Not too long ago, there was a movement toward making factories and manufacturing plants fully automated. It seemed to have stalled out at some point, with only hybrid plants and factories as the result. These plants and factories are half automated and half operated by human workers, which begs the question: is it possible to fully automate a plant? Take a closer look at the answers below.
Yes, It Is Possible
Before, full automation was a dream that could have only been realized to a point. That was because there were so many problems with some of the automated machinery of the eighties and nineties that it took more people to fix these problems than it did just to have people working in those positions in the assembly lines. Now, the technology has advanced enough that the machinery requires significantly less attention and maintenance and can even be repaired or operated remotely when necessary. With innovations like the Cognex machine vision, even packaging and inventory processes are fully automated. In many situations, the only things you need human workers for is to keep products from dropping off the assembly line onto the floor.
How Much of the Plant Can Be Automated
In almost every instance, somewhere around eighty or ninety percent of your plant can be fully automated. If you want to take it as far as you can and make the plant or factory as automated as you possibly can, you can do it. Just bear in mind that there are still some situations in which machines cannot manage to do what you need them to do, and a little human help is necessary to get the proverbial ball rolling and/or keep it rolling. Talk to manufacturers of automation technology to see just how much of your human labor can be replaced with machines and what the comparison in costs between wages and machinery really are.
Redesigning Your Plant/Factory for Full Automation
It is also possible to completely redesign your plant/factory for full automation. Companies that make and supply you with the automated and robotic technology can assess where and how to make changes so that you can have a more fully automated and integrated factory/plant. These extra services will provide you with additional insight into how you can bring your company all the way into the twenty-first century and beyond, and make way for a company that will eventually not need human help at all.