Poor quality manufacturing is estimated to cost manufacturers up to 30% of the value of their gross sales, equating to millions per year – something not to be taken lightly. But how are manufacturers reigning in the amount of low-quality products coming off their production lines?
Automated factory systems have revolutionised the manufacturing world by delivering predictable, quality products day after day but until recently have been prohibitively expensive, at least at first glance. When manufacturing mass-market products, every effort must be taken to keep the price as low as possible for the end-user, which often results in a compromise on quality and the prohibition of expensive automated systems. Newer automation systems have become very competitive on price however, can often pay for themselves within a year or two of installation. This is due to their efficiency, accuracy and 24/7 operating capabilities which can increase productivity by 200%.
Automated production lines deliver higher quality products in a number of ways. Principally, as the processes are pre-programmed and carried out in the same way, item after item, there is a very low chance of error. Atop of this, automated inspection greatly improves the accuracy and speed at which inspection can be carried out. In the past, quality inspection was carried out manually on small samples of products from a production line, resulting in subjective inspection criteria, slow inspections and inaccuracies arising from the sampling process. Robotics with machine vision can inspect every product on the line in real time, with very few errors, in a repeatable and measurable manner. Highly integrated automation systems can even detect errors and correct them up-stream to avoid such errors in the future – all without real-time human input.
Industrial robots are built around repeatability and consistency, making them perfect for repetitive tasks, which are the tasks most often associated with human error. These errors arise from tiredness, distractedness or even boredom – problems which are not found in robots. The consistency of robotics also means that quality is upheld throughout a ‘shift’, and extra care needn’t be taken towards the end of the day as workers get tired. This allows a constant speed to be upheld throughout production.
Robotics offers the unique combination of speed and accuracy when it comes to manufacturing. It doesn’t take a logistical expert to conclude that the higher the production rate, the lower the cost per unit will be. Speeding up production in a traditional factory usually results in a higher volume of lower quality products, but robotics allows manufacturers to scale production up or down without sacrificing quality.
In conclusion, robotics can make manufacturing lines more efficient, faster and produce higher quality products day after day, as compared to manual manufacturing lines. Automated assembly and quality inspection work seamlessly together to deliver higher quality products without the associated drop in speed seen in manual factories.
ABP is a world-leading system integrator and is one of the UK’s top automation companies specialising in the design and development of bespoke automated manufacturing systems through a collaborative approach in providing engineering solutions. ABP’s automation systems are built to be relied upon day after day, and have a proven track record of increasing the speed of production lines and the quality of the resulting products. ABP’s component assembly systems and robotic cells are built with quality and usability in mind, without compromising on speed.
ABP also provides a range of products to the defence industry, including defence equipment and support, EOD equipment and military equipment for bomb disposal units. ABP is known worldwide as a top-tier EOD manufacturer for its reliable and hard-wearing EOD equipment.
For more information about ABP’s automation systems, please click here or call +44 (0)1202 665 000.