Manufacturing automation is increasingly critical for companies to stay competitive in a changing market. Automation uses technology to perform tasks automatically, rather than using direct human labor. With automation, manufacturers increase production speed and efficiency while reducing the potential for human error and injury.
Fixed automation, or hard automation, is one of the most popular types of automation. Its repeatability and efficiency make it well suited for a variety of applications from assembly lines to chemical processing.
What Is Fixed Automation, and What Are Its Features?
To understand whether fixed automation is best for your application, it is important to know what fixed automation is, and what its features are. Fixed automation refers to an automated manufacturing system in which equipment programmed specifically for one purpose handles each production and assembly operation. Unlike programmable automation, manufacturers set the equipment for fixed automation to perform only one task repeatedly. The goal of fixed automation is to create a sequence of automated processes that, when fully integrated, will produce a particular product or complete a specific task from start to finish.
Fixed automation requires a high initial investment but pays for itself over time with higher production speeds and volumes than other methods. It is ideal for manufacturers who continuously fabricate a high volume of the same product using a variety of different manufacturing operations. Fixed automation integrates all of the manufacturing processes into one streamlined unit. This reduces time, energy, and labor costs while ensuring product quality.
Examples of Fixed Automation in Manufacturing
Manufacturers use fixed automation in a wide range of operations, including:
- Automotive applications
- Chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing
- Conveyors and material handling equipment
- Assembly operations
- Transfer machining
- Automated painting, coating, and finishing
- Converting, packaging, and web handling
Benefits of Fixed Automation
After the initial investment, fixed automation offsets this with a variety of benefits over more traditional manufacturing methods, particularly for bulk operations such as food production, assembly, and packaging. With fixed automation, manufacturers gain:
- High production volume
- Consistent and repetitive manufacturing quality
- Reduced production costs per unit
Industrial Automation From Captech
Captech Automation, LLC is pleased to offer numerous industrial automation systems to meet the particular needs of a variety of industries and applications. Some of our most popular automation systems include:
Automated Material Handling Systems
Our automated material handling systems leverage the latest automation technology to find, sort, and relocate materials within your facility. An automated material handling system typically consists of mechanical and identification components. Mechanical components include physical material handling equipment like conveyors, bins, trolleys, and automated guided vehicles (AGVs). Identification components include RFID, barcodes, optical character recognition (OCR), and other tracking and communication systems.
Closure Lining Machines
Captech’s closure lining machines place protective linings on containers for food, beverage, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical products. They are specially designed to quickly and efficiently seal openings with an airtight membrane or foil to ensure safe, fresh products that are free of unwanted contaminants. Our automated closure lining machines apply closure seals consistent with FDA regulations and industry standards.
Cap Orientors and Feeders
Captech offers a range of closure orientation and feed systems for various cap designs and diameters. Our systems range from robotic removal and bulk hopper elevators to bowl cap feeders and proprietary vacuum-belt sorters. We can tailor all of your cap orientors and feeders to meet the particular needs of your operation.
Closure Packing and Stacking
Captech has a variety of packing and stacking solutions, including bulk feeds, layer packing, and log packing. Our automated closure packing and stacking systems feature easy-to-change fixtures to reduce changeover times. Automated conveyors efficiently and accurately position packages for filling, and vacuum arms transfer the product into the packaging.
Vision Inspection Systems
Our vision inspection systems incorporate state-of-the-art camera, video, and lighting technology to measure parts and confirm component positioning. Human operators or AI programs analyze the images to ensure product quality.
Contact the Experts at Captech Today
Captech Automation, LLC is an industry-leading provider of automation technology for our customers in manufacturing and beyond. To learn more about our fixed automation systems and other automated manufacturing solutions, contact us today or request a quote to start your project.