Automation, it seems that word causes many to shudder when spoken. Much of that tends to come from bad information or bad experiences. The video below is what pops in my head when people hear automation and react.
So what are some of the things that people just know to be true?
They are not for finishing applications:
This could not be further from the truth. From simple weld removal to high detail polishing on hip replacement parts all manner of finishing is done everyday. This just plain and simple is not true at all.
They are too complicated:
Also not true with a but, You have to work with the right people. Good training on automation designed to do what you need can be a huge leap forward. People that know how to use a basic computer or even younger folks familiar with a video game controller can do great. Its not that its hard its that you need trained. The first time any of us drove a car it was nerve racking. Once we understood what to do it became simple and this is pretty much the same with automation.,
What you get with the wrong people for help or training...
Then comes the bad experiences. These can be true 100% or blown out of proportion and it just depends. Second hand stories or things on the internet should always be taken with a grain of salt. But bad things do happen to good people all the time. These come back to a combination of factors in general and are often predictable.
Unreasonable expectations: We would all sit and laugh at some one who wants to buy a Lamborghini for $100 bucks and it be perfect. Can you even get a Lamborghini for $100? Either way the expectation is not in line with what the outcome will be. You need to be prepared for what the actual end result needs to be.
Working with bad advice or the wrong people: You need guidance and not a bunch of BS. If someone tells you it can do a long list of things its not wrong for you to expect that. If they do not deliver you will have a bad experience of course. This takes what you expected to receive and tosses it out the window. This is a failure of the people you worked with not a failure of automation.
I bought a turn key system: It seems like a turn key setup would be the easy answer. The reality is these often go sideways and lead to bad experiences. If you are hands off on the design, install, programming and other topics and you leave it to a vendor you end up worse off. If the vendor has to be responsible for programming as an example, they are going to limit what you can change to protect themselves. Then when your part changes what do you do? You have to call them back in and pay for the programs to be changed. What if you need to add a new part? Same problem as you are not able to do it yourself. Having a system you are properly equipped and trained to get the maximum from is a far better place to be. Being involved in every step lets you insure you are getting what you need and have a complete understanding of what it can and can not do. This lets you make changes or additions all along the entire process.
Work with the right people and be involved are the two best bits of advice. 50 years of automation experience did not come easy. It takes hard work and the willingness to take a few chances. But after the many years of hard work that experience is invaluable. If you have a need for automation please contact us for your finishing needs.