The LED light automatic assembly production line made in China .
Must factories choose between regular (old manual production) and automation equipment?
There are 4 alternative processes automation processes that are often overlooked are available for you to choose from.
1 Redesign the process to improve productivity
Perhaps you can redesign existing processes to improve efficiency? In some factories, we do not need a lot of capital, we increase the output by 30%, and at the same time reduce 20% or more hours.
To give a simple example, there are 10 people in the production line, and an extra operator is busy doing the rework. Suppose you have hired an industrial engineer who will use the following procedures:
To improve production line logistics, operators do not have to get up and look for parts.
Improve the layout of the production line so that each operator can easily get the parts needed for each station.
Introduction of useful tools to carry out process prevention more quickly.
Training operators and team leaders to gain the benefits of universal change and get their support.
What practical changes will the redesign project bring in after 4-5 months?
The production line was reduced from 10 to 7
An average reduction of 1 to 0.3 rework
Reduce the annual turnover from 60% to 20% - operators are more motivated because they receive training and their opinions are valued.
(note that industrial engineers can improve several production lines at the same time, not in 4-5 months, probably in 1 months).
As time goes on, more waste is reduced. The following is an example of the layout of an efficient production line.
2 Semi automated production process
In addition to the redesign process mentioned above, you can gradually transform some production processes into semi automated ones.
With semi automated or user aided machines and equipment, workers can work more easily and quickly than before. The manpower is reduced and the workload is finished as usual.
This is an example of gradual automation to improve productivity.
You can gradually reduce the number of operators in the semi automation process.
How does this differ from the typical whole process automation project?
Substantial reduction in investment
Investment can be phased and progressively carried out
Factories need talents to promote this project - usually an experienced and creative tool expert.
3 Embark on a multi - variety, small - batch order
If you adopt the above suggestions and increase production efficiency and flexibility, congratulations.
This means that you are in good condition, and you can embark on the multi variety and small batch order business. Most of these customers are from China, because on average, Chinese factories have more manual (and more flexible) processes than American or European factories.
Who can't get these orders? It is the factory that adopts advanced high-tech process automation technology. Their expensive equipment is impeccable in mass production, but their "economic lot size" is far greater than yours. Why? Because it usually takes a long time to switch from 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, large - volume orders? You can subcontract it to factories that have expensive equipment. Because of their big investments, they are more careful to take orders. I hope they can help you out.
(if their equipment fails unfortunately, this is very likely to happen, and your internal production capacity can reduce losses).
In general, it is feasible to start from the optimization process and semi automation, and once these alternatives reach the desired goal, they can be developed in the direction of complete 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.