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Industrial automation ranges from simple machines to complex robotic systems. Asset and maintenance management is critical to the successful implementation and care of all machines.

To help you understand how automation has changed the way we do business, we are happy to have a guest article today by Danielle Mcann, with Automation Solutions

Industrial Automation Guest Post – by Danielle Mcann

If you’re a business owner or a business manager, you know how it feels to be constantly on the lookout for ways to cut costs, maximize quality and maintain your business output. These are the one of the most basic elements of conducting business. It doesn’t matter which industry you’re in the objective is successfully plan how to do the work that you need to do in a way that costs you the smallest amount of money, time, and effort.

Even if your business activity is diverse or unusual, most businesses face similar sorts of costs when it comes to their expenses. One of the big ones is personnel. In Australia, labour costs are very high, and many small-to-medium business owners run themselves ragged trying to do several people’s jobs at once while at the same time overseeing and managing larger operations. This is when mistakes are made.

However, smart business owners know how to get around this. Machines are cheaper than humans, because you don’t have to pay them, you just have to maintain them. Creative business owners turn to companies like Automation Solutions to consult with their business.

People who specialize in robots and machines are able to look over the business operations of any given company and say how their day-to-day activities could be simplified and become more efficient with the use of a machine. This is where efficiency comes in. Machine technology has revolutionized crucial industries like farming over the last hundred years.

In a given Australian farm today, there is likely to be more machines than there are farmhands. This is because basic and repetitive tasks like ploughing, raking, and seeding can be done by machines that can quickly and easily do the rounds of square paddocks.

These machines were built at expense, but an expense that has paid off many times over during the course of their use. Machines have become integrated into every part of our lives, are used in virtually every industry and they continue to provide positive financial rewards as they change the way we live.

This is outsourcing at its very most basic level. We use outsourcing every day, at every point in our lives. To communicate with another person, you might get in touch with them by phone, email, or by post. To do that we rely on telecommunications, or on a postman rather than setting off on foot to speak face to face.

While machine technology has revolutionized crucial industries like farming over the last hundred years robotic automation has also changed the way we do business. Consistent advances in machinery and information technology are continually making our current and familiar systems redundant as they change the way we live.

This can be clearly seen with advances in automisation. Automisation means going one step beyond mechanisation; which is a system in which a human being operates machinery. Automation eliminates the human element from the more repetitive tasks.

Some notable historical examples of automation include:

  • Telephones switchboards and telephone answering machines that have replaced telephone operators since the 1980s.
  • Automated ‘teller’ machines that dispense paper and plastic money do the work that was once exclusive to human bank tellers.
  • Robotic assembly lines into manufacturing.

Automation was the reason for the general shift from industrial jobs to service jobs in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This is because the efficiency of automation so far out-stripped the efficiency of human labour that business owners and managers turned to automation as much as they could to increase their profit margins.

This shift is useful in explaining the evolution and history of what is sometimes referred to as ‘class struggle’ over the past two hundred years. The balance between man and machine has existed as long as human history, and will continue as technology advances and slowly creeps up to supersede human intelligence.

Is your business taking advantage of advances in automation to increase your profit margins? If not, make sure your organization considers the design, programming, installation, commissioning, training and maintenance aspects of an automation solution.

EAM CMMS Tie-In

We thank Danielle for her article and would to add that implementing an automated solution into any industry should be planned and executed using an EAM CMMS system. When used from the planning stage through asset retirement, EAM CMMS systems enable asset managers to manage assets over their entire lifecycle ensuring maintenance efficiency and effectiveness.