Should I Opt for Automated or Manual Production?

When it comes to deciding between opting for automated production or using a manual process, it can be tricky to determine which will be better suited to your needs. To determine which option would be best for you, you need to look at the differences between the two, as this will help you work out which process makes the most sense for your specific order.  


What’s automated production? 

Automated production occurs when a series of workstations are set up, each one with a specific focus. The product is created step-by-step as it moves along the production line. Automated production gets its name because the process is carried out by specialised machinery, rather than human technicians. In automated production, the system is already programmed to auto-assigned tasks throughout. So, it effectively involves an automated assembly line. 


What’s manual production?  

Rather than using specialised equipment like automated production, manual production relies on a human to carry out each action or to use the machinery at each stage of the manufacturing process. 


What’s the difference between automated and manual production? 

As the names would suggest, manual production involves the work of skilled technicians and is usually more time-consuming than the automated equivalent, which is fulfilled by machinery.  

Manual production is also less suitable for creating much smaller products or parts, as it can be tricky for humans to complete certain tasks with the necessary precision. For example, automated production is often easier when it comes to a production line that involves soldering small items.   

So, when it comes to large orders, automated production is usually seen as the best option, as it means the order can be fulfilled with less room for human error.  


When does it make sense to switch from manual to automated production?  

Although automated production is usually quicker than manual production, there are some exceptions. The same can be said for the costing element.   

For small volumes of products, it’s often less time-consuming and more cost-effective to opt for manual production. So, for low volume production, the manual process is the recommended option.   

As a general rule (though we acknowledge that there can be exceptions) smaller clients tend to order small batches, whereas larger clients will usually order in bulk. For small clients, choosing the manual process is therefore the recommended method of production. If you’re ordering in bulk, however, then automated production is necessary to ensure orders are fulfilled in a timely manner.  

 Another occasion where manual production makes more sense is when you’re ordering a custom part or product. This is because it’s much more cost-effective than setting up machinery specifically to facilitate that order. 


So, the best time to switch from manual production to automated production is when the amount you require is large enough for it to be quicker and more cost-effective to produce in batch amounts using an automated process. 

Looking to place an order, but not sure which production process would best suit your needs? Contact us today, so a friendly and experienced member of our team can help you. 

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