Thanks to automation technology advances, manufacturers can improve the efficiency of their operation, and the quality of their products. Companies have many components available for automation including robotics, sensors, software, controllers and instruments. So what can these applications do to save time and labor? How can they impact the quality of your products? If your company is ready to make changes to optimize its production lines, consider how the upgrades will help you to reach your goals for profits and customer loyalty.
Here are descriptions of several key production line automation components:
This is the main hub of your automated systems. Also known as SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), your IT-controlled software collects all data from the production line, and it controls the scheduling of all the various processes. All of the data is recorded so inspectors can check that regulations are followed.
Essentially, robots complete work that could normally be done by human labor. They can be pre-programmed, run by artificial intelligence (AI) or directed by humans. You can reduce your labor needs and even increase safety by having robots perform more dangerous tasks.
Considered the “commanders” of the entire production process, controllers regulate starting, braking, speed and direction of any motors. They have programmable memories to store instructions for repeated use.
Instrumentation is vital for observing, detecting, measuring and calculating all of the physical materials used during the production process. Gauges are one type of instrument used for pressure, temperature, liquid level and other properties.
As speed and volume of production increase, quality control gets more difficult for human inspection alone. One way to detect problems is to install industrial sensors, which can collect data during batch runs. This detection system can spot machine breakdowns and product defects. As a result, batches can be stopped and the problem can be fixed before continuing. Workers are alerted quickly so they prevent wasted time and materials resulting from continued production.
Sensors can help to identify and trace products from assembly to distribution. Once products reach customers, they will be calling the company with problems or questions. If there is a recurring issue, companies can easily find batch dates, locations and other information to pinpoint the problems and resolve them.
To purchase automated components for your production line, look to sensors manufacturing, robotics and other automation companies for their products, installation guides and user support.
How to Build Customer Loyalty
Here are 4 product features to include when your company wants to ensure customer loyalty:
- Appealing Appearance – Customers will gravitate to products by how they look, or other sensory aspects such as sound, smell, taste and/or texture. If you dedicate your production to enhancing aesthetics, you will impress consumers.
- Quick Results – Customers expect products to work as advertised. If they have problems resulting in wasted time and effort, you could lose their satisfaction. Focusing on quality will make the product efficient and reduce complaints.
- Honesty and Ethics – Be open about how your company operates. Disclose the results of your audits to show that your hiring process is ethical and your material sources meet high standards. If you make food products, emphasize your handlers’ requirements for excellent hygiene and the purity of your ingredients.
- Dedication to Improvement – Listen to your customers’ suggestions for how to make your products better. When you make these changes, they will know you value their opinions.
Consumers trust brands that friends and family recommend. When you prove your commitment to product quality and customer satisfaction, you can expect these referrals to increase. By keeping your automated production line moving efficiently, and properly, you can help to maintain the quality of your products and the integrity of your brand.