One common theme amongst visitors to Versatech's IMTS booth this year was incorporation of automation into manufacturing operations. Attendees were looking for ways to improve quality and throughput through the use of automation. I heard the following question repeatedly during the show:
"We can't find good people, so we see no choice but to automate. Can you help us?"
The answer, of course, was "Yes".
But, is automation the answer to all your workforce woes? Here are some alternative solutions (and yes, we can help with these as well!):
- Utilize Lean Manufacturing principles to eliminate non-value added activities. By value stream mapping your operations, you can find and eliminate waste, and then allocate resources as appropriate to support streamlined operations. Many times, companies find they can do what they need to do with less manpower. If you are worried about having to get rid of good people, never fear! Your valued workers can do more value added activities!
- Incorporate well-designed hydraulic workholding into your machines! Automated workholding requires less operator effort to load and is customized to your part design, ensuring greater final product machined quality. When combined with proper resource allocation in machining cells, less manpower is often required to produce the same or greater volumes.
- Outsource small manufacturing jobs to Versatech! By utilizing our Build to Print services to produce low volume and spare parts, you can avoid utilzing internal labor to get these jobs done.
- Integrate robotics into your operation to perform manual, repetitive tasks, while ensuring good quality. This allows your existing workforce to concentrate on more value added activities and avoid hiring additional people.
While we love our automation projects (they do, after all, account for 60% of our sales volume!), we are happy to help your company achieve profitability and productivity goals with the consulting and engineering services noted above. To discuss your situation in more detail, contact Versatech today!