Whether you’re putting together a full automation production line or a fleet of motorized skateboards, the supply chain is what ultimately makes success happen. And for a supply chain to be successful, it must stand on a firm foundation of expert, professional fulfillment of only the best high-quality products.
The past year and a half of pandemic-induced obstacles and obstructions, including total business and manufacturing failures, cost the world economy an estimated US$8 trillion or more in trade, according to the July, 2021 update of the US Congressional Research Service report. There is good news, however.
Supply chain is a global issue
According to an August, 2021 report by Bank of America, “Thriving in a new manufacturing world,” manufacturing is starting to rise again. And one of the key issues the report encourages manufacturers to heed is that, “Focusing on automation and targeting areas of the economy likely to grow could help companies succeed moving forward.” What this means is, with new and sudden growth coming into the world of manufacturing and distribution, the two fundamentals of a successful supply chain — fast, expert fulfillment and superior parts and products.
Automatic will be standard
With a likely production boom underway and manufacturing coming back online, a major trend is looming on the horizon. Citing a 2020 World Economic Forum report, Forbes noted that “a new generation of smart machines, fueled by rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics” would be filling in for millions of jobs in the immediate, post-pandemic future. That future is now, and it is a sure bet that supply and distribution is going to be critical to meet, and to continue meeting, the high demands of this new trend. Only with correct and on-time fulfillment can business owners and their teams keep pace with the growth needed to rebuild the crippled economy.
The challenge at hand calls for a parts supplier and distributor that can shorten the fulfillment supply chain and build a solid bridge between the parts manufacturers to the equipment manufacturers. But the responsibility does not end there. The parts supplier must also be able to establish a second, “after-market” bridge between the parts manufacturers to the end-product manufacturers to ensure a direct and reliable source of necessary components for any future maintenance or expansion.
Industrialization for the 21st Century
Successful industrial automation relies on optimizing the process of how goods are manufactured in a production line with the greatest level of efficiency. The ultimate goal: to maintain timely and seamless manufacturing in a consistent manner for the lowest possible cost of operation, without sacrificing quality and reliability. Automated systems are ideally designed to improve quality through multiple and redundant levels of oversight within the quality control process. Automation equipment, especially relying on precision of action, must comprise components that eliminate or drastically reduce variability. Simply put, a production line will only be as good as its components.
Such industrial automation relies on a comprehensive and complicated variety of sophisticated control systems, ranging from motors and motor controls to passive and active robotic components to the computers, sensors, and information technologies that operate and electronically oversee each of the multiple processes involved in the assembly and production line system. Tools, testing and measuring components, and power supplies are necessary to complete the production cycle.
ATO makes supply chains successful, delivering superior high-quality equipment and electronics at the most affordable prices available, providing direct shipping worldwide. All ATO products are brand new items directly shipped from the factories and carry a full warranty. Offering a comprehensive, up-to-date portfolio of top-quality automation equipment, electronics, motors, controls, sensors, and other active and passive components—even HMI (human-machine interface) technology—ATO is an advanced, responsive, reliable partner and distributor, providing the best solutions for the national automated industries. The company offers its customers and their end-users a needed competitive advantage in the global marketplace as a single-source provider, seamlessly covering multiple links in the supply chain.
CASE STUDY #1: Brushless Motors
Today’s automation systems are by necessity compact and streamlined. And, of course, they must be cost-effective and quiet as well. To keep them running that way means motorizing them in the most efficient manner possible. ATO boasts one of the most comprehensive lines of brushless motors available for automated assembly lines and systems. In modernizing an assembly system, one client wanted to reduce noise and overall costs of operation. ATO was able to provide them brushless DC motors (BLDC). This means that utilizing the same input power, and eliminating the friction of brushes, the new motors yielded more electrical power flowing into mechanical power. The enhanced efficiency is actually greatest at the no-/low-load area of the performance curve. BLDC motors can thus provide the same output as the older, brushed motors in a much smaller package. They also create less heat, meaning less energy is spent not only on generating power but also on cooling the motor and its housing, the equipment, and the production floor in general. Moreover, this translates to fewer parts, less material, lower maintenance, less wear and tear and thus longer life, and less energy, and makes these power supplies more sustainable, allowing for a cleaner, quieter, and greener facility.
CASE STUDY #2 Gas Leak Detector
With safety and sustainability at the top of every manufacturing facility’s list these days, gas detectors have become common tools in nearly every industry. It is more common than ever for manufacturing plants to retrofit for in-place gas detectors as well as having a selection of handheld gas detectors on hand. Using a gas detector or gas monitor to sniff out concentrations of leak gases in a particular area is indispensable when it comes to safeguarding personnel.
ATO has been providing multiple industries with the latest gas detector/gas leak detector. Recent customers include refineries, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and other producers of chemical products and byproducts. When one facility recently called upon ATO for parts to effect automation updates in its waste-water treatment system, ATO’s experts were able to recommend updated gas detectors as well. These were supplied in the form of both fixed monitors for the confined areas and pipelines as well as a complete set of portable, handheld devices. All were sensitive enough to detect any leaks or concentrations of ammonia (NH3), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), chlorine (Cl2), or ozone (O3), as well as hydrogen (H2), and nitrogen (N2). With optional measuring ranges, plus high accuracy and reliability, the ATO gas detectors gave the client the confidence to operate their new system with safety at the forefront, for its people and the environment around it.
Global Economic Effects of COVID-19 https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R46270.pdf
BofA: Thriving in a new manufacturing world https://www.bofaml.com/en-us/content/coronavirus-impact-on-manufacturing-industry.html
Enterprisers Project https://enterprisersproject.com/article/2020/12/8-automation-trends-watch-2021