4 Industry Experts with Automation Insights for Manufacturers
October 7, 2021
IndustriGen kicked off its Automation Programme on September 30th
- 4 industry and academic experts shared best practices for affordable automation in manufacturing to an audience of 50 selected SMEs;
- The event was followed by 1 on 1 advisory sessions;
- Two more events are around the corner in October and November
50 UK small and medium-sized manufacturers received a tailored automation overview from industry experts, as part of IndustriGen’s Manufacturing Automation Programme.
On September 30, the programme kicked off with insightful talks on Affordable Automation, featuring:
- Prof. Phil Webb, an Airbus Professor at the Royal Academy of Engineering (Play his video here)
- Prof. Robert Richardson from the University of Leeds (Play his video here)
- Todor Gigilev, Dreamix CEO and Founder/Co-Founder of IndustriGen (Play her video here)
- Prof. Samia Nefti-Meziani, Founder of the Centre for Autonomous Systems and Advanced Robotics (Play her video here).
According to Prof. Meziani, affordable solutions are inevitable when it comes to SMEs as they have to be “low-cost, effective, and robust” (Play her video here). Based on her hands-on experience with larger manufacturers, she thinks that they invest more in automation as their processes and goods don’t change that much compared to SMEs. However, by adapting their existing frameworks to current pain points and bottlenecks, SMEs can also benefit from affordable automation. Adopting digital solutions is one unexplored but very promising area for such manufacturers.
All of the speakers gave practical industry examples of automation adoption in small and medium-sized manufacturers. One of the most insightful notions was that automation, contrary to popular beliefs, is not about removing people. Instead, it is much more about maximising the impact of people working in the organisation and providing them with the chance to engage in more creative and complex tasks than before.
Prof. Phil Webb, who is an Airbus professor, noted that we should not be afraid not to automate, but also when we automate, some unexpected benefits may occur. Like his digitised process, which allowed Airbus to reduce flight test costs for 5 years now. Prof. Webb shared that this was not the initial business case, but it has probably saved more money than planned. (Play his video here).
Prof. Rob Richardson proposed a bottom-up thought journey for SME manufacturers. He suggested that one of the most empowering things manufacturers can do before adopting automation is to ask the right questions. What is the single most important process that needs automation and how it relates to the whole manufacturing process? What is the most simple automation tool that would help me solve this particular problem now?
Todor Gigilev, founder of IndustriGen shared how his company managed to save 50,000$ through automation and timely monitoring. Just with a proper outage monitoring integration, a factory could reduce the stoppage time by a whole day. He also considers capturing data as a good first step towards adopting automation: it’s easy and only requires a small initial investment.
The next event on October 28, 5 PM (BST) will dive deep into Building Intelligent Solutions for Manufacturing, and will feature Georgi Yordanov, Operations Manager at SAPRO and Hristo Tomov, IndustriGen’s CTO.
Meanwhile, you can also book your 1 on 1 advisory session on manufacturing automation here.
IndustriGen is home to some of the most talented Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning experts in the UK. It is experienced in helping international manufacturers embrace Industry 4.0 solutions and reduce their operational cost. The Manufacturing Automation Programme is still open for registration and will continue until the end of November.