What are you really getting into when you decide on industrial process automation?
Ask someone for an overview of industrial process automation, and they’ll probably think first about the machinery that makes it happen. Of course, these systems are crucial.
Still, even the best technology will be of little use unless you know exactly how you want to use it.
Manufacturing enterprises that are looking for the best competitive advantages should look to industrial automation, but it’s important to do it with eyes open. When you understand the process, you’ll get that much more value out of it.
Overview of Industrial Process Automation
Like many things in business, industrial process automation begins with a goal in mind.
Looking at your KPIs, resources, and constraints, you figure out where you are and where you want to go. Having a firm target in mind helps your automation partner outline the steps you need to take to reach your objective in minimal time.
Then, you take a close look at your existing technology: Which machine or line has the greatest potential for improvement. That’s your lever, the start of creating the performance difference.
Now comes the challenging part, at least where your automation vendor is concerned.
To plan and produce new technology that will move you toward your goal, it’s necessary to evaluate your current processes in a step by step way. That means breaking things down to the smallest actions and components, from both the mechanical and ergonomic points of view.
In most cases, process automation doesn’t simply mean developing a piece of hardware that does a job faster and easier – though that is part of it. It also gives you new opportunities to make the target process, and the surrounding ones, simpler and safer.
Only when the processes are streamlined and optimized does the new machine go into service. Training occurs and you’re provided with all the documentation and knowledge you need for ease of use going forward. Then, your yield improves.