A recent study on the impact of automation on production costs revealed that automating processes can save companies six weeks’ worth of work hours a year. A rough calculation of labor savings in a Fortune 500 company also pegs the estimated operational savings to over $4 million a year.
You don’t need to be a Fortune 500 company to benefit from automation. Even if you are a small-scale food production company, it’s still worth investing in automation machinery like a table top piston depositor instead of hiring more people when demand for your product rises.
But when is the best time to start automation? Below are four signs that will tell you it is time to transform your production:
Your profit margins are shrinking.
There are two ways to look at small profit margins. One, your labor and operational costs are too big, and that is what’s driving your net profits down. Two, you’re not earning as much as you should. This can involve many factors, like marketing issues, distribution issues with retailers, niche target markets, and product quality; but for the sake of keeping the discussion focused on production, let’s consider inconsistent and low product quality as a cause for low sales.
Automation can reduce bloated operational costs and make product quality more consistent at the level that appeals to your target market. Volumetric Technologies’ piston filling machines can demonstrate these perfectly. When integrated into a production line for beverages, for example, our technology can speed up the bottling procedure and pump the correct volume of the drink in each and every bottle.
You need to cut your labor costs.
Human workers are more expensive than automation in the long run. Besides wages, workers need insurance, benefits, leave with pay, and so forth. Automation, on the other hand, is cheaper to maintain. You don’t even have to foot the entire cost of the equipment you need. You can lease the machinery or apply for financing.
Workforce costs are long-term. The sooner you can automate, the faster your labor costs will go down.
There’s too much product waste during production and packaging.
When food, beverages, cosmetics, paint, and other consumer goods go into packaging, large quantities of the products often go to waste. Spills, overflows, wrong timing in dispensing liquid product into a container — these inaccuracies waste small amounts of the product at a time. If they happen too often, however, the accumulated waste could be several units worth that you can never sell.
Consider a piston filler equipped with the correct dispensing nozzles we use at Volumetric Technologies as an example. The filler dispenses an accurate amount of product, while the dispensing nozzle ensures a clean shut-off of product flow every time. This accurate and drip-free dispensing system allows you to minimize wasted product during the filling process.
You need to increase your production rate.
It is easier to scale down or scale up on production when your processes are mostly automated. If you get human workers to work double-time or overtime to meet the high demand for your products, your net revenues might be lower than expected because you’ll have to pay more wages. If production is automated, however, you can increase your output rate with only a minimal increase in operational cost (e.g., higher energy consumption from working your machines for an extra hour or more each day).
Contact Volumetric Technologies when you’re ready to automate your production.