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Automation Consumables: A Ticking Time Bomb

Automation Consumables: A Potential Ticking Time Bomb

It’s easy to overlook consumables and see them as nothing more than a pile of automation parts, but they’re so much more than that, though. Often referred to as “your ticking time bomb”,  not having the right consumables available or in-stock can make a huge difference.

From entirely stopping production, to causing supply chain delays and initiating penalty clauses in contracts with your clients, if your automation consumables aren’t in order then it can have a dramatic impact. This blog explores what exactly your automation consumables are, how not having a plan can cause potentially devastating issues, before providing people like you with key solutions you can rely on.  

Automation Consumables: A Potential Ticking Time Bomb

The only part of your automation system that diminishes overtime, automation consumables are essential components in the daily running and safety of your system. From the likes of gas and welding wire for robotic welding cells, to things like pneumatic grippers, glue and even batteries, automation consumables are used at all times and are essential to keeping you moving in the right direction. 

They can be monitored via daily inspections from robotic engineers who should log the quantity at the beginning and end of every shift, as part of an industry 4.0 control system for live and real-time data, or even as part of an overall service package. The important thing to consider is that automation consumables shouldn’t be overlooked and in this next section, it will become clear why.

Your Automation Ticking Time Bomb

Don’t overlook the importance of something that welding wire, gas, or glue and sealant. 

After all, if your robotic system is for robotic welding, you’re going to need welding wire. If it’s a glueing and sealing system, can you guess what you might need?

In not regularly monitoring the quantity that you have in the automation system and available on the shelves in your factory, you are practically throwing your productivity and profitability out of the window. Leaving them to diminish is a sure fire way to jeopardise the entire production run. 

Knowing what you need to keep track of and understanding the most essential automation consumables are the first part; reacting and having a plan in place is the next. Only with this approach can you truly defuse the ‘bomb’ caused by being negligent.

Managing Your Automation Consumables

There are three different ways you can manage and monitor your automation consumables.

Firstly is with regular inspections. As has already been mentioned, checking and logging the quantity of consumables is a fantastic habit to get into. This should be done at the beginning and end of every shift going hand in hand with general inspections. 

The next is as part of a service contract and having automation system providers send engineers across for regular inspections from an external source. Helping monitor automation consumable levels in the system and elsewhere in the factory helps paint a clearer picture of what you need and when. 

The best possible solution for managing your automation consumables is through integrating an industry 4.0 control system. Available from all leading robotic systems providers, features could include real time consumable data while even ordering materials automatically when a given level is hit. 

These 3 approaches are guaranteed to ensure your automation consumables never reach the ‘explosion’ phase of the ticking time bomb.

Are Your Automation Consumables Ticking?

And that’s it. You’ve seen exactly what is being referred to when we talk about automation consumables being a ticking time bomb.

If you can understand what exactly your consumables are and how important they can be, then you can create a plan. From any of the above options, you’ll be on your way preventing an automation ticking time bomb. 

Interested? Speak to our expert team today.

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