It doesn’t seem like it has been that long since everyone was talking about the need for speed. “The only way to get more orders out the door is to move faster,” they would say. But you and I both know speed isn’t always the problem or solution. Yes, you need to increase throughput in your operation. But you can’t afford to sacrifice accuracy or control for the sake of speed. That’s why automation is so appealing.
It reduces, and often eliminates, the risk of human error, which is what tends to slow down operations. Whenever a mistake is made, someone must stop whatever else they’re working on to make things right, which halts progress toward desired outcomes, such as getting more product out the door. But as we’ve discussed before, automation by itself is not a solution. There are so many different ways to automate workflows, and there are too many opportunities to miss the mark by only automating certain parts of workflows.
For example, automating material handling is great and necessary. But if you only automate that and leave visual inspections, inventory counts and decision-making up to people, you’re not going to be able to get as much done in a day – or get things done right the first time. That’s why industrial automation is becoming as vital to the success of your business as the barcode has long been to retail – whether you’re in manufacturing, transportation and logistics, or even healthcare. You must be able to meet service level agreements without sacrificing margin.
Fortunately, there is a growing number of ways that machine vision and imaging systems are directly influencing those capabilities.
That’s why I asked Andy Zosel to join me for our latest Industrial Automation Insider podcast episode.