Automatic vs automated Processes

Semi-Automatic vs Fully Automated vs Manual Assembly: What’s Right for Your Manufacturing Process

When choosing your assembly process, there are many factors to consider. Many people think that they need to automate their manufacturing processes, but what does that entail? There is also the question of automatic vs automated. As you consider the range of solutions that can apply to your processes, how do you decide what would be best for your company? 

To figure out the best solution, you must first understand the difference between each of these processes. Let’s take a closer look. 

What Is Manual Assembly?

First consider manual assembly processes that have long been used by manufacturers. These processes involve individual workers and stations for each stage of the process. Types of manual assembly vary, but it always involves workers doing a process by hand without the help of any automatic machines. Most manual assemblies are best suited for products where smaller quantities are required.

Semi-automatic vs Automated 

Now consider the option of a semi-automatic process. This approach involves help from human operators who do tasks such as loading, unloading or managing equipment. Many companies lean toward semi-automatic processes because while they don’t completely eliminate labor, they do increase efficiency and are more cost-effective. 

Additionally, there is the full automation option. What is the difference between semi-automated vs automatic? Well, you already know that semi-automated assembly involves the help of humans to oversee the process. With fully automatic systems, no humans are required. These systems can function completely on their own, without any human interaction. 

Which Is Best for Your Operations?

When deciding what type of process to use, you have to consider variables such as the cost of implementation and operation, and the amount of product you will manufacture. If you have a healthy budget and are producing small quantities, manual assembly might be right for you. Overall labor-heavy manual assembly may cost more, but if you don’t need to produce large amounts of a product, it might be the easiest solution.

If you are producing in larger quantities and want to improve your manufacturing process, consider semi-automatic operations. This can be a good option for companies that don’t want to completely eliminate labor, but are looking to become more efficient in their production. Sometimes there are specific processes in manufacturing that may be too complicated to automate and would be better off as a manual step. In this instance, semi-automatic processes may be preferred. There is freedom with this solution, because you can decide what to automate in order to fit your needs best.

Lastly, there is complete automation. Fully automated processes can be very effective for companies that need to increase their production rates, especially if their assembly operations are easy to automate. Depending on what you are producing and the processes involved, full automation can be more efficient, reliable and cheaper than other options. 

Still Weighing Automatic vs Automated? 

If you choose to automate, having a partner to offer expert guidance can be critical. If you need help with this step of the process, download our free guide to selecting an automation partner.

Overall, selecting the best tactics in automation can be tricky. Companies must analyze their specific needs and goals for production. The good thing is you are not alone in making this decision. We are here to help you weigh the factors and choose the best course of action. Book a meeting or contact us with questions you may have.

marshall hornsby

Marshall Hornsby

Marshall joined AMS during his senior year at the University of Cincinnati as a Co-op. His passion for problem-solving combined with his background in sales and marketing plays a key role in his dedication to AMS and its customers' success.