In light of the fourth industrial revolution’s significance in today’s industrial setting, automation is an unavoidable route for industrial manufacturers. With the application of computer-aided systems, robotic operators, automated equipment and M2M communications, the efficiency of manufacturing is expanding to new horizons. Statistics show that 38% of employees in the industry of automated workflows are already robots, and experts predict that this figure will double by 2025.
Ultimately, automation provides predictive, reliable workflows with consistent quality outputs. At AMP Metal, we use automated solutions to ensure ideal metal outputs free from quality defects and durability deviations. We offer the most advanced, customised solutions in automated metal processing that are dedicated to satisfying every client.
There are four milestones involved in transforming traditional metal manufacturing to automated metal processing: standardisation, digitisation, information prognosis and full automation. Each milestone ensures a higher degree of process predictability, conformity and excellence.
In the following section, we will dissect the advantages of automated metal processing and explain the steps in the journey of the transformation from manual metal fabrication to automated manufacturing workflows.
Automated technology has revolutionised metal processing. With the help of computer aided systems and robotic equipment, modern metal fabrication has the following strengths:
The journey from traditional metal processing to automated metal fabrication can be divided into four different steps. In each step, manufacturers have the chance to evaluate previous work procedures and audit their current decision-making practices to ensure an ideal workflow going forward.
The first step in automation is implementing standardisation practices. To maximise the potential of automation, manufacturers have to examine and analyse their existing workflow, identifying what works optimally and what doesn’t. This helps clear away any redundant activities in the workflow and re-route processes towards a new manufacturing plan with minimal waste and peak performance.
Standardisation is crucial for automation because consistent practices ensure a much more efficient process. Standardisation practices like Six Sigma eliminate the deviations created by manual operations. Ensuring a consistent and practical approach helps save unnecessary investment while producing profitable results, since all the remaining procedures are essential. In turn, this will result in a problem-solving internal mindset that enforces upstream revisions.
To create a successful business strategy with automation at the forefront and apply standardisation to secure optimal workflows, it’s necessary to record and store data. A well-established, high-level database is key to storing data and monitoring workflow performance. In today’s digitally-advanced industries, we can precisely and efficiently track, store and monitor data like timestamps, deficiencies and undesired variations, and with data accuracy, digitisation helps find the root causes of problems or malfunctions.
While digitised data collection and monitoring is significantly more efficient than manual, it also provides much more insight in terms of the context behind each piece of data. Data context helps analysts better understand situations and adjust the system accordingly.
Information processing makes it possible to leverage all digitally collected data and contexts to form a knowledge base. This intelligence is customised based on the working material, machine models and operators. With continually documented data, it’s possible to make necessary adjustments in real time to maximise process performance.
After a systematic modification process, the knowledge gained can be applied in future prognosis, which gives manufacturers the advantage of being able to predict workflow performance, elevate process efficiency and avoid possible malfunctions and variations.
The ultimate goal of industry 4.0 is to reach full autonomy, or “lights-out manufacturing”, with ultimate output generation through 24/7 operation. Reaching full machine autonomy will minimise potential obstructions caused by manual operation, enable large-scale machine-to-machine communication, amplify machine self-learning (adjust and learn by itself through every repeated action) and secure the production of smart machines that can diagnose issues without the need for human intervention.
Experts in different areas continue to work together to achieve full autonomy and fine-tune solutions for gaps where machines still cannot adequately substitute for human labour. At AMP, we process every project with a strong problem-solving team of experts working aligned with highly advanced technology. From laser cutting and metal bending to robotic welding, our experience in automated metal processing secures superior outputs and delivers impeccable results.
Automation in manufacturing refers to the process of replacing manual operations with machine and computer-aided systems. The goal is to enhance the efficiency of production, improve capability and reduce costs. There are three different levels of automation: fixed automation, programmable automation and flexible automation.
To learn more about automated metal processing and how it helps AMP deliver superior custom metal solutions, take a look at our recent blog post where we outline the four types of metal fabrication services we offer.
Robotic welding represents a cornerstone of the contemporary manufacturing industry. The key reason for this is the quality output robotic welding systems offer in short cycle times. Robotic welding uses a robotic arm in the welding process to assemble semi-products and furnish and maintain the shaping result of metal processing.
Do you want to know more about how we apply automation technology in our metal fabrication services? Contact us today and learn more about AMP through a consultation. Our goal is to help manufacturers in aerospace, oil and gas, utilities and civil engineering optimise their manufacturing processes with our highly reliable custom metal solutions.