Well-designed automated equipment could only be developed after a team review of:
- Products, product variations, flexibility required.
- Materials variation or consistency.
- Processes steps, variations and required controls.
- Operational environment restrictions and requirements.
The team effort in concurrent engineering for developing specifications for selecting or building automated equipment, includes supplier quality control abilities, and customer needs for flexibility over changing design. In addition to all that automated equipment need to be selected considering the production capability to understand and manage the equipment’s preventive maintenance, cost effectively, and regularly, not forgetting about annual volume, and output demanded.
Companies that choose to automate, need organizations that have a good understanding of factors that could influence their automated operations, and be selective and utilize better practices and tool for managing their tasks, than average manufacturing operation.
Cost of managing automation may become a burden, if there is a lack of understanding, or poor controls over variations. Preventive maintenance and maintenance cost could also become difficult to manage, unless there are good plans in place, before equipment is designed, selected, installation.
- Recognize a need for organization-wide support when selecting, designing and developing automated equipment
- Recognize the need for concurrent engineering, in order to deliver equipment that can be managed cost effectively, and produce quality
- Recognize the need for identifying quality requirements, and set goals for aligning supplier quality with product specifications, processes, equipment, and production control instrumentation, tools from the beginning of automation programs
Why Is It Important?
Automation, its effectiveness to deliver the expected cost savings, or the consistent quality needed, depends on more than purchasing high tech machinery.
Machinery may be utilizing high tech parts, and programs, but they need to be designed for handling your specific parts, run the parts through various processing stages, per calculated specifications, and be manageable by your people for daily operation, and reasonable preventive maintenance and cost.