We came, we saw, it was awesome. Encompass Solutions’ participation as exhibitors and speakers at Automate 2019 gave us the perfect vantage point from which to experience the show and deliver an Automate 2019 recap.
Automate 2019 At a Glance
Produced by the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), the show featured more than 500 exhibitors in the massive 160,000-square-feet exhibition space at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. In addition, the show hosted five educational tracks that included practical training in How to Automate, Automation Solutions & Innovation, Collaborative & Mobile Robotics, AI, Digitalization & Smart Manufacturing, Certified Vision Professional (CVP) Basic, Certified Vision Professional (CVP) Advanced, Certified Motion Control Professional (CMCP), and Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Updates. These tracks included content from introductory level to advanced topics for users, students, educators, and operators. While we delivered an introductory seminar on current automation types, robotics in use on the factory floor, and how you can get started implementing in your own facilities, we attended several breakout and advanced sessions. During each of those talks, one theme emerged over and over–ours is the age of automation.
Automation 2019 Key Takeaways
There were too many things we learned at Automate 2019 to list in one post. However, we want to share a few highlights that we think everyone needs to consider moving forward:
- Automation is here and it’s only gaining more momentum as advancements in hardware, software, and utilization become more refined.
- If you are not thinking about leveraging automation and robotics, you are already behind.
- While many are expecting an economic downturn between 2020-2022, now is still the best time to begin investing in these technologies.
- Start small. You don’t have to outfit your entire operation to remain competitive. start with one robot or one instance of automated assembly. build from there.
- Empower your staff and involve them in the transformation that is coming.
- Focused Automation and Robotics specializations for employees will be necessary, as there will be less and less room for unskilled staff in modernized facilities.
- Upskilling current staff will be of greater benefit and lower cost for employers than training and onboarding new staff.
It’s going to be a hard-fought battle to outpace competitors as automation becomes more affordable and more accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises. Start training and experimenting with automation today and you’ll be ready to weather the bout.
ERP At Automate 2019
We spoke with hundreds of users and manufacturers thinking about robotics and automation during the weeklong Automate 2019 event. While the robots and automation enclosures were captivating, to say the least, one thing few seemed to consider during that time was how they were going to connect those robotics and automated systems to the rest of their enterprise. In short, the answer is an ERP solution.
It’s one thing to install a robot on your factory floor to install windshields, make welds, or assemble PCBs. However, what are you doing with that data from your manufacturing processes? Are you even tracking it? By plugging your robotics and automation data into your ERP system, you are getting more detailed accounts of performance, quality, material and time optimization, maintenance cycles, and so much more. Everyone we spoke with, from attendees to exhibitors to organizers, agreed that ERP connectivity is an essential component of automation and robotics on the factory floor. We look forward to carrying those conversations further and urge everyone looking to automate processes or install robots in their facilities to consider the necessity for visibility and connectivity when evaluating such technologies.
About Encompass Solutions
Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm and Epicor Gold Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.