Redeployability: The Secret to Adapting in Manufacturing Automation

Mar 3rd, 2021 / Rebecca Petricevic

When your product changes, can your foundational conveyance system change with it?

While many industries have suffered over the past year, manufacturing and customer demands for manufacturers have been growing and we have been forced to adapt and redeploy quickly. Not a bad challenge to have these days but it can be difficult to scale production as quickly. Our customers are asking more from us with the technology we currently have.

At SuperTrak™ a lot of our conversations with our clients these days have been around figuring out a sustainable approach for their manufacturing applications as they continue to grow and adapt. If you are in automation manufacturing and aren’t considering the redeployability of the technology, then you are leaving revenue on the table.

As Josh Leath noted, “increased product individualization, shorter product life cycles and various market demands [will] continue to cause production inefficiencies” (Industrial Machinery Digest, August 1, 2018) and calls for us to be creative in finding new opportunities through redeployment. We have only seen those trends accelerate and while Leath frames “redeployment” mostly in terms of a human workforce, he makes a great observation about the challenges we face that redeployment can address.

Redeployability is the secret to adapting, and ultimately thriving, in automation manufacturing.

We need to re-examine what we have already and find new, innovative ways to use those assets to their full capacity. Redeployment isn’t just for HR considering how best to use their human workforce, it also applies to reimaging and reusing the other major asset in any manufacturing company: the technology. Robots can be reprogrammed, and conveyance platforms can be reconfigured to suit new and growing needs.

We as an industry have an interesting challenge ahead of us that will inform how our businesses move forward. Customer demands are changing and increasing. We are being asked to produce more, faster, and more efficiently. If your customers are asking for more individualization, can your conveyance platform expand or contract to meet your application needs?

One big way we can ensure we’re maximizing OEE while meeting these changing demands is by investing in a conveyance platform that gives you options. As your application needs to change, so should your conveyance. Conveyance platforms act as the foundation for your entire operation and often determine how you can or cannot adapt and redeploy.

If you think your conveyance platform may be gating your growth right now, check out this webinar held by our General Manager, Simon Drexler:

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