A Sensible Guide to Automation
Congratulations! You have taken the first step in implementing automation into your organization. Or, this is a path you have traveled before and you have decided that adding additional automation is the key to increasing profits for your company.
Make no mistake, everything we do is inherently related to profit in our business lives: reducing quality concerns, increasing throughput, obtaining real time production data and, especially, addressing worker safety and job satisfaction.
What’s next? For many companies, this phase presents the first big challenge. Your company has excelled at the craft of building your product, or products. Through trial and opportunity, you have developed a process that works.
Customers are buying and everyone is happy until, something happens. Demand sharply increases, a sudden defect in production is realized, there is a change in workforce; we could list many reasons that increase the pressure to automate.
Many companies find, as successful as they are at providing their product to the market, they know very little about adding automation to their production. There are too many things to consider and making one bad choice could negatively affect the entire project.
GoldStar Automation is here to help. We have developed a practical, intuitive process that will walk you through this first phase and guide you to a successful conclusion for any project in automation. The G.O.L.D. Standard is a template you can use for all automation projects from automating a single work cell, to suiting an entire plant for automation.
Every successful company has, at one time or another, had to take an honest inventory. To get to where you want to go, you must know where to begin. The goals you establish today will guide your company’s efforts for many months, even years to follow.
We employ a thorough, consultative process with you to reveal known and unknown strengths. Based on these strengths, we establish short and long term goals.
This approach is effective for automation projects small and large.
After identifying your automation goals, establishing objectives becomes much less complicated and more focused. For example, your company is considering deploying a six axis robot into a production cell that is currently performed by manual operators. This is a goal. What are the objectives: increasing production rates, decreasing quality concerns, reducing labor costs, addressing operator strain? These are the perceived objectives, but there are certainly more to consider.
What happens when adding a robot to your workforce introduces more complexity than you expected? That is where GoldStar Automation can help.
The objective becomes, preparing your company for automation. We help identify tasks, approvals, roles and responsibilities that must be addressed along the way. With this kind of information, you will have a more complete picture that allows you to make an accurate cost analysis of what you suspected was a great idea.
Introducing new automation is never “easy”. However, following a process for managing this change will increase the chances for consistency and expected success. Every phase of change will follow the same process. The danger of not following a disciplined process is that you will experience inconsistent results. These inconsistent results are difficult to account for, and are difficult to prevent over any given period. The worst inconsistent results are those that negatively affect your relationship with your custom
Many companies that desire to add automation to their process do not have a formal method of conveying this need to potential vendors. A scope document is a thorough and formal declaration of what a desired automation project needs to accomplish. Everything required for project success is in the scope document. This means that all deliverables and all management responsibilities must be understood and documented. If any work is missing, important activities may be absent from your schedule and your budget may be insufficient to cover all the cost.
The definition of standard: a level of quality or attainment.
When you work with GoldStar Automation and our partners, we commit our best effort to every opportunity. Our experience and understanding of the items in this document are the result of years of successful automation projects. We are excited to deliver results that meet and exceed your expectations.