Partial or full automation is all the rage in the world of manufacturing plants these days, and why wouldn’t it be? With the biggest benefits of automating factories being huge reductions in production and labor costs, there is also an obvious increase in the productivity and efficiency of the factory.
All in all, anyone who can manage to implement automated manufacturing systems in their factories should go ahead with them. But be advised, there are some risks involved when you install automated machines in your factory. These risks can be mitigated by adopting a simple inspection checklist and ensuring that the checks on the list are performed regularly without missing a single one. This will make sure that your employees avoid any dangerous mishap. Care is always better than cure. Here are some of the most important points that one should include in their inspection checklist for automated factories:
The Work Area
Even in a fully automated factory, there are workers who are present on the floor at all times, so the first thing on your list should be the inspection of the work area. Check for any substances or materials that could cause the workers to trip or slip. Instruct workers on exit procedures in case of an emergency and where the exits are on the floor.
The workers present on the floor will need to interact or operate the machinery from time to time. They need to be well-versed on the safety procedures to follow while working with the machinery. They should know which safety equipment – gloves, safety goggles, etc – to use and where that equipment is stored on the floor.
The machinery installed in the factory will require most of your attention when you are following your inspection checklist. Remember, in a fully automated factory, there are a lot of moving parts and failure in a small part of the system could compromise the whole process. Have the maintenance workers perform regular checks of the machines to detect faults.
Loading and Unloading
The loading or feeding and unloading mechanism of your automated system needs to perform at the optimum level at all times to ensure the highest level of productivity. The rates at which the loading/unloading machines are operating with directly affect the production numbers that you can achieve. The maintenance staff has to keep these machines working seamlessly by keeping them in sync and checking the fluid and moving parts regularly.
Include a Preventive Plan
You will need to introduce a preventive maintenance plan to keep the automated factory in commission even when there aren’t any workers present on the floor. This plan will even keep the machines operating overnight without supervision if need be. The staff you entrust this plan with, should follow it to the letter and never miss a beat; that is the only way it can be effective.
If you follow the checklist above, you will minimize the issues that arise in an automated factory. However, you can never expect the factory to run smoothly all the time. There are always going to be some issues that may catch you off guard. This is why you should ensure your control panel builders incorporate some type of remote monitoring system for the automated factory. You can setup the system in a way that it sends an alert to you cell phone or computer if and when something goes awry at the factory. The same alert system can be implemented on the phones of your maintenance staff so they can take care of the issue as soon as it arises.
Follow this simple inspection checklist along with some pertinent advice to make certain that your automated factory avoids any road bumps. The information above will also help you with handling situations that may sneak up on you, so you can steer clear of huge amounts of down times and keep your losses to a minimum.