5 reasons why the most popular production automati

2022-08-04
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There are five reasons why production automation may increase costs. There are four alternatives available.

you have studied and calculated a rough estimate. Buy a machine of 1million yuan, with a service life of 10 years. Plus depreciation and power consumption, the annual cost will increase by 150000 yuan. This is also far lower than the current cost of manual production lines

should automatic production be started? Wait a minute, it's too early

first of all, you should consider other costs arising from the introduction of automation in the factory. Please read on, let's discuss five reasons why production automation may increase costs

1. Interest

most Chinese factories have very low cash flow, so they need to borrow for investment. They usually pay% interest on capital expenditure

suppose you spend 1million yuan on the machine, and the annual interest is 8%. In the first year alone, the interest cost was as high as 80000 yuan

2. Replacement parts

complex equipment needs to be updated after several years to maintain the original original state. Around this theme, a comprehensive research field (reliability centered maintenance) was born. The key is to predict when parts need to be replaced or inspected and maintained according to the estimation of MTBF and MTBF

basically, you need a budget set aside for this. Don't torture a worn-out machine that doesn't need any trouble. In the long run, it may cost more

3. Employing highly skilled engineers

will not help reduce the number of operators after automated production. However, high-tech machinery requires engineers to set up and maintain it. You need to consider not only their salary, but also their initial training, and their post employment, as well as the cost of hiring and training replacement successors

4. Viewing the monitoring machine

you may think that the machine will operate by itself. Yes, generally. However, in most Chinese machinery plants, you may notice that the ratio of operators to machines is 1:1. This may be necessary in your factory as well as imperative

why do operators have to monitor every piece produced by every equipment? Because the cost of abnormal operation of the machine is very high. Imagine a machine that processes 200 meters of high-quality stainless steel plates per hour. If the blade breaks and no one notices it in a day, the metal up to 2000 meters high may be wasted. The cost is much higher than hiring an employee to check regularly and stop the machine when there is a problem

the concept of human-computer interaction - (Toyota calls it Jidoka) Toyota calls it Jidoka is quite complex. Unless your machine can automatically and quickly detect problems in the event of equipment failure, you may need to hire surveyors and monitors who have significant results. They can take care of some logistical tasks, but most of the time will be spent on observation and inspection

5. Quality problems

as mentioned above, production automation cannot eliminate quality problems. It can only change the nature and speed of its emergence. Some machines produce 100 pieces of products per minute. Imagine the unqualified products produced in 10 minutes. It's because employees go to rest, go to the bathroom, or hide to smoke. The equipment runs incorrectly for 10 minutes

sadly, it is a great pity that you may not be able to avoid a large number of quality problems when you have obtained a nationally recognized product certification

four surprise alternatives to factory automation in China

as mentioned in the previous article, the theoretical return on investment in production system automation is usually quite high. However, the production of robots has brought serious challenges

and gradually establish traceable channels through the certification system

in fact, many automation projects ended in failure. When CMC teams visit factories in China, we often see that expensive machines are either idle or not in full use

so, does the factory have to choose between following the rules (old manual production without change) and automatic equipment? Fortunately, this is not necessary. Four often overlooked alternatives to process automation are available. Let's get to know each one

what are the alternatives to process automation

1. Redesign processes to improve productivity

maybe you can redesign existing processes to improve efficiency? In some factories, without a lot of money, we have increased production by 30% and reduced working hours by 20% or more

for a simple example, there are 10 people in the production line, and an additional operator is busy with rework. Suppose you hire an industrial engineer who can apply the following procedures:

improve the logistics of the production line, so that operators do not have to get up and look for parts everywhere

improve the layout of the production line so that each operator can easily get the parts required by each station

introduce useful tools to carry out process error prevention more quickly

train operators and team leaders to popularize the benefits of change and gain their support

after months, what actual changes will the redesign project bring

the production line has been reduced from 10 to 7

the average number of rework has been reduced by 1 to 0.3

the annual turnover rate has been reduced from 60% to 20%. The operators are more motivated because they have received training and their opinions have been valued

(note that industrial engineers can improve several production lines at the same time. It doesn't take months. It may take a total of 1 month)

reduce more waste over time. The following is an example of an efficient production line layout

2. Semi automatic production process

in addition to the redesign process mentioned above, you can gradually carry out semi-automatic transformation for some production processes

with semi-automatic or user-assisted machines and equipment, workers can work easier and faster than before. With fewer staff, the workload will be completed as usual

this is an example of gradual semi automation to improve productivity

you can gradually reduce the number of operators in the semi-automatic process

how is this different from a typical full process automation project

the investment is greatly reduced

the investment can be carried out step by step in stages

the factory needs talents to promote this project. It is usually an experienced and creative tool expert

3 Start multi variety and small batch orders

if you adopt the above suggestions, the production efficiency will be improved and the flexibility will not be reduced. I sincerely congratulate you

this means that you are in good condition and can start to carry out multi variety and small batch order business. Most of these customers place orders from China because, on average, Chinese factories have more manual (and more flexible) processes than American or European factories

who can't win these orders? It should be a factory adopting advanced high-tech process automation technology. Their expensive equipment is impeccable in mass production, but their economic batch is much larger than yours. Why? Because it usually takes a long time to switch from producing one type of product to another. They want to produce similar products for a long time

4. Find an automatic chemical plant and let them subcontract some orders

do you have some low mix, high-volume orders? You can subcontract it to factories that have expensive equipment. Due to large investment, they tend to take orders more carefully I hope they can help you

(if their equipment fails unfortunately, this is very likely to happen, and your internal production capacity can reduce the loss)

in general, it is feasible to start from process optimization and semi automation. Once these alternatives reach the expected goals, they can develop towards full automation. The advantage is that semi automation enables technicians to learn how to maintain machines, so they can better maintain high-tech machinery in the future

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