It’s a New Year- Don’t Delay Starting That Next Automation Project
Automation lowers costs, improves quality, and increases capacity. Whether your automation projects are detailed in the Cap-Ex plan or just a Post-It note on a whiteboard, the New Year is the right time to kick them into gear. Here’s why.
Timing is Everything
Automation rarely happens overnight. Successful projects are planned in detail and executed with care. Even in those rare cases where equipment is available off-the-shelf, it’s still important to specify requirements, plan the implementation, prepare the space and train those who’ll be involved. With custom automation there’s also design, build, and testing, which further lengthens lead time.
Automation projects are justified mainly on the basis of cost savings. The sooner the project is started the sooner savings benefit the financial bottom line. And don’t forget that competitors will have their own lists of automation projects. Why give them an opportunity to get ahead?
In some cases, automation is justified as a safety improvement. In those cases, it’s vital the project is implemented as quickly as possible. Not doing so leaves employees exposed to hazards longer than necessary.
A glance at the calendar shows why the New Year is a good time to launch your new projects: there are no major holidays approaching and few employees will be taking time off. Wait until summer and your project risks being delayed by Holidays and vacations. Hold off until Fall and the problem gets worse! Only the first five months of the year provide a nearly uninterrupted block of productive time.
Realizing These Benefits Sooner
Automation projects vary widely in size, scope, and objectives. Almost all though seek to address one or more of these issues:
Increasing capacity – automation at bottleneck operations improves system output without raising costs, and this is especially true in a time of labor shortages.
Improving quality – automation reduces variability, which leads to fewer customer complaints and higher satisfaction.
Lowering costs – automating repetitive tasks cuts direct costs. Plus, operators can be assigned to other tasks where their dexterity and problem-solving skills can help boost output.
Support new product introductions – the lower costs brought about by automation can enable more competitive bidding and make new business more profitable. Plus, the capacity gain may allow for product range expansion.
Get Help With Your Next Project
Manufacturing is extremely competitive. Continuous improvement is essential just to keep pace with competitors. Getting ahead requires automation.
Automation projects can appear daunting in their size and complexity, which might lead to procrastination and delay. That’s a mistake because it pushes the point at which benefits are realized further into the future. Plus, the first half of the year offers the best opportunity for making rapid progress.
A way of handling complex projects and supplementing internal resources is to work with a professional automation partner. We can help with every aspect of your automation project, from identifying opportunities and generating concepts to the hard work of design, build, and implementation. Contact us and let’s talk.