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August 27, 2018

Manufacturing Automation & Integrated Systems for the Modern Plant

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Automation. For the past decade, that’s arguably been the biggest buzzword in the manufacturing world. Plants that automate are afforded opportunities to increase efficiency, reduce staffing needs, and ensure greater quality and precision in the final product. Yet achieving automation goals can be difficult, especially for plants that have been around for a long time and are mostly using older equipment.

In this post, we’ll consider automation needs in greater detail, and look at the role system integration can play in plant automation. We hope you’ll see how the engineers at Gough Econ can provide achievable automation benefits even for the most established manufacturing centers.

What is the Best Approach to Fill the Automation Gap?

System integration is ultimately the most sensible way for plants to pursue automation. We say this for a few reasons. First, through integration, you can effectively bridge old and new equipment, meaning companies don’t necessarily have to invest in all new material handling equipment in order to reap the rewards of automation. And there are other benefits, too.  System integration allows companies to maximize the space inside their existing structure while also protecting the integrity of the end product.

But perhaps it is important for us to back up and define our terms: When we talk about system integration, what are we talking about, exactly? Consider that, at Gough Econ, we sell some of the world’s most acclaimed bulk material handling technologies, but that’s not all we do. Our real forte is designing robust system solutions wherein all these technologies are made to work in tandem, harmonized to get the best results possible. That’s really what integration is all about, ensuring that all your equipment, both old and new, is working together as efficiently and as productively as possible.

One of the virtues of this approach is that it allows Gough Econ’s engineers to design a system that is tailored to the client’s needs. We can ensure that the integrated system we design on a client’s behalf addresses all their pain points and helps them meet their production goals, including full automation. For this reason, the solutions we offer to one client may look very different from the solutions we offer the next client.

Something else that’s important to note is that automation isn’t always about adding steps or increasing complexity. In fact, it’s often about eliminating steps from the process. Again, the integrated systems approach makes sense here. Rather than just selling you a product or piece of equipment, our engineers will look at your current system, analyze the integrity of your product and determine how best to tweak and amend it, sometimes simplifying it considerably.

It is also important for us to emphasize our aversion to the one-size-fits-all mentality. Some of our clients haven’t automated anything at all, while others come to us having already automated certain parts of their process, but maybe they are seeking opportunities to automate further, to increase the efficiency with which they manufacture. That’s certainly something Gough Econ can help with.

Indeed, the engineers at Gough Econ are able to formulate solutions based on little more than the client’s stated goals. So often, we have clients come to us with nothing more than a problem that needs to be solved, or a process they’d like to automate. They don’t have any idea how to achieve those goals, and frankly don’t need to. That’s where our engineers come in.

In short, the integrated approach to manufacturing provides a natural way to advance automation. We believe that integrated systems represent the most sensible path toward a fully automated, thoroughly modern plant.

What is the Importance of Automation in Industries?

Now, it’s important to note that when we talk about automation, we’re talking about ways to make manufacturing processes more efficient, and to minimize the need for human input. That’s the basic definition of industrial automation. You’ll notice that we didn’t say anything about the use of robotics; while that can certainly play a role in factory automation, it’s not something that’s always necessary, and not a part of the system solutions offered at Gough Econ.

However, should you wish to pursue automation, though, there are a number of benefits you might achieve. Some of the main advantages we can offer through our integrated systems include:

  • We can help maximize floor space by designing integrated systems around existing equipment, sometimes even eliminating present equipment, helping reduce the overall footprint.
  • We can ensure that your standards of quality, product integrity and precision are upheld, even as we boost your output and efficiency.
  • We can provide technically advanced, customized solutions that come with control system integration, including stand-alone machine controls as well as full multi-controller networks.
  • We can help you expand your profit margins, helping you improve the bottom line by doing more with less.
  • Along the same lines, our approach to automation can empower you to boost customer satisfaction, meeting or exceeding all your customers’ goals and objectives.
  • Finally, the automation process can also help bolster employee safety, a necessary consideration as you deal with regulatory compliance issues, such as OSHA.

These are just a few of the ways in which automation can make your manufacturing center into a profit center, and that’s true no matter the manufacturing industry you’re involved with.

System Integration Solutions from Gough Econ

If you’re ready to pursue some of the benefits of automation, the first step is simply reaching out to the engineering team at Gough Econ. Our engineers are leaders in system integration, particularly within the field of bulk material handling. We specialize in tailoring systems to meet the needs of our clients, and we can develop solutions that incorporate existing or brand-new equipment, while protecting and improving the integrity of your end product.

An integrated system can provide you with a smart path toward plant automation. Learn more by contacting the engineers at Gough Econ today.

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