How Automation Can Improve Productivity
Experts from the industry discuss the role of automation in improving productivity. They also share their thoughts on how to scale the productivity improvement of automation investment.
We all know that deployment of automation within manufacturing processes can help a business in improving their productivity levels, improving efficiency, producing better quality products, and increasing profits. According to a study conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) and commissioned by Automation Anywhere, adoption rates of robotic process automation (RPA) will grow by 57% in India in the next year.
Explaining the necessity of automation, Jagannath V, Business Head, m2nxt Solutions – a BFW subsidiary, said, “The first and foremost is to improve the productivity by maximum utilization of the equipment so that we know that the OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) of the equipment is at its peak. Second objective is to improve the performance with improved quality by the consistency of the process and achieve predictable and consistent output. So that you know for sure what would be the output from the shop floor when you really automate. As a result of improved productivity and performance, the final objective is to achieve better profitability, which means reduce dependency on skilled manpower, minimize cost of poor quality, improved cost per component, and better safety for human and equipment.”
Managing automation productivity
Sharing his opinion on how to scale the productivity improvement of automation investment, Gajendra Mohan Jha, Business Head – New Business Ventures (Phantom Solutions), Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions, said, “There has to be a very pragmatic evaluation of the way productivity itself is measured as that’s the cornerstone of measuring and reporting productivity appropriately.”
He adds, “While we talk about automation, there is a kind of a divergence when it comes to the requirement of different stakeholder in the ecosystem including owner, shop floor supervisor and an operator. So, the first thing is to understand what is a basic minimum that each stakeholder wants out of automating a shop floor.”
According to Mr. Jha, when we talk about automation and productivity, there are three basic things that are critical for every stakeholder who wants to get into managing automation productivity. He said, “First, how to make the available data measurement real time? Second, how to get additional information in terms of downtime, benchmarks? And thirdly, if there could be a real time alert along with the data which can enable a plant maintenance person/machine maintenance person/operator to act upon to reduce a machine downtime.”