Automated equipment helps manufacturers increase efficiency and output while maintaining consistent quality in production lines. Since 1977, ATC Automation has leveraged innovative technology and our extensive expertise to design and build highly engineered machinery and systems for diverse industries. Learn more about our custom automated manufacturing solutions and how we can help support and streamline your operations.
If your project involves highly variable part design, assembly sequence, or production output needs, ATC can help you set up a reliable, flexible automation system. Unlike fixed or hard automation systems, which are designed to handle single tasks, flexible automation systems are programmed to easily switch between production lines or even generate different product types at the same time.
With flexible automation, you have a higher degree of control over adaptations in the manufacturing process. You can create customized products or run multiple processes with little to no downtime or changeover through computer-programmed equipment.
Experiencing unexpected challenges in the middle of a job can negatively impact your timeline and budget. At the start of any project, it is vital to analyze its steps from start to finish, looking for any unknown risk factors. One successful way to conduct such an audit is to consider all potential process and production scenarios, determine the likelihood of their occurrence, and then develop and implement countermeasures to address them. Not only will this give you a full-picture look at the job, but this proactive approach helps you avoid situations that might derail your project.
At ATC, we prioritize risk mitigation for you. Our goal is to reduce both the possibility of risk and the potential impact should that risk occur. The ATC team will work with you to understand your operations so that we can evaluate any possible risks your project might face and then, through careful planning, put optimal strategies in place, proposing unique and reliable solutions for continued project success.
High-Volume & Low-Volume Manufacturing
To best serve you with production versatility, ATC offers both high- and low-volume manufacturing solutions. When selecting equipment and systems for your application, consider the following:
- Volume. How much of your product are you looking to produce, and what is your timeline?
- Complexity. Will your part’s design allow for large-scale production without sacrificing quality?
- Materials. What are the material needs of your product to give it the necessary performance level in its intended application?
Our manual and automated manufacturing systems are seamlessly integrated to allow for quick and reliable product changeover. ATC will help you determine optimal production equipment for your application and create a customized high- or low-volume manufacturing plan.
If you are looking to increase the scale of your operations and generate more product during a single machine cycle, high-volume manufacturing allows you to bring your product to market faster and quickly fulfill large orders. While initial costs of high-volume manufacturing can be high, ATC will assist with your systems’ initial prototyping, tooling, and automation to ensure that production runs smoothly for cost-effective operations in the long run.
Benefits of high-volume manufacturing include:
- Increased efficiency and accuracy through specialized processes
- Faster goods production in a single run, which translates to higher throughput and more sales
- Economy of scale, reducing overall per-unit production costs and turn times
- Minimized process bottlenecks
ATC also specializes in low-volume and high-mix low-volume (HMLV) manufacturing systems for optimizing product design. The first is ideal for producing fewer parts or complex designs. HMLV production is capable of generating a wide array of products in smaller batches for manufacturing versatility. ATC’s efficient solutions can be a mix of manual and automated operations, with operator-assisted “poka-yoke” system design and cells with automated stations for part return or offloading.
Benefits of low-volume manufacturing include:
- Enhancing design flexibility and the capability for complex designs
- Decreasing your time-to-market and investment costs
- Accommodating frequent product changeovers through programmable logic controllers (PLCs)
- Serving as a bridge between development or prototyping and full scale production runs
Through process validation, the ATC team continues to abide by industry regulations and ensure that our manufacturing systems’ processes consistently meet quality requirements. We employ a risk-based approach to produce full equipment qualification, monitoring and evaluating processes over the lifecycle of a product and continually improving for efficiency, performance, and more.
Per FDA guidelines, our process validation procedure consists of three main stages:
- Process design. In this phase, we take what we’ve learned during development and determine the optimal commercial processes to accomplish reproducible production goals.
- Process qualification. Next, we verify that the process design has the necessary capabilities for commercial manufacturing.
- Continued process verification. This is an ongoing phase, involving periodic checks that the process continues to be ideal and well controlled for routine production.
At ATC, our pilot line build program will help bring your new product to market faster and more efficiently, all while reducing potential risk and related expenses. With options for semi- or fully automated systems or lines, we are proficient in quickly developing and implementing pilot lines that enable you to explore and test proof of concepts, tooling, and manufacturing processes for current and future automation.
In the design stages, pilot lines give you the opportunity to optimize product performance and automated processes for decreased bottlenecks. Also, automated manufacturing technology requires a significant investment, so identifying any potential issues before manufacturing goes from being a hypothetical idea in the lab and a manual production process to an automated one resolves operational inefficiencies before they become a production issue.
A pilot line also aids in training key operators, familiarizing them with the manufacturing equipment and processes before the launch of the full-scale operation. This encourages a seamless transition with reduced start-up time as staff members are better able to troubleshoot problems as they arise. All of this aids in commercializing a robust, high-quality end product to drive success, bridging the gaps between product development, process validation, and low-volume production.
As the scale of your operation increases, the team at ATC has the combined system and process experience necessary to replicate diverse equipment either as a simple duplicate or a modified version that incrementally adapts to process or production volume changes. Operating from our ever-expanding 300,000-square-foot facility, we are well positioned to accommodate single- or multiple-line rollouts and improvements with ease, and we partner with trusted providers to ensure your machinery can successfully achieve high-quality results.
We also have the capability to integrate your process lines with new technology to improve your overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). Whatever your equipment needs, ATC’s proven expertise in robotics, vision and inspection systems, and more will allow us to provide a comprehensive program for your operations.
Robotics equipment not only helps to streamline processes, but it’s also capable of handling tedious or even dangerous tasks your workers would otherwise have to perform manually. Utilizing the proper robot to automate your application leads to higher rates of production speed and output, reliable precision, and product uniformity.
To assist our clients in the transportation, energy storage, medical device, and consumer product industries, all of our assembly lines are equipped with advanced, programmable robotic technology to facilitate more efficient processes. ATC uses a variety of robot brands and types to automate operations like precision part alignment, material handling and dispensing, assembly, and vision for adaptive robotic movements.
Partner With ATC Automation
Backed by over four decades of expertise and a team of service engineers available around the clock every day of the week, our best-in-class automation solutions will help you achieve high efficiency, quality products, and overall business growth. Contact us for more information on our manufacturing lines and assembly systems, or request a quote today.