Factory automation is an application of Industrial IoT (IIoT) that uses IoT-enabled sensors and robotics to automate manufacturing processes, monitor equipment performance, ensure product quality, and increase on-site safety for employees.
Factory automation saves manufacturing companies money by reducing the human labor required to identify process inefficiencies, ensure product quality, and ensure the adherence to safety protocols on-site. The use of advanced robotics, like those that autonomously assemble products, have shown to reduce conversion costs for factories by 15 percent.
Sensors in factory equipment monitor the performance of machines, including their overall efficiency and output. If unexpected changes occur, the system can alert staff before issues cause unscheduled maintenance or emergency situations. Besides immediate issues, these monitoring systems allow managers to track the efficiency of the automated process on the whole and better manage maintenance schedules.
Factory automation has positive effects on employees as well. Automating repetitive tasks also helps prevent employee fatigue, increasing employee satisfaction, and reducing the number of on-site accidents or injuries.