Automating assembly processes can be done in different ways, and so solutions are implemented depending on desired outcomes. Two major different types of automation are soft and hard assembly. Two factors determine whether hard or soft automation should be used: type of product and volume.
Hard automation is also called fixed automation. This kind of machine is used to create specific products with a set process. The device is used for mass producing parts that have little changeovers or alterations. If you are not mass producing products and you intend to change production, you will want to avoid hard automation. This is because the purchase and running cost are high. The machine is only practical for specific applications. When used correctly, the device produces low unit costs and high production rates.
Soft automation, which is also called flexible automation, is best used when creating a variety of products without losing time while changing over from one style to another. The system is ideal for small batches of a single product. The machine does not lose production time as a result of reprogramming. Soft automation is not cost effective or practical when running large runs of a single product. Unit part costs are higher when compared to hard automation, and soft automation is also slower than hard automation.
Automated assembly systems can be customized to fit specific needs of any company. Speak with professionals about the product you want, so that you can deconstruct the process and build the right machine, whether it is hard or soft.