Project Plan Blunders You Need To Avoid
Don't make these automation project
|Rushing with your automation project can result in some common
that can be avoided. (Image by Pixabay.com)
When they’re in a rush to polish off an automation project, a lot of people seem to make the same kind of
mistakes again and again. Sure, it’s important to keep a business productive and strive to meet your targets.
However, this kind of approach can often lead to all kinds of problems, like delayed schedules and cost over-runs. Seen as you’ve made it to this blog, I’m sure you want
your automation project to go as smoothly as possible. Here are some major automation project mistakes you need
|There are numerous automation projects in today's industry,
such as this automated forklift.
(Image by Wikimedia - courtesy of Egemin
Making broad assumptions about the work
The first, and sometimes costliest mistake you can make, is making broad assumptions about all the work ahead of
you. Think of when you’re tackling the definition phase of an automation project. It can often be easy to assume
that everything ahead of you is going to be straightforward and simple. The motors in the system just need to
move your materials from point A to point B all synched up with each other. Simple, right? It’s often the case
that in these situations that some integral detail like the power and signal cables being routed together can be totally forgotten. This is where the
whole project can hit a terrible setback. I’m sure you don’t want to spend a lot of time searching for the
source of some strange equipment issue. Don’t make assumptions, and try to understand every last component in
|When preparing your project plan you have to well aware of
some critical details,
such as power and signal cables being routed together. (Image by
Starting work on components instead of
Another common mistake we often see in automation projects is managers who start with the components, rather
than the integrator. Let’s say you chose and purchased a set of stainless steel drawer runners, and then later
hired an integrator to get them to work within your system. You’ll probably find out later that all the time you
spend trying to get a mix of different components to work together within the same system is extremely inefficient;
compared to designing a system from the start with components that are all guaranteed to mesh. In the long run, you
won’t have to spend any more and will be able to avoid various headaches later down the line. A good integrator
will strive to design a system which fulfils your needs, and minimises the amount of time they have to invest.
|A perfect example of some of the newest automation projects is
TGW's Stingray Shuttle,
designed for very high throughput rates. (Image by Wikimedia Commons)
Failure to understand the impact of
Finally, failing to understand the impact of handshakes. When project managers don’t pay attention to
handshaking signals, or don’t apply input/output handling properly, it can often lead to massive equipment damage.
This, in turn, leads to more downtime. When there are two machines that have to work together in an automated
model, proper handshaking signals are very important. You obviously want to avoid damage to machines or cells!
Allowing the end user bypass safety is another big source of problems, usually more serious than a little lost time
or money! When your automation project is being designed, make sure the cells are made so that workers can’t
bypass any safety measures.
Although I haven’t covered everything here, avoiding these three mistakes is essential to the success of your
automation project. With a careful enough approach, your project should be a breeze!