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May 2023 - Advances in Process Automation

How Automation Technology is Transforming the Industry

AOperator wearing PPE observing process metrics on computer monitorutomation Technology is already helping manufacturers overcome many of the issues they face on a daily basis and will only become more prevalent in the future. As technology becomes more and more accessible, automating tasks is becoming a standard practice for many manufacturers.

Automation helps overcome systemic issues that have plagued the industry. According to the December 2022 issue of Commercial Baking, automation is being used to counter workforce shortages that could increase to 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030. It allows businesses to pursue diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives that further increase the size of the potential employee pool.

On the production side, automation can accomplish tasks such as welding, material handling, packaging, dispensing and cutting via automation. Through the use of industrial robots, process software and controls, automated tasks can promote workplace safety and reduce the need for employees to work in potentially dangerous situations. Additionally, automated machines can run unattended all hours of the day or night and work with hazardous materials or in challenging environments. This translates to a more flexible process, higher output and less human error.

At HorizonPSI, we understand the importance of utilizing Automation. By concentrating on process software and controls, we design systems every day that benefit from automated routines. As workforce challenges continue, we encourage our partners to take steps to better monitor individual equipment and processes by installing transmitters instead of gauges to monitor performance and gather data. This data can help avoid unexpected equipment failure or prevent an operator from ignoring an issue. For example, a transmitter on a pressure blower can relay data to the controls software related to performance and maintenance. Companies can log those service hours to determine when to anticipate and schedule necessary maintenance. Over time, automation can establish tread lines and performance history to help with in-plant or remote monitoring and production management.

As the manufacturing industry continues to utilize Automation technology to expand production capabilities, companies should assess their own processes to see how to apply it in their facilities. Times are changing in every aspect of the world, especially in this sector, so it is crucial that manufacturers determine their need for automation before they find themselves in the middle of a labor shortage. At HorizonPSI, we offer our expertise on process automation to manufacturing companies throughout the United States and across the world. To see how we can assist your facility in improving automation, safety, and production performance, contact us today.