Automating your material handling processes presents many challenges. How will it impact material flow? Will you need to shutdown part of your operation for the installation and for how long? What type of infrastructure will you need to install and how scalable are the solutions?
Deciding that there are processes that can be improved in your operation through automation should be completed with care and guidance, if needed. But once you’ve made that exciting decision, getting started with automation is essentially as complicated as you need it to be to improve your process goals. There are many ways you can help alleviate the burden of implementation and automate tasks with ease while also allowing for scalable solutions that are easy to manage.
Here are a few helpful tips to get you moving on your path to increased efficiency and productivity with automation:
Optimize Before Automating
Automating a bad process can further amplify inefficiencies and require adjustments down the road that are rather costly to fix. While you don’t need to eliminate 100% of your inefficiencies prior to automating, it’s a good rule of thumb to analyze your operation to help make sure the solution is scalable and sustainable long-term. Toyota dealers can help you with this process by utilizing Toyota Lean Management and expert knowledge to pinpoint and eliminate inefficiencies prior to implementing automation.
Utilize Appropriate Technologies
Some automated products require additional time for implementation as well as additional infrastructure that can be costlier and cause disruption. Products like Toyota’s Center-Controlled Rider and Core Tow Tractor Automated Forklifts utilize LIDAR-based natural features navigation that requires little to no additional infrastructure. The mapping technology used by these models also makes adding units and modifying routes simple and efficient to minimize your downtime.
Toyota’s Line of Automated Guided Vehicles
Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are increasingly becoming a mainstay in manufacturing facilities and distribution center operations. Click here to find the solution that fits your unique application.
Choose the Right Automation Partner
When deciding on an automation partner, consider the value and expertise that they can bring to your business. What automation technologies and services do they have to offer? Can they support my business effectively at all locations? What type of support do they provide for implementation and maintenance?
Toyota’s partnership with Bastian Solutions, a Toyota Advanced Logistics company, allows us to provide unprecedented support for your business both nationally and globally. As the leading full-line material handling solutions providers, we are your one-stop-shop for your automation needs, including sales, implementation, and service.
Comprehensive training is also provided to operators and managers to ensure a smooth transition into automation. We can even train you to make route and unit adjustments on your own to minimize your downtime as your business evolves.
If you’d like to learn more about how Toyota can help you on your automation journey, please reach out to your local, authorized Toyota dealer.