Ports, warehouses, and factories have long depended on machines to accomplish material handling for plenty of tasks. Particularly, this applies to both the manufacturing of products and the packaging and transporting finished ones. As a matter of fact, various types of equipment have, for a long time, been vital to tasks that require a lot of movement, distribution, and disposal of different types of materials.
What’s more, rapid developments in logistical and manufacturing requirements have resulted in different types of designs catering to different needs and budgets. For example, companies with lower budgets can still make do with manually-operated lifts, pulleys, and crane systems. Meanwhile, those with more specific needs can make use of more specialized systems that use information technologies and incorporate motors, linear stages, and actuators for more precise motion control. This gives business owners and managers more choices if they wish to embrace automation as a means to improve efficiency.
However, an automated material handling system’s benefits go beyond improving productivity. Here are just four important ways that automating material handling positively impacts your business:
1. Redundancies Are Avoided
With a proper system in place, a company can work more capably, even with a smaller crew. Automating the material handling process means that you can survive with a smaller team that’s focused on guaranteeing that your machines are doing their job properly. However, relying on automated equipment doesn’t just allow you to hire fewer workers to handle your materials or products. It also leaves you with more resources to have a smaller but more dedicated group to handle your materials with greater care and efficiency.
2. Time on Distribution Is Lessened
Upgrading to automated material handling systems means you get to take advantage of technologies like robotic arms, gantry systems, check-in machines, sorters, conveyors, and barcode (or RFID) scanners. These tools ensure that factory and warehouse crews don’t have to manually check lists when producing, moving, controlling, and storing materials. The result is that everyone works more efficiently and with fewer chances for human error to impact their work. This doesn’t just allow you to accept more orders or improve inventory management. It also lessens the need to have your crews work longer hours and cost your company in overtime pay.
3. Company-Wide Stress Is Reduced
By relying less on humans, you reduce inconsistencies in work quality due to a stressful working environment. After all, stressed and demoralized employees tend to bring down your production line’s overall performance. But since automation passes laborious and repetitive tasks to tireless machines, you can expect overall stress levels to drop among your employees. This results in fewer mistakes from everyone, which brings us to our final point.
4. Accidents Are Minimized
Material handling should never be taken lightly. After all, accidents are hard to avoid when working with machinery large volume of products on a daily basis. Thankfully, fulfilling the previous three factors greatly reduces the chances of unpredictable workplace accidents that can cause injuries or losses because of failed production processes. Indeed, fewer working hours, a less stressful working environment, and work consistency brought about by automation all minimize the risk of accidents derailing operations. What’s more, these also protect you against costly compensation lawsuits—further helping you save time and money.
Advances in task automation are now transforming production lines and storage and distribution services for the better. Regardless of the type of machines used, plenty of large-, medium- and small-scale machines are now capable of operating with little to no human interaction. Because reliability is improved and errors are reduced, operating costs are minimized across-the-board, allowing businesses to make more while putting in less.
Image Source: dovermotion.com