Affordable custom automation options are ushering in a new era of productivity on the manufacturing shop floor.

Across the sector, manufacturers are driving leaner operations and efficiency improvements.

Automation is changing processes at every stage of manufacturing: from straightforward pallet wrapper applications, to complex distribution systems. The industry has seen an era of change in recent years, with the introduction of automation applications that integrate seamlessly into existing enterprise software solutions. Manufacturers are able to acquire and create customised programmes, enabling faster, easier and more accurate production.

Prioritising your automation programme

New automation programmes put a multitude of productivity gains on the table.

The possibilities are endless.

So where should you focus your attention?

Automation projects typically come from one of two places:

  • Workforce – Employees on the shopfloor are a hardworking and creative bunch – and they know your operation inside and out. Automation programmes might begin with internal players identifying areas for improvement.
  • Customers – Valued customers (or even prospects) may come to you with a new requirement or challenge that necessitates the need for an automation programme.

Where to get started with automation

The possibilities with automation are endless – but once you have identified an automation project, there are typically two ways to get the project started.

Each of these options has its merits – both are viable and realistic choices.

The reason for choosing one automation method over another will differ between manufacturers. Your choice will depend on the unique skillset of your organisation – and the willingness of your ERP vendor.

Work directly with your ERP vendor

Manufacturers may want to collaborate with their existing ERP provider, working as a team to solve an automation challenge.

Using your software company as your development company removes the risk of customisation issues and interface disparities between third-party add-ons.

Everything is interconnected – from the shop floor PLCs that send and receive data, to the process monitoring module, to the actual costing tools – and works seamlessly together.

Working directly with DELMIAWORKS (formerly IQMS) on an automation project begins with a development request.

Develop it on your own

Not every business wants to enlist the services of their ERP vendor, preferring instead to develop automation programmes in-house.

With a talented in-house team, who know the intricacies of your specific business process, developing your own programmes may be the most cost-effective solution.

Particularly for automation projects which, at first glance, seem small in scope, but which actually increase efficiency and improve accuracy by making the daily work on the manufacturing shop floor easier.

For those customers, DELMIAWORKS offers a special development kit to create custom applications. By maintaining the compatibility of the WebAPI Software Development Kit (and releasing a corresponding version with each release of the software) DELMIAWORKS effectively future-proofs your custom development.

Customised innovation: finding the tools to automate

The future of the manufacturing industry undoubtedly lies in custom automation. Finding the right tools to develop an automation programme – and get it up and running within your organisation – can be easier said than done.

Download this whitepaper from DELMIAWORKS to get a better understanding of your options for customised innovation, and to read automation success stories from manufacturers facing similar challenges.



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