Part 1: When is automation right for your pad printing business?
Engineered Printing Solutions custom solutions sometimes involve designing and engineering automation capabilities. When appropriate, we recommend an upgrade from your existing equipment. Why would you do that? After analyzing your current process, we sit down with you and discuss where you can save time and money by investing wisely in a custom automated system.
A successful business makes wise investments that increase in value over time. We all know time is money, but we forget that the time needed to gain a return on our investment is crucial in making decisions. A 10% return on an initial investment within one week would be classified as a huge windfall. A 10% return in 10 years, even in today’s soft market, would be a wasted effort.
So when is the right time to consider automation?
- It’s time to consider automation when you find your business losing time in setup, prep and assembly, especially when there aren’t enough hands to go around. It’s time when you want to grow your business but your staff can’t keep up with the orders you have.
- It’s time if the form of automation has a reasonable ROI (return on investment) based upon industry norms. Automating can be as simple as moving a box that stores work-in-process to a more convenient location, making the job easier and quicker, saving time and therefore money. Your investment in this sample is 10 minutes of time to come up with an idea and 15 minutes implementing the idea (25 minutes total investment) which subsequently saved 5 minutes per day. ROI = 5 working days = excellent investment, when the industry standard on ROI is 16 months!
- It’s time when the cost of labor is holding back your growth. If your company is in the business of manufacturing, in most cases your single biggest expense is labor. This is where automation can become an emotionally charged issue among employees. How many times have you heard people complain that the boss is going to replace them with a machine. Perhaps technically true; however, the bigger picture is that you must yield a few jobs to chores a machine can’t do in order to grow the company. It also provides an opportunity to retrain or release those employees who had limited or no growth potential. In order for a business to survive and thrive automation is one of the simplest tools to implement.
- It’s time when you want to expand your business with cash and labor invested wisely, with one eye on your ROI and the other looking toward potential growth. If you had some money available and could get a 10% ROI in a month, would you do it? Would you do it if it was relatively risk free? I’ll bet you’re smiling now!
In our next post I’ll tell the story of one CEO’s “no-brainer” decision in a tale with two endings: one happy, one sad. Until then, consider some of our custom automation solutions:
- Bowl Feedersand unloading
- optical & laser sensing and positioning
- part conveyors
- robotic Pick & Place Systems
- custom software applications (includes digital image processing and remote diagnostics)
- Optional Devices treating
- UV curing
- infrared Dryers
Look at some of the videos. Can you imagine a similar step in your process?
Join the Conversation! How have you handled growth and change in your workplace? Are you involved in the tough growth decisions?