What Is Manufacturing Automation?

January 18, 2022

What is manufacturing automation?

Manufacturing automation, or production automation, refers to the use of machinery and equipment to automate production processes or systems. You can find various pieces of manufacturing automation technology used in many industries to revolutionize processes and increase production. If your company manufactures parts and products, you can receive several benefits from automating your systems and investing in manufacturing automation technology. Find out more about the many advantages of automating your manufacturing processes.

Benefits of Manufacturing Automation

Production automation may improve your manufacturing processes and boost your company’s profitability. You can find several advantages of production automation that make it a popular option among companies in the manufacturing industry. As you determine if you want to automate your manufacturing machinery, you may want to be aware of the many ways automation can assist your company. Some of the primary benefits of manufacturing automation include:

1. Receive Customizable Solutions

You can often work with an experienced company to develop a customized solution that meets your manufacturing requirements, whether you have specific standards to meet or scalability needs. A customized automated solution may improve your main operations’ precision and speed. Intelligent automation can synthesize massive amounts of information, completing a variety of tasks with better accuracy than humans can.

simplify your production with automated machinery

2. Simplify and Speed up Production

When you automate your machinery, you cut down on the number of moving parts you have to deal with during production. For example, you can reduce the tasks staff members have to perform to complete the production process since automated machinery will perform these tasks for them. Due to automated machinery’s ability to handle more processes, you can significantly simplify your production. The simplification automation provides may help you produce parts and products faster and with more accuracy than you would with manual alternatives.

3. Improve Product Quality

When someone has to manually handle key processes, the chance for user error rises. In contrast, automated equipment can perform tasks quickly with very little error, leading to a lower defect rate. You can expect automated equipment to perform with improved uniformity or conformity.

4. Reduce Costs and Increase Profitability

Many manufacturers that switch to automated machinery see a return on their investment very quickly. Automation can help companies lower their labor costs. It can also reduce material waste expenses from improperly manufactured products and parts.

By cutting costs, you can increase the profitability of your company. Besides using the reduced costs to increase profitability, the speed of manufacturing that automated machinery allows can help a company raise its output, resulting in increased revenue. The decreased defect rate may also leads to greater client satisfaction and higher chances of client retention.

5. Improve Safety

Manufacturing automation also helps companies increase workers’ safety. With automated machinery, your staff won’t have to work on dangerous tasks that could lead to significant injuries. Besides preventing major injuries, automated equipment also prevents minor injuries due to workers not having to lift heavy objects or perform repeated tasks that can lead to nagging long-term health problems, such as repetitive strain injuries.

Bihler Machinery

6. Take Advantage of Diverse Capabilities

One of the biggest advantages of manufacturing automation is the many different capabilities automation offers. Since you can automate various machines, your company can perform a diverse selection of tasks with minimal user interaction. Manufacturing automation can help you rely less on labor to achieve tasks.

Benefits of Manufacturing Automation for Specific Industries

Production automation is in virtually every industry where companies require manufacturing to produce parts, devices and products. Some of the main industries include the automotive, electronics, medical and building products sectors. Bihler Technology’s automated solutions allow companies to speed up production, reduce error, increase client satisfaction and create high-quality products and parts.

Automotive

The automotive industry uses manufacturing automation on their factory floors to speed up tasks like fabrication, painting and welding. Since manufacturing automation can incorporate computer processes like deep learning, predictive analysis and object recognition, many companies see benefits from using data-driven insights to make decisions. Automotive companies also utilize automation to do riskier work to increase safety. These companies regularly use machine vision technology to conduct detailed inspections of parts or vehicles before they’re offered to consumers.

Electronics

Many electronics companies enjoy using manufacturing automation, as it improves product quality by removing the chance of human error. Manufacturing automation also allows companies to more quickly customize their electronic products to clients’ needs via programming, increasing client satisfaction as a result. Besides customizing products, electronics companies can create new products faster with manufacturing automation, as they only need to make a few clicks on the machine to adjust key processes.

Medical

Manufacturers in the medical industry must control consistency in their products and ensure they meet quality standards, as mistakes in manufacturing could cost lives. By removing the risk of human error, manufacturing automation allows medical companies to reduce product variability and ensure they’re delivering the best products possible.

Since the medical industry is constantly evolving and improving, automation is a perfect match, as it allows companies to respond to new demands, like strict production standards, quickly. Companies can change operating parameters to produce new products, improving their responsiveness and flexibility.

Building Products

Companies in the building products industry rely on manufacturing automation to raise their productivity and efficiency. Production automation allows building product companies to quickly reproduce parts and other building goods. Automation also ensures building products meet industry standards, helping raise client satisfaction. Companies in this industry can use manufacturing automation to create new products or customize them to keep up with new developments.

