Custom Automation Machinery 101

Custom Automation Machinery 101

Custom automation machinery is a manufacturing solution that many growing companies turn to increase safety, quality, productivity, and/or ergonomics. There are many reasons manufacturers tend to choose custom automation machinery over commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) machinery. While COTS may seem to save manufacturers more money upfront, there are times in a product’s growth cycle when the sheer product volume makes fully customized automation pay. Please keep reading to learn more about custom automation machinery and why it’s the perfect choice for premier manufacturers.

What Is Custom Automation Machinery?

Custom automation machinery is machinery that has been designed specifically for one application to produce a specific product or component. This type of machinery streamlines industrial processes and maximizes production efficiencies. It expands and enhances a company’s manufacturing capabilities, making them partially or entirely automated, and ensures that each manufacturing function is designed to meet the user’s exact needs.

There are two different types of custom automation machinery:

  1. Full-automated solutions- the machinery feeds parts in and out of the manufacturing process automatically. There are no manual steps.
  2. Semi-automated solutions- human operators manually load and unload parts from the machine, and the operator activates the processes manually. This type of solution may include minimal to extensive intervention.

When companies decide to invest in custom automation machinery, they often invest in semi-automated solutions first because it allows companies to stagger their investment as they work towards mastering their fully automated custom solution. Savvy machine builders know to create the best automation solutions with an eye toward future expansion.

Why Are Manufacturers Turning Towards Custom Automation Machinery?

There are several reasons why manufacturers decide to go with custom automation machinery. With continuing advancements in technology, custom automation machinery allows companies to stay competitive by filling low-paying, monotonous, and sometimes dangerous jobs. This substitution will often enable employers to elevate their best workers into higher-paying, more competitive positions and will at the same time improve their overall. However, that’s only one of many benefits of custom automation machinery.

Custom Automation Machinery Benefits

One benefit of custom automation machinery is the increased output and uptime. Automated machinery does this by reducing points of failure and allowing the production process to function with fewer operators on the factory floor.   In this way, the risk of downtime due to absenteeism is also reduced. Additionally, fully automated systems cut hiring and training costs and reduce the risk of operator error.

Custom automation machinery also promotes high reliability and quality. Not only do the machines have the capability to complete more work in less time, but they also ensure that quality standards are consistently met.

These machines also offer greater efficiency and production volume versatility. Machines are excellent multitaskers. This means they can focus on multiple aspects of production all at the same time. Custom automation machinery is also very scalable. Once designed and implemented for a particular process, it is possible to replicate that machine quickly to scale production up even further as volume demands increase. 

Automated machinery also cuts back on costs. While it’s true they may be an expensive prospect when your company first invests in them, custom automated machinery can be customized so precisely that the product can be produced for significantly less money after automation is implemented. A properly designed custom automation solution will meet specific product requirements that are laser-focused on a particular need.

We also want to focus on how automated machines keep workers safe.   Machines do take the place of workers, but this can be a good thing. Many jobs are repetitive, strenuous, or downright dangerous. Automation machinery can take over the tiring, mind-numbing work and keep humans out of harm’s way. This allows people to focus on value-added tasks and other responsibilities that a machine can’t manage.

Work With Custom Technologies

At Custom Technologies, we have been designing and building custom automation machinery and turnkey automation solutions for 25 years. This experience allows us to be the successful turnkey manufacturers we are today. We start with a ‘blank sheet of paper’ approach and design each custom solution one application at a time. The process is done in-house with machined components, electrical systems, pneumatics, hydraulics, and the custom-programmed PLC control system. Everything is designed and built by our hands-on local team here in the heartland of the USA.