Showing Value of Automation to Shop Floor Decision Makers

How to prove automation saves time on the shop floor

La Mesa, CA (May 30th, 2018) - Those who work directly on the shop floor often come up with great ideas to improve productivity and make their jobs easier. The problem is conveying the need for these solutions to the shops decision makers.

DNC software systems and machine monitoring are two hot software investments on the shop floor right now. DNC helps to network machines, organize thousands of programs and ensure programs are transferring correctly, while machine monitoring helps to increase utilization. These measures