Top 3 challenges to consider when incorporating automation into your operation

January 14, 2022 Casey Nighbor

An industrial automation robot packing a box on a warehouse floor

The future is here. Automation is starting to take real hold in the manufacturing and warehouse industries. And all signs point that it’s here to stay.

The total value of logistics service robots hit $1.9 billion last year and is only projected to grow. And although all of this is very promising, incorporating automation into your workforce is not as easy as just installing new machines.

Here are the top 3 challenges you need to consider when adding automation into your process.

1. There are high implementation costs

The upfront costs of an automation system may be a deterrent or at least a big factor in choosing whether to switch. There are long-term cost savings associated with automation, but the startup costs may be too much for some businesses. Analyze whether the cost is worth it and how long it would take for you to see savings. This can help you decide if it’s the right fit.

2. Machines are not perfect, they still break

Machines are more accurate than humans, but they still break. Repairs can eat at your budget and cause process delays. To mitigate this, you can create contingency plans for associates to resume manual operation until the machine is back online. This helps reduce the chance of a machine break shutting down your operation.

3. Your process needs to be reworked

Automation can make things simpler, but only if you build it that way. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as slapping a machine in the middle of your process and calling it a day. You have to take into account how your product is getting into and out of the automation process.

If you aren’t, then it can impact your output. But it’s typically the details that trip operations up.

You should consider things like how is the product getting to the machine, how does it move to the next phase of the process, how are associates interacting with the machines, etc.? Taking the whole process into consideration is the best way for a successful implementation and is something that a trusted partner can help with.

Adding automation to your operation can be highly beneficial but there are many things to consider before implementing it. A trusted partner can help you overcome these challenges and more. Our Peak Teams solution is a high-performance team that specializes in short to mid-term projects. Because of their expertise with complex workforce problems, they are perfect for implementing automation in your operation.

Click here to learn more about our Peak Teams solution or click here to download our implementing automation checklist.

About the Author

About Casey: Content marketing manager, frequently reading, aspiring chef, failed plant mom, connoisseur of tater tots, beauty products and airplane food.

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