quality of management and supervision, being able to achieve it fully with confidence in the technology of systems ".