We’re well into peak event season here at Automata HQ. Already this month the team has been out representing at PPMA (the Processing and Packaging Machinery Association’s annual event), the FT’s Future of Manufacturing Summit and the Engineering Design Show.
Despite each of the industry events we attend being quite different in nature, one of the most important factors in us deciding to invest in an event is whether or not it’s going to provide us with an opportunity to learn. We work in an industry that’s evolving faster than ever before and there’s always more to learn from our customers, partners and the wider ecosystem. As relative newcomers in the world of industrial automation and if we’re going to succeed in our mission to democratise robotics we can’t afford to rest on our laurels.
So what are the big themes and trends that have been coming up in conversation whilst out on the road so far this month?
2019 has already been a big year for Automata. We’ve achieved many significant landmark moments from technical, commercial and manufacturing perspectives, and now to add to that we’ve hit another big moment - winning our first awards.
We’re delighted to have won not one, but two accolades at the British Engineering Excellence Awards, taking home the top prize in both the Startup of the Year category and the overall Grand Prix prize.
Eva can be programmed to integrate with a multitude of other systems, including a Cognex smart camera.
Small and medium manufacturers, particularly in the UK and Europe, thrive on low volume, high mix production, which provides them with opportunities for flexibility and versatility. But it also comes with a lot of challenges. At Automata, our mission is to democratise robotics for everyone and as part of that, we have been conducting research with our customers to try and understand their pains and challenges. The most common themes that emerged were:
- The need to lower the cost of production to main profitability.
- Fluctuations in demand across the year that cannot be predicted.
- Spikes in customer orders, often with short turnaround times, preventing manufacturers from operating at full capacity.
- Shifts in the workforce, often coupled with the need to bring on and train temporary staff.
- Ensuring consistent repeatability in testing.
- Concerns for staff welfare, who may become bored of performing the same menial tasks.
Do any of these challenges match what you’re seeing in your organisation? Then read on...