Nicola Lattuada of Lattuada North America touched upon the steps needed to successfully adopt automation during his Glass Processing Automation Days (GPAD) session in Nashville. The National Glass Association organized the event.

Nicola Lattuada of Lattuada North America touched upon the steps needed to successfully adopt automation during his Glass Processing Automation Days (GPAD) session in Nashville.

Lattuada explained that when it comes to automation adoption, the first step is to identify and analyze existing processes. Identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, pain points and areas with high human error rates. He added that fabricators need to educate their teams. While change doesn’t happen overnight, automation will slowly alter workflow. This could impact workers whose roles might change.

As a result, fabricators must train their teams on how automation will improve their performance and boost productivity.

Lattuada said the third step involves defining objectives and scope. Set goals. This involves identifying specific problems or inefficiencies.

Fabricators need to then select the process to be automated, including pre-processing and edging. Lattuada said this is one of the most critical steps. Finding the right partner is also vital. When partnering with the right machinery company, fabricators must find companies that offer tailor-made solutions, easy maintenance, a dedicated structure, customization and user-friendly solutions.

The benefits of automation are increased efficiency, productivity, accuracy, reduced time to market and minimizing human error. Lattuada said that automation will also help fabricators improve their image and reliability. There are risks, of course. Risks include low capacity and selecting the wrong line, which will mean wasted money and effort.

Johnathan Paredes of Bovone explained that automation helps enhance product automation, raises flexibility, and maximizes production throughput and efficiency for particular machines, such as glass edgers.

Edgers aren’t a one-size-fits-all-all machine, however. Double edgers allow for more productivity but less flexibility. Computer-numerical–machine edgers allow for more productivity but less flexibility, while robotics systems enable better productivity and flexibility. Robots limit operator interactions and can be fully integrated with other machines. Robots can also automatically raise the motor, recovering the wear of the wheel and maintaining a constant edge quality output.

Paredes said finding just one partner is vital to integrating automated systems. This allows full quality control, in-house testing, faster service and structured product development.

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