Every massive manufacturing industry attributes its success and boom to developments in Industrial Automation. At one stop large enterprises are exploring, investigating and enforcing advantages from innovative automation solutions, then again, SMEs (Small & Medium Enterprises) are suffering to seize up with business automation.
SMEs are facing identical challenges in each Manufacturing industry with growing labor costs, raw material costs, high-quality standards, shortage of skilled resources. While huge businesses are leveraging commercial automation to maintain their enterprise supremacy, SMEs are lagging within the automation race as a consequence negatively impacting their profitability and growth.
SMEs may be broadly categorized as OEMs and Suppliers. OEMs are more worried in cease-to-give up operations concerning R&D, Product & Process management, whereas Suppliers are pushed by consumer method and extra focused on the Production system.
In emerging countries like India, SMEs are the backbone of the manufacturing sector positively impacting the activity marketplace, entrepreneurship, and GDP Contribution. In India, SMEs represent around 90% organizations contributing around 45% of GDP. And all of this is executed with least or no automation in SMEs.
Some of the main demanding situations hindering SME Automation are:
- Infrastructure – Automation is a Productive and Profitable handiest if the infrastructure is reliable. Automation needs a totally sturdy infrastructure – non-stop strength delivers, skilled useful resource availability, quick maintenance service providers and many more. Imagine a state of affairs in which we automate the entire system and do no longer have sufficient strength deliver to run the machines, or the non-availability of professional resources to perform and maintain the machinery, and plenty of greater infrastructure gaps in developing international locations with a purpose to negatively achieve automation in SMEs.
- Funding & Investment – Any automation – Hardware & Software – need a large in advance investment. With cut-throat opposition and consistent rate discount, negatively impacting income margins, making it very hard for SMEs to take the route of automation. Even acquiring finance from banks and other financial establishments may be very cumbersome, time-consuming and with high-interest prices making it a non-feasible alternative.
- Implementation Associates – SMEs who’s taking the bounce into automation are finding it very hard to find proper automation solutions and best implementation associates who can handhold and be part of the SME automation journey. Currently, the services are more often than not catering to the desires of massive companies with very much less attention to SMEs. Mostly the solutions provided to SMEs have removed down variations of the solution provided to massive firms, which might not match to SME desires and purposes.
The way ahead for SMEs to combine with automation industries
Though SME automation in India is in its origin, slowly but really SMEs is creating a path into automation. When playing with the large business enterprise, SMEs is delaying inside the automation race. Large corporations have the luxury of deep wallet to gather expertise, infrastructure, sources, and solutions to discover the latest innovations and hold the lead in the automation race. Even although SMEs also faces the same challenges as big businesses like increasing high-quality standards, reducing charges and enhancing on shipping instances, but SMEs do now not have the identical luxury of deep wallet and get admission to answers as huge corporations.
To perform on par with big firms and to be in the industrial automation race, SMEs need to take a cautious method and leverage the industry learnings, especially from massive organizations and leapfrog in enforcing SME automation solutions.
Here is the excessive-level approach or roadmap to optimize the SME Automation implementation:
Business Process Analysis – If an organization is making plans to automate the process, it’s far obligatory that the top control has to definitely outline goals and implementation timelines. These targets should be described by using conducting a detailed Business Process Analysis (BPA) concerning all of the departments influenced by the brand new automation method.
Based on the information from BPA, an internal middle institution with an assist from outside expert representative need to perform gap analysis and discover the automation solutions to fill in gaps and improve potency and profitability.
Once the automation solutions are diagnosed, complete result oriented feasibility evaluation, cost-advantage analysis, perceive capital expenditure and Operating Expenditure and decide on the commercial viability of the automation solution. Only if top management is convinced on Return on Investments (RoI) together with fulfilling the automation, mission, goals, is it desirable to initiate the automation mission.
Low-cost Automation – As addressed above to get finance can be a massive venture for SMEs, to counter this challenge, a revolutionary method of Low-Cost automation (LCA) may be very useful. Some of the simple strategies to perform Low-Cost automation are procure reused Robots, automate simplest complicated and critical tactics, awareness on automating existing machines, processes, tools, people and so on., and are always being revolutionary in decreasing expenses and increasing automation.
A few tips for a successful implementation of the project are:
- Constantly begin with a Pilot venture
- Operate jointly with the Implementation Associate company
- Core unit should have Middle Management and operation users
- Continually go for multi-phase project implementation, and
- Never go for a Big Bang implementation.
Benefits of SME Automation
Automation has determined many long-pending demand situations in every manufacturing enterprise and we’re looking ahead for lots of extra innovative automation solutions.
Some of the major advantages of SME Automation are:
- Increased Productivity and Profitability – Direct effect of any automation project is to have a tremendous effect on increasing productivity and translating into improved profit margins.
- Human Resources – Recognition of untrained human sources has been always crucial trouble in the SME sector. The central goal of any automation project is to automate every monotonous and unskilled mission. Thus, it enables the decrease of human resource reliability.
- Create Better Jobs – It is genuine that that automation consequence in layoffs and process cuts, but the distinct angle is automation leads to new and higher jobs ensuing in increasing skills with better payouts.
- Market Expansion – Expanded automation consequences in increased productivity as a result offering a possibility for top management to extend in existing enterprise operations or explore into new markets.
- Extension of Product Compatibility and High Quality – Any monotonous process that is computerized with robots or automatic machines and equipment will deliver product consistency, resulting in an awesome product output repeatedly.
Automation is the necessity of the hour for the SME sector to hold their market percentage. Unless SME Sector takes a bounce into automation and delivers high-quality merchandise at less price, there’s the minimum danger for current SMEs to grow. So, for the expansion of SME organizations and preserve their role as the main process market and as a spine of manufacturing, each SME has to know their initial step towards automation.