Can automation be affordable?
11 September 2018
Brian Hansen, systems director of logistic systems at Beumer Group answers thew question on everyone’s lips.
In short, the answer is yes. But if a company is looking to invest in automation solutions for the first time, we would always recommend considering three key factors. First, consider the amount of money earned per item and how the costs and benefits of automation would affect this. Secondly, looking at the distribution network surrounding the process; if the new system allows more items to be processed at a quicker rate, can the network handle the higher capacity? Finally considering the operational costs per item before investment and how these would be affected. Based on this information, we can calculate if automation will be affordable for the business.
For smaller, up-and-coming operations, an solution worth exploring could be the BG Line Sorter because it offers a high degree of flexibility and a range of features that are ideal for growing businesses.
The line sorter is simple to operate with industry-standard software and controls, but also offers advanced sortation solutions, for example the capability of accepting a wide range of parcel sizes and variations like polybags and cartons.
A key benefit for many growing companies we work with, is the sorters physical flexibility and adaptability. The system's modular architecture means it can be extended with very little downtime, and is also highly mobile which aside from being simple and easy, is perfect for moving or extending premises. The BG Line Sorter design can be specified on a very small scale and can be extended or upgraded to a more advanced, high-speed sorter at a later point.
The system is highly reliable and has the same high quality valued by customers who benefit from our largest sortation systems.
Naturally another important basis for any automation process is to invest in people to make sure that the processes around the automation equipment can also be efficient and reliable.
Small rescale solutions can be scaled up if needed. Beumer Group has a long history of carrying out upgrade projects as our equipment is proven to have a very long life-time. The BG line sorter technology is designed to provide high levels of flexibility and movability. The modular architecture provides a range of benefits, such as being easy to extend, upgrade and move physically with minimal downtime.
We also offer payment plans that are flexible and that can address the needs of the different operations. We address the needs of the customer and their business on an individual basis as we believe there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. One example of this type of flexibility, is a solution we can offer based on phased extension plans.
In our opinion, there should be no businesses left behind; automated, low volume systems are available, and they are a solution we will always advocate. Beumer Group can offer up-and-coming businesses the exact type of long-term partnerships that they need to help support them through long-term growth, with systems designed for gradual expansion.
Beumer Group fundamentally believes in investing in the long-term partnership with customers.
We would strongly recommend that operators, especially if new to automation, are considerate in choosing a reliable partner for the material handling system as it forms a vital part of their everyday business.
There is an important period of time after the equipment has first been installed, in which the success of the partnership and operation will be determined, as the business will be dependent on the new technology. Questions such as who to call in the middle of the night if there are problems and, in the longer term, how to extend the system must considered at the earliest stages.
Over several years, we have seen increasing demand for our servicing and critical support capabilities, which are a significant part of our business.
Many businesses recognise that protecting investment in technology with regular servicing helps to keep the business operational, and detect any upcoming problems with repair solutions before causing issues that could result in unexpected downtime.