If your business is thinking about investing in automated technology, you need the right tools for your industry and manufacturing process. So many automated tools seem the same, though, and it’s hard to choose the best ones. If you’re not sure which automated equipment to buy, ask yourself these questions to figure out the details.
What Is the Equipment’s Environment Like?
Where are you going to use your new automated equipment? No matter what environment you’re in, you must make sure that your equipment can handle it. For example, if you’re using level transmitters inside a tank, you need them to be waterproof and able to handle the environment’s temperature, specific gravity, and vibration.
If you need to measure the same factor in different environments, you may need to purchase several models of the same automated measuring tool. After all, if you purchase a level transmitter for your cooling tank that’s just waterproof, it can’t withstand the harsh environment of a tank full of chlorine or another cleaner.
How Easy Is It To Calibrate the Equipment?
Some automated equipment needs to be calibrated monthly, while other tools can go a year or more between calibrations. Some manufacturers have to handle calibrations themselves, whereas others provide instructions for you to do it yourself. As you’re purchasing your automated equipment, keep your skillset and distance from the manufacturer in mind. If you can’t take a break in production, consider purchasing backup equipment for when your primary tools are being calibrated.
What Is Your Budget?
Automated equipment tends to be more expensive than manual equipment because it’s harder to manufacture. However, every time you purchase automated equipment, you’re saving yourself hours of labor. For example, if you use a laser measure to measure out your raw materials, you don’t have to deal with a tape measure or ruler before each cut.
Still, your budget is an important consideration. If you’re leaning towards a more expensive model, see if the manufacturer includes a warranty or satisfaction guarantee. If you prefer a cheaper model, research how long it should last and calculate the cost of a replacement. When in doubt, consult with your accountants or investors about the wisest financial choice.
How Much Room Do You Have?
Some automated equipment is small enough to fit in your hand, whereas other tools need lots of room for all their components. Consider how much space you have to store the equipment as well as how much room you have in your workspace. For example, if you’re working on an oil rig, you don’t have the same flexibility of space as you do in a huge warehouse. Choosing a smaller model may be your only option.
How Accurate Is the Equipment?
Read each product description carefully to see how accurately the advertised tool measures. The manufacturer’s margin of error may not be the same as your customers’. For example, many automated distance measures have a five-millimeter margin of error, but if your clients work with parts that are just a few millimeters wide, you need equipment with a smaller margin of error.
What Equipment Do You Already Have?
If you already have some automated equipment, it makes sense to purchase tools that are compatible with your existing supplies. For instance, if you have a mounting system leftover from an old measuring tool, purchasing a new model of that tool allows you to reuse the mounting system, saving space and money.
When you’re choosing new automated technology for your business, it’s hard to know what to look for. Ask yourself these questions to determine what your ideal product looks like and narrow down your options.