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As a manufacturer, you likely face tough challenges — producing parts of top quality and competitive costs, on time, in safe workplaces that retain and attract great people.Automating production cells in your plant can often help. Yet automation doesn’t make sense for every situation.We suggest considering these five questions, as you decide if it’d be worth exploring automation further:

What are the business / production challenges that have you thinking about automation?

  • For example, are you looking to expand production volume—but are constrained by not being able to recruit and retain enough skilled people?
  • Experiencing costly amounts of rework and scrap?
  • Need to improve machine utilization?
  • Struggling to stay competitive against offshore companies that have lower prices?
  • Do you face any safety challenges (hot parts, fast-moving machines, chemicals, ergonomics)?

What is your application?

  • Do you envision using a robot for machine load and unload?
  • Inspecting parts?
  • Deburring machined or cast parts that wouldn’t otherwise meet standards?
  • Not quite sure – I need help determining where my best opportunities are.

Where would you want to see an ROI from automation?

  • Higher sales due to increased parts production?
  • Increased profits from lower cost?
  • Space savings from new automated layout?
  • Matrix Design offers an online calculator that can help you identify your expected ROI. Or, contact us and we can help you prepare a business case.

Have you gathered a few key pieces of information about your plant and equipment?

  • Plant equipment layout (one showing columns, aisles, electrical equipment, etc.).
  • Make and model number of machine to be automated.
  • Internal team charged with implementing a successful automation project.

Do you need your automation systems integrator to provide 24/7 support, or do you have an in-house maintenance staff that you’ll want to be trained?

  • We could benefit from outside service, especially for preventative maintenance.
  • We’ll do it internally.
  • We could benefit from robot training for operators and/or maintenance personnel.
  • We have old robot systems we should repurpose for a new project.

These are a few of the considerations we suggest thinking about as you assess whether, and where, automation would make sense for your company.If you’d like to schedule a no-obligation exploratory call with an automation specialist at Matrix Design, please contact us.

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