Clients And Workers Benefit From Industrial Automation And Augmentation
Industrial automation is a concept that has been around for decades. It’s not something that artificial intelligence brought about, it’s a revolution ignited by steam engines and catapulted forward by silicon chips. Today, automation stands on the shoulders of hardware and software robots – and signifies significant benefits for clients and workers.
Advantage Engineering has been investing in acquiring automation capabilities for nearly two decades now. According to the company’s president Steve Hengsperger, the intent is to augment the workers, not replace them.
“There’s no denying that labor is in short supply. That’s just the reality – in Canada as well as across the border in America.”
The company prides itself on meeting deadlines mutually agreed upon with clients when taking on manufacturing jobs. Internal processes, aided by intelligent software and computer-based tools, help ensure that managers on the floor know exactly what to do and that workers always have the right guidance about which job or task to deal with during the day. The organization is one unit, a well-oiled machine rolling out one batch of high-quality parts after another, delighting customers with every shipment.
“We have 220,000+ sq. ft of facilities spread between two units. We have a certain number of machines and a certain number of workers. Like anyone else, we’re always trying to win new business and grow – but the lack of labor is a major limiting factor. That’s where automation helps us.”
According to Steve, workers at Advantage Engineering aren’t intimated by automation; the team welcomes it because they see it as a way to augment their own skills and maximize the output of the organization as a whole.
The company doesn’t let go of workers as a result of automation. Far from it. Advantage Engineering rewards loyalty and constantly makes effort to cross-train its workers so that they’re able to take on new roles if other division of the shop floor are busy and need the extra help. Additional training is also provided to help them use the various automations deployed so they can do their job better, faster, more efficiently and safely – and perhaps without any monotony.
Automation – and augmentation – also helps clients of the company.
Advantage Engineering prides itself on being one of the few suppliers in the manufacturing space recognized for repeatedly delivering on-time and on-budget.
With automation, workers can complete jobs on time. Further, it makes it possible for workers to apply themselves to the various jobs and allows them to identify opportunities for improvements, savings, and more.
In the manufacturing space, delivering on time makes a big difference. Clients always remember companies that stick to the commitments they make as well as those that don’t. Delays in receiving parts especially for prototypes or in readying bridge tools, after all, can push a client’s project back and cause them hiccups.
Currently, the company is set to welcome a new robot at one of its facilities soon. According to Advantage Engineering’s Human Resources Manager Natalie Skiba, “we’re on the cusp of a new era and automation gives our workers an opportunity to stay ahead of disruptions in the economy. It’s a chance for them to upgrade their skills and continue to be relevant.”
Given the labor shortage in the market, Advantage Engineering’s adoption of automation – and culture – put it in a unique position to keep delivering on its customer’s expectations. It’s the yardstick the company measures its success by.