Bihler Solutions for Manufacturing Automation

Bihler Solutions for Manufacturing Automation

At the Bihler Group of Companies, we provide a number of manufacturing automation solutions and services to our clients. As you attempt to automate your manufacturing capabilities, you’ll want an experienced partner. With the many solutions and services we provide and decades of experience, we can help you meet your goals and seamlessly integrate automated machinery into your manufacturing processes. Review some of the following services and solutions we provide to find out how we can bring automation to your company:

  • Standard equipment: Our clients regularly turn to Bihler for cost-effective production systems. These options can handle various tasks, such as forming or stamping parts, and you can use them to create a complete assembly. Some of our most innovative automated machines include servo-controlled manufacturing assembly systems, machining centers and mechanical and hybrid slide machines. All of our standard equipment is known for its reliability, high-quality design and exceptional performance.
  • Solutions to meet your needs: We can provide you with tailored automation solutions. Our automation experts offer industry-leading standard equipment that can be made to handle the most difficult packaging, manufacturing or assembly challenges. We’ll craft a solution for your unique needs.
  • Servo processing modules: Our serving processing modules are another innovative choice for companies needing individualized solutions. These modules utilize sensors and various monitoring functions to record measurement values and ensure multiple manufacturing processes work together seamlessly. Servo modules also come with a human-machine interface, making it easy for users to optimize processes and perform quick parameterization. You can utilize these modules with various manufacturing applications, such as welding, stamping, thread forming, material feeding, rolling, tapping and screw insertion and assembly.
  • Bihler 4 Slide-NC: Bihler 4 Slide-NC offers the latest technology in four-slide manufacturing and metal forming and stamping technology. Since this four-slide technology can be used with existing tooling, it’s compatible with non-servo four-slide machines, making it a cost-effective and flexible solution. Bihler 4 Slide-NC is also future-proof, as it integrates with Instant Setup and Internet of Things technology. Its standardized control system can integrate with other process modules, as well, such as those designed for welding, screw inserting, inspection and tapping.
  • Services and consulting: Alongside our many manufacturing automation offerings, we also offer service and consulting to help you bring automation to your company. Our team of experts can help you with productivity consultation, initial equipment training and ongoing operational training. Through our consultation services, you can learn how to optimize your operations to meet your customer’s needs faster while also reducing costs.

To give you a better sense of the diverse capabilities of manufacturing automation, review some of the primary manufacturing equipment that companies can automate:

Material Feeding

You can find various feedings systems on the market, with some popular examples including conveyor belts, bowl feeders and linear conveyors. Material feeding systems are designed to deliver parts and other materials to the correct location in a plant. Automated material feeding machines ensure other manufacturing equipment has the parts and materials it needs to perform its processes without the demand for operators to move materials.

Stamping

Stamping is a kind of cold-forming process that utilizes presses and dies to turn sheet metal into particular shapes. Stamping machines can be easily automated, with computer programs controlling them to ensure the machine offers greater precision and faster turnaround times. These pressers are usually combined with an automatic feeder designed to send sheet metal through the press, helping the stamping machine produce many identical metal components.

Forming

Forming, or fabrication, is a process where materials, such as metals, go through plastic deformation to turn them into various sizes and shapes. Forming automation machines allow manufacturing plants to perform various forming processes with minimal operator interaction, leading to greater productivity.

Rolling

Rolling is a metal forming process where a rolling machine shapes metals into semi-complete or complete forms. The rollers rotate in different directions, with the metal passing between them. Automated rollers don’t require much user intervention, resulting in faster and more accurate outputs. These types of rollers typically come with intuitive sensors, condition monitoring and cyber-physical systems.

Welding

fully automatic welding unit will load materials, index a torch or part into the right position and complete the weld. The module will then check the joint’s quality and dispense the finished product. You can also find semi-automated welding machines that require an operator to load and unload parts. Since automation helps companies repeat processes with greater accuracy, automated welding machines are perfect for times when manufacturers want to increase their output while also receiving a better weld quality.

Tapping

In manufacturing, tapping refers to a process where a machine cuts a thread within a hole, designed for a cap screw or bolt to fit. Tapping is also sometimes used to craft threads onto nuts. Automated tapping modules give companies the ability to use screws to join complex components together, allowing for greater flexibility, productivity and precision.

Thread Forming

Manufacturing companies use thread forming to create internal screw threads. In this process, a thread presses a shaped tool or a rolling die against a blank. You can find various automated thread forming machines designed to increase the output of accurately designed internal screw threads.

Screw Insertion and Assembly

Automated screw insertion units quickly insert screws and assemble parts, making them well-suited for mass production requiring high cycle times. When these modules  are used with thread forming units, you can combine them with forming and stamping machines for a complete solution.

Contact Bihler For Automated Solutions

Turn to Bihler for Your Perfect Automated Solutions

Since manufacturing automation gives you faster production speeds, better quality products, enhanced safety and reduced costs, it’s crucial you work with a  partner who can help you maximize these benefits. With all our solutions and services, Bihler can support your manufacturing automation needs. Our machines can make it much easier for you to perform various tasks, such as punching, joining screws forming threads, bending, welding contacts and mounting.

Review our capabilities today to find out how we can help you implement manufacturing automation at your company. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.