The Pros and Cons of Automation in Manufacturing

The Pros and Cons of Automation in Manufacturing

More and more metal shops are investing in automated machinery. It might surprise you to discover that this is a controversial topic. This article will lay out the pros and cons of automation in manufacturing for supervisors struggling to make a decision.

Pros

Improved Safety

Automation reduces the likelihood of human error. This means that using automated machines improves safety. Since the devices operate by themselves, there’s little chance that people can get hurt while using them. Workers are much more likely to injure themselves when doing things by hand.

More Floor Space

Automated machinery can help you get the most out of your production floor space. When things aren’t automated, the machines take up more room, and people are constantly moving around. Automated machines, on the other hand, are more compact and require less human movement.

Increased Efficiency

The number one advantage of using automated machinery is that it increases efficiency. Certain devices are programmed to perform their duties at a certain pace. When using automation, you don’t have to account for human processes like moving the material. After all, people can only move so fast—machines can repeat steps with ease.

Cons

Less Flexibility

A negative of using automated machinery is that it offers less flexibility. As previously stated, these devices perform repeated tasks with ease. However, they don’t present much room for adjustments. People simply enter specifications into the machines, which can’t account for any necessary changes on their own.

Decreasing Workforce

Another con of using automated systems is that they can discourage workers from staying at work. Some people may believe that these devices are trying to replace them, so they might be less than willing to work with the machines.

This article has discussed the pros and cons of automation in manufacturing. As you can see, the topic presents a lively debate. Though the machines increase efficiency, they offer less flexibility than workers can. For these reasons, supervisors have a lot to think about when making this decision.

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