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Industrial Products Group General Manufacturing

The Real Story on Manufacturing Automation

By OTC Insights Team on August 1, 2022

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OTC Insights Team

Established in 1963, OTC Industrial Technologies is one of the largest industrial distributors & service providers in the United States. We're committed to seeing industrial operations advance through expert technical solutions & unmatched support using our years of experience.

In business, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction, especially when productivity, the workplace, and the bottom line could be affected.

Manufacturing automation is one discipline that suffers from misconceptions. Discerning automation fact from fiction has been a struggle in the manufacturing industry.

Let’s take a closer look at automation facts for manufacturers, so you can make informed decisions when it comes to efficiency and productivity improvements.

What Is Automation?

With a myriad of automation systems for manufacturers at your fingertips, your employees can do work that is more important while machinery and other equipment automates processes and production systems. The result is to help your business drive greater efficiency by reducing costs and increasing production capacity.

Common Misconceptions in Manufacturing Automation

In today’s media, it can be hard to decipher what is real news and what is fake news. In manufacturing, this could have major consequences for the industry at large. Here are six myths debunked about automation.

The Cost of Automation

For many small and mid-sized businesses, adopting automation can seem like an out-of-reach goal. The software and equipment seem too expensive, reserved for bigger businesses with bigger budgets. But this is not the case. With careful planning and a good automation partner, you can find automation solutions that work for your budget and deliver an ROI, so the investment pays for itself. Automation can minimize production costs, providing a quick return.

Manufacturing Automation and Your Current Processes

A common myth is that automation is a one-size-fits-all solution that won’t work for the nuances in your individualized operational systems. In truth, automation can be tailored to work as a solution that fits your business’s needs and the needs of your employees. Set up your own processes, rules, and workflows so you can make automation work for you. Identify where automation makes sense for you and customize it to your needs.

Automation and Your Workforce

Massive layoffs due to automation taking over the workplace is one of the biggest myths to date. How many horror stories have we heard about robots coming for our jobs? For over a century, technology has advanced, yet the workforce still has jobs. In fact, we are more productive than ever before and struggling to find labor. Automation allows your employees to focus on more critical tasks, letting them do more, saving the company time and money and reducing employee frustration. Keep your best employees, just help them do their jobs better and more efficiently.

Automation and Artificial Intelligence

A common misconception is that artificial intelligence is synonymous with automation. Automation may incorporate AI, but that’s not the focus. Business process automation is not AI. Your shop floor automation isn’t making decisions or using machine learning other than through notifications or simple logic paths. Manufacturing automation operates best when it’s programmed by your employees, supporting the expertise of your team.

Automation Is Too Difficult

Any new technology has a learning curve. Not using automation out of fear is really costing you money and productivity. The belief that you can’t use it right, or you’ll be lost fixing bugs, correcting breakdowns, and paying expensive resources to reorganize your operational systems is getting in the way of the real benefits of automation. Talk to a provider or expert about your goals and needs, and let them develop a solution that works for you.

Automation Can Solve All Your Problems

Automation is only as good as the program it has been asked to execute. Automation isn’t the complete solution to your business processes. It’s not a magic button that fixes everything, but with a little knowledge, automation can be a crucial piece of that puzzle to increasing productivity and helping operations run efficiently.

Discover Better Ways to Work with OTC

Automating processes can help your shop floor operate more efficiently. With smart use of automation, you can get more product out the door. You can save time and money on every order, and help employees do more, allowing resources to be focused on higher priority and more profitable work.

It just takes a strategy and the right partner ready to work with you to develop the best solution. That is where OTC can help. Talk to our team about your needs. Let us automate your processes so your company can operate more efficiently.

Contact OTC today to get started.