Updated: Aug 14
Bluestreak Reading Time: 3 minutes
When it comes to automation in manufacturing, the word “automation” typically has a negative connotation for many workers, conjuring up images of robots and computers swooping in to take their jobs or greatly reducing their earning capacity. But automation is not new. Manufacturers have been automating human tasks in their factories since the early 1900s, when Henry Ford built a mechanized belt in his factory in Detroit.
There’s no denying the validity of those workers’ feelings, but the best manufacturing companies find a way to make automation a good thing. Automation has drastically transformed the way that manufacturing gets done, but it’s not always for the worst, especially for smaller manufacturing operations. Automation can even be freeing for workers, allowing them to focus on the parts of their job that they are most passionate about.
Automation has revolutionized automotive, aviation, and electronics manufacturing, allowing high-tech products to be finished at a fraction of the cost. The technology is only going to get better, allowing the quality of the products we use to continue improving exponentially, without seeing a similar spike in price.
For smaller manufacturing shops, automation can actually be a boon for human productivity—and not just helpful for the bottom line by eliminating workers. Implementing automation frees up valuable time and resources to focus on more important tasks. Automation in manufacturing on the business operations side takes away repetitive tasks like scheduling and quality control, leading to an optimized production floor with less wasted time and a higher profit margin. It’s unlikely that full-blown automation run by artificial intelligence will reach smaller manufacturers when the technology first becomes available. These companies will have to focus their energies on navigating the edges of the automating world, but any company can harness the power of automation through the use of cutting-edge software platforms that can manage the shop floor.
Automation in manufacturing improves production floor productivity and increases company profits, but it’s important to remember that those gains don’t just have to come by trimming the workforce. The use of the right manufacturing software to automate away certain tasks can allow smaller manufacturers to get a leg up without the dreaded layoffs. This is where Bluestreak comes in for smaller players in the Additive Manufacturing sector. The cloud-based software platform is designed entirely to make life easier for up-and-coming companies in this challenging space.
Automation can be implemented using Bluestreak’s software, which is geared specifically for service-based manufacturers. You won’t have to break the bank pouring thousands of dollars into an overhauled production floor with upgraded machinery. The kind of automation that Bluestreak helps bring to a production environment is specifically important for improving quality control by removing the human error that can lead to low-quality products or excess time spent doing too much quality control. Bluestreak allows for job-specific quality control and specifications management that takes the guesswork out of producing a consistent, quality product that meets the client’s exact specifications.
With Bluestreak’s platform, manufacturers can develop advanced quality control of every facet of their operation. The software’s advanced control plans allow for the creation of part-specific plans for every part of a work order. It can be easily modified to manage different part numbers on the same work order that may be manufactured using a similar process but have different final characteristics. The integrated quality management system is packed with features, including advanced specifications management, preventative maintenance and scheduling, labor tracking, production floor monitoring, and data collection. Finally, Bluestreak users can automatically set their sampling plans. No more questioning whether you’re taking enough samples per batch—it’s all right there in the software and can’t be ignored. Human error is removed from the quality control process, which leads to better, more thorough quality control and assurance in the long run. Data is everything for a modern manufacturing business, and Bluestreak excels on that front, automating data collection and presenting it in a clear, concise, and actionable format that gives managers constant feedback on the status of their operations.
For manufacturers looking to ride the automation wave but unable to go all in, implementing a software platform like Bluestreak can remove the potential for human error from many of the day-to-day operations tasks like scheduling and quality control. Software isn’t as thrilling as having dozens of AI-powered robots zipping around the shop floor, but it’s still exciting seeing its impact on the bottom line and your company’s reputation for delivering a quality product on time for every order. Count on Bluestreak to make this happen for your company.
Bluestreak’s MES + QMS solution helps service-based manufacturers increase production floor productivity and increase their profits.
If you’re ready to leave manual, time-consuming service-based manufacturing tasks in the past, drastically reduce your scrap and rework percentage, gain visibility of your production floor processes, and build better relationships with your customers, contact us for a free consultation today!