Why automate? Reason and effect explained

Do you want to integrate automation into your manufacturing process but don’t know where to start? Perhaps your biggest hurdle is justifying the costs associated with the change. Effectively communicating the reasons for this and the ROI to all stakeholders in this major shift is a necessary starting point.

Justify the need for automation

Increased production demand usually turns the simplest justification for automation with quality control and repeatability into a close competitor. As COVID has taught us, maintaining a full staff of trained and skilled operators can be challenging and automation reduces reliance on human labour.

Consider the basic concept of lean manufacturing. In short, Lean is an approach designed to enable efficient and competitive production. Sounds easy in theory, right? But there’s work to be done to streamline efficiency. In short, the most profitable operations minimize waste and optimize their greatest resources. They drive initiatives that ensure maximum throughput and profit while ensuring their manufacturing processes are focused on quality.

Your machines and your employees are two of your biggest costs. In a world where everyone wants it faster and cheaper and whether you have adopted lean methods or not, every manufacturer must keep the goal in mind how to deliver the highest quality product with the best and most affordable profit margin.

Want to determine if you need to automate? ask yourself:

Can you keep up with spikes in demand?

Do your customers demand faster delivery?

Are your personnel costs unpredictable and do you have enough trained staff?

Is your process repeatable?

Development of the solution: case study examples

At ELSNER we start a project with detailed discussions with our customers. Our engineers and designers design the current manufacturing process and determine what is required to meet production goals. Then they figure out the best technology to eliminate cumbersome and time-consuming tasks. Here are some examples of how automation is having a significant impact on production outcomes.

Coreless padding rolls get a boost

A medical supply company needed to replace an antiquated slitter and winder for coreless rolls of cotton foundation. The process was so labor intensive that operators had to change every 30 minutes. We designed and built for them the CUPR-50, an automatic small roll rewinder that saved them time, increased efficiency and made their operators very happy. The machine used automated web handling, integrated recipe-driven controls, and an automatic mandrel recycling function that improved quality and reduced labor.

The production of a complex surgical drape is fully automated

A manufacturer of robotic products needed to automate the manufacture of a complex surgical drape. We took a fully manual process and fully automated it with multiple processes including tube forming, ultrasonic sealing, stamping, robotic pick and place and gantry solutions. The number of employees increased from 14 to 2 employees and significantly increased the number of curtains produced.

It is worth noting that the automated solution was designed with tight tolerances in mind. A process takes metal “buttons” from a bowl feeder and places them on the passing web, easily meeting the customer tolerance of +/- 1/32″. Another pick-and-place operation uses a vision system to guide a robotic arm to its target, measuring repeatability to the thousandth of an inch and placing directly on a moving web to within 1/16 of an inch.

Automation for reverse osmosis filtration elements: Less work, more consistency

A filtration company assembled filter elements using a series of manual operations to fold membrane sheets, apply glue, build packets, roll the spiral element and apply protective tape to the outside.

We started by automating the membrane feeding and cutting, applying the anti-fold tape, cutting and placing the spacers, and folding. We have more than doubled their sheet production with our automated membrane folder, the ELSNER EMF-42, by laying out up to 10 sheets per minute.

We automated the glue bead placement on each sheet, which was done manually by a team of two operators. The automation of glue placement not only reduced the labor and fatigue of workers, but also greatly improved the uniformity of glue line placement. The presence of repeatable beads, one above the other, increased the active area of ​​​​the last elements. The move to automation reduced labor, increased production, and resulted in a superior product.

Automation for future growth

All considered; You can see why automation is required for optimal growth. You don’t necessarily have to reinvent the wheel when considering how to automate your manufacturing. Hire an expert experienced in customizing real-world solutions to real-world vulnerabilities. If you’re considering your growth plans, let us help. ELSNER has helped solve hundreds of problems over the years. And remember, if you do NOT automate, you could end up costing yourself in the long run.

ELSNER has made a name for itself worldwide Manufacture of automated and robotic processing machines and production lines for a wide range of industries including paper, film, medical nonwoven disposables, filtration and wipes production. Our specialty is the development and construction of customer-specific, complex machines that eliminate the need for manual processes. As we continue to face challenges related to labour, supply chain and COVID, there has never been a time more emphasizing what you are NOT investing in automated solutions. Contact us for YOUR automated solution.

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