Enhancing manufacturing efficiency with automated inspection

Welcome to the fascinating world of automated quality inspection! In today’s fast-paced manufacturing landscape, where precision and efficiency reign supreme, getting manufacturing processes functioning as smoothly as possible, as quickly as possible is a key goal.

Let’s dive into the heart of the matter and explore why automated solutions are the secret sauce for staying competitive in the ever-evolving manufacturing domain.

What is automated inspection in manufacturing?

Automated inspection isn’t about replacing human effort; it’s about elevating it. It’s the seamless integration of sophisticated machinery and advanced software to perform tasks that were once manual. Think of it as a symphony where machines and technology work alongside humans, enhancing capabilities rather than diminishing them.

Challenges in manufacturing automation

Before we delve deeper, let’s acknowledge the hurdles faced by manufacturers:

  1. Complexity and cost: Implementing automated systems can be daunting due to their complexity and associated costs. Integrating robotics, sensors, and software seamlessly into existing processes requires specialist expertise.
  2. Skills gap: Finding robotics experts to operate and maintain these systems is like searching for unicorns. The shortage of skilled labour poses a significant challenge.
  3. Market dynamics: The shift toward electric mobility, fluctuating production volumes, and the need for smaller-batch production demand adaptable inspection solutions.
An engineer with laptop programs an automated robotic arm

Implementing automated inspection systems can be a challenge but ultimately brings great benefits

When take as a whole (or even just individually) these hurdles can de-rail automation projects, and the fact is that many do fail. If you’re interested in looking at the reasons behind this in greater depth, take a look at our new Advanced Manufacturing Report, created in partnership with Forrester.

Why integrate automated solutions?

But despite the challenges mentioned above, the benefits of achieving success with automation are significant. Let’s get to the heart of the matter. Why should manufacturers embrace automation?

  1. Productivity boost: Automated processes work tirelessly, reducing downtime and minimising costs. Imagine a factory humming with efficiency.
  2. Quality enhancement: Automation ensures consistent product quality. It reduces instances of human error—just delivering precision and excellence.
  3. Safety first: Machines handle the heavy lifting, reducing the risk of operating injuries. A safer work environment benefits everyone.

So, this is where smart technology has another part to play. We know that automation is a massive boost to manufacturing operations, but for many, the areas where it can be economically and logistically implemented are quite limited. Removing those barriers to entry by making automation easier and more scalable is key, and technology partners such as Hexagon are doing this right now.

Democratising automated quality inspection

Now, let’s talk about PRESTO, Hexagon’s latest automated inspection solution. Imagine leveraging the ability to halve quality inspection cycles. PRESTO doesn’t just inspect; it completely transforms the speed and logistics of new automated inspection projects. Here’s how:

  • Reducing inspection time: No more special preparations or post-cleaning. PRESTO processes data in real-time, ensuring engineers access information promptly.
  • Optimising the product lifecycle: PRESTO connects seamlessly to the manufacturing ecosystem. Program it offline using a digital twin, while operators measure.
  • Making quality inspection easier: Designed like a smartphone, PRESTO is user-friendly. With its intuitive built-in workflows even quality professionals without robotics expertise can operate it safely.

The really powerful impact of PRESTO is the fact these capabilities can democratise quality inspection throughout discrete manufacturing. It’s not just for the biggest players; it’s for everyone. By making automated inspection accessible, Hexagon ensures that absolute control over quality becomes standard practice across the industry.

Presto robotic automation cell

Perfect every time: The PRESTO automated inspection cell can create a digital twin of complex objects in a short time

Simplifying the future

Hexagon has built a reputation for cutting-edge manufacturing solutions over the past two decades. Our extensive range of quality inspection technologies is like a toolbox for manufacturers. From automated measurement systems to HxGN Robotic Automation software, Hexagon equips businesses to capture real-world quality information and put it to work. This mastery of quality data empowers makers to reduce inspection times, increase efficiency, and streamline workflows—all while maintaining the highest standards.

And with PRESTO, Hexagon offers something more than just a robotic cell; it’s a testament to how automation is becoming democratised. As we embrace the future, let’s remember that precision, efficiency, and innovation are no longer reserved for the elite. So, whether you’re a global giant or a nimble startup, automation is your ticket to greater success.

To learn more about PRESTO and other Hexagon solutions, visit Hexagon’s PRESTO page.

 

Author

  • Ashley Bray

    Ashley Bray is an engineering enthusiast and Global Strategic and Industry Content Senior Manager at Hexagon's Manufacturing Intelligence division. Ashley uses his technical expertise and communication skills to present solutions to industry challenges in an accessible way. Skilled in explaining complex ideas, he brings insights drawn from his professional journey to create content that gives a valuable perspective on manufacturing intelligence.

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