technology

Understanding Henry Ford and Manufacturing at Its Finest

Manufacturing has a lot to thank Mr. Henry Ford. The founder of iconic Ford Motors, a company that still stands today, envisioned a “horseless carriage” for every American family. While we admire his vision, it was his relentless pursuit and ability to innovate that put him to the top.

The words “mass production” and “automation” became a household word in Ford’s manufacturing plant. Experts believe these words traced their roots there. Who can question that? With the ability to produce one car in just over 1.5 hours, Henry Ford’s assembly line production is supreme. It was state-of-the-art in those times.

Well, you may not see Henry Ford these days, but his vision and methodologies are alive and well. For one, the Tesla founder, Elon Musk, long hailed as the modern-day Henry Ford, channeled the man who jumpstarted the automobile industry in America. The electric car founder is obsessed with manufacturing efficiency and vertical supply chains, concepts that preoccupied Mr. Ford in his prime.

Thankfully, automation and the use of technology have become routine for many manufacturers these days. If you’re a small business or are still largely unsure about adopting modern technology into your business processes, fret not. We’re giving you key reasons why you should.

Faster Waste Elimination Process

If you want lesser waste, then automation is the name of the game. You have more chances of human error when you don’t automate. Even better, by programming your equipment properly, you can factor in tolerance limits that minimize failure.

Think about it. You can take the most highly skilled worker in your manufacturing line and compare his work with an automated assembly line machine. You’ll see that not even the best workers can match the ability of automation to work with the most minimal of errors.

When Henry Ford streamlined his processes, what used to take over 12 hours to produce a car now takes but approximately one and a half hours. Take note that automated machines can perform a series of actions at once. So there’s less waste of time or materials.

Improved Accuracy and Streamlined Manufacturing Process

You need to be as dedicated as possible to review your manufacturing processes to see where you can reduce costs and, at the same time, boost productivity. You’d have to check various aspects of your workforce and see how things can be optimized.

But you’ll realize that there are things that automation, even a simple one, can do better. As hard as it is to admit, you might be able to do the job of dozens of employees by using just one machine.

A good example here is the tabletop piston filling machine. It may not smaller than most filling machines, but its ability to do quick, repeatable fills is a lot more accurate than the best hands you can throw on the job. That means you get to streamline your processes relying on a faster and more efficient way to take care of small-batch filling.

Better Control on Costs

Let’s face it. Automation is a glorious opportunity to reach your productivity targets with far lesser people. Plus, there’s less need to deploy materials handling pieces of machinery such as a forklift.

A great way to boost automation is by using collaborative robotics, for instance. That way, you can have human and automated machinery work hand in hand. These robots can give you the productivity you need without shelling so much of your precious dollars.

Let IoT Work Wonders

IoT

The internet of things is a wonderful way to minimize the need to obtain status reports via human means. You can do this by connecting your automated pieces of equipment directly to your online settings. So you can have a bird’s eye view of what’s happening in your manufacturing plant in a jiffy—no need for people to give you status reports. The machines themselves can give you one as they go along.

Maximized Employee Productivity

With automated systems in your manufacturing processes, you can better manage your workforce. You have greater elbow room to allow employee leaves and absences. You can do this with accurate staffing that should work best with the support of skilled temporary workers.

Better Worker Safety

Automation brings about a safer workplace than those without it. Many think of these machines as dangerous. On the contrary, since the responsibilities of workers are limited, their exposure to risks also dips.

This is nowhere as pronounced as in automated warehouses. These places have much lesser cases of injuries compared to warehouses that haven’t automated. That should tell you the merits of automation cannot be ignored. And yes, Mr. Henry Ford should be proud!

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