Programmable automation allows for machine configurations and operation sequences that can change based on signals sent from electronic controls. With a programmable automation system, products can be produced in batches through the reprogramming of machine operations and sequences. The products created in this process typically are batch quantities, and these batches can be as low as just a few dozen products and as high as thousands of units produced at a time.
Whenever a new product batch is required, the programmable automation equipment can be changed and reprogrammed to handle the new and different product types. The automated production line process cannot continue while the reprogramming and changeover processes are occurring. After these changes, the production of a new type of batch runs.
As these factory automation processes are not changed often, programmable automation systems are usually less expensive than fixed system automation to operate over time. However, production rates are lower for programmable automation than for fixed automation due to the equipment’s changeover-optimized design, as opposed to being designed to work best for product specialization. Programmable automation systems are best used in settings with medium-to-high production level requirements and low product variety.
Contact Midwest Engineered Systems to learn how we can analyze your current production systems and develop an automation system that increases productivity and efficiency that includes robotic integration or legacy manufacturing machines!