We are on the verge of entering the fourth industrial revolution! It brings in a new wave of smart
factories and manufacturers that uses shop floor automation solutions and cyber-physical production
systems. It is a paradigm shift that is currently changing the manufacturing process.
Current challenges faced by manufacturers
Manufacturers need a big picture of how the shop floor functions to respond faster and stay ahead of the
competition. However, they still rely on complex and obsolete systems to document and capture data, which
leads to several challenges and setbacks that can cost time and money.
Most shop floors do not have the know-how or tools, such as sensor-fitted machines to extract data in
real-time thus impacting their ability to perform diagnostics and avoid downtime. Also, most machines
operate in a standalone mode, leading to unstructured communication on the shopfloor. Further, the
duplication and repetitive work tasks of workers delay response time and make the processes slow and
This is due to manufacturers, in general, who are reluctant to part with the old-school processes and
adopt new skills and technologies. They have grappled with issues, such as interoperability between
different machines, tracking information during the production cycle, etc., because of the lack of
Why should manufacturers adopt shop floor automation?
How long does it take and how many people are needed to do the data mining required/track down the root
cause and affected product in a quality accident? How many weeks or months and how many people does it
take, to pull together the data needed for your recertification audits?
Here are a few reasons why manufacturers should adopt shop floor automation:
Real-time Information - Instead of having to wait and see how well production is flowing, shop
floor automation enables up-to-minute analysis. This allows you to have complete visibility within your
supply chain and locate areas where improvements are needed.
Transparency - As shop floor automation offers data, project insight, and anything relevant to your
supply chain, it enables your employees to all work toward the same goal. Accurate data and transparency
are a must because everyone must be on the same page to work toward the overall goal.
Production Cost Reduction - Older systems require manually entered data and were not as efficient
at locating issues within the supply chain. Shop floor automation is able to locate areas where
productivity is lacking and does not require manually entered data. This saves time for project managers
who want to focus their efforts on other areas and basically allow production to run by itself.
Support - Teams can solve problems together instead of doing it separately. Shop floor automation
enables various departments to interact and communicate with each other, ultimately allowing them to
pursue and fix issues collaboratively. This solves issues much faster and saves the entire operation
revenue and time.
Predictive Maintenance - Predictive analytics allows for more accurate planning of machine
maintenance, which can help reduce machine downtime, increase mean time between failures, and reduce costs
of unnecessary preventative maintenance and spare parts inventory.
With predictive maintenance, much of the guessing work is removed because maintenance decisions can be
taken by the workers based on the historical and real-time data from the machine itself.
Reduced employee cost - It 's a common misconception that automated systems are expensive. It
is true that initially it costs a bomb to get the machines up and running, but once deployed, day-to-day
working becomes streamlined, independent and stress-free. Thereafter, you need not depend on workers to
get the work done. Spending once on the machines is much better than spending months on tentative
Ready to automate your shop floor to increase productivity and profitability? We at AXISCADES take pride
in providing shop floor automation solutions that span the breadth of your shop floor. Our products,
services and ecosystem ensures that you have a competitive advantage and are Industry 4.0 ready.