It’s no surprise that the industrial automation tech wave is here. In a Deloitte study, over 50% of Fortune 500 companies reported that they planned to add automation or AI to their processes in 2023. With aggressive growth in the sector over the past decade, industrial automation has been proven to improve facility safety and productivity and drive the demand for skilled tradespeople and the technician workforce.

Whether new automation comes in the form of materials handling, process automation, or production enhancements, these changes will impact everyone at your facility.

The technologies you choose will determine your path, but for industrial companies purchasing automation technologies that require new machinery or retrofits, the process is more complex. To get the most out of your investment, you’ll need to ensure your facility is adequately prepared and the right team members are ready to maintain your new equipment.

After you’ve signed a contract with an industrial automation provider, they will provide a list of steps you need to take to get your facility ready. These projects will need to be completed on time to keep your installation on track.

In addition to changes to your facility, your team might need to evolve to fit your facility’s enhanced functionality. Here are some steps you should take to prepare your team for the new equipment and processes you’ve purchased:

  1. Evaluate your processes and make a list of those that will be impacted and how your team would change to scale for those processes.
  2. Plan for your installation stages. Personnel, equipment, physical storage – other requirements, and get the work scheduled. Your automation project will determine how much time you have at each step, so it is important to communicate with your automation provider to make sure you hit all necessary targets.
  3. Create a project schedule that includes enough time for each step, considering any personnel whose roles may change throughout the automation project.
  4. Hire any new team members you might need to maintain new equipment. Create a list of personnel you will need to maintain your new equipment and ensure you have enough people onboarded to make your transition to automation as seamless as possible.
  5. Start training any team members who will need to move to a technician role. With record numbers of technicians poised to retire in the coming decade, it might be necessary to transition some team members into technician roles. Depending on your project and if you are able or willing to hire new team members, promoting might be your best option. Investing in a training program can help turn your team members into technicians in preparation for your automation investment.

Working proactively helps keep downtime to a minimum when installing new equipment. Lean on TPC to help improve your team’s skills in the electrical, HVAC, mechanical, and plant management disciplines.



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