We received from A+W the following press release.
Automation (a.k.a. Industry 4.0), at its core, is the reduction of human intervention during a given process, such as fabricating flat glass or a window. Automation allows factories to operate with fewer skilled employees, while producing the same or more products than before.
Robots are an obvious example of automation, especially for more repetitive jobs, as they can replicate certain human movements and functions automatically without taking breaks. By automating some jobs, it’s possible to redeploy skilled employees to other areas of a factory through options, such as upskilling.
Beyond robots, advanced machinery can help companies reduce their labour needs as modern, interfaced machines can accomplish higher output without human intervention. Advanced machinery, another part of automation, employs technology to improve products or processes.
Interfacing multiple machines allows them to communicate with each other, reducing the need for a paper trail as well as human interaction/interference. This interface is accomplished through software, which is the basis of multiple advancements in manufacturing over the last several decades.
Automation software is needed to interface with advanced machinery, which, according to Red Hat, “Is the use of software to create repeatable instructions and processes to replace or reduce human interaction with IT systems. Automation software works within the confines of those instructions, tools, and frameworks to carry out the tasks with little to no human intervention.”
A smart factory is an example of automation software on a larger scale. Within a smart factory, machines interface with each other through different processes and instructions saving time and freeing up staff for more strategic work. One central software system allows all machines to speak to each other allowing for seamless interactions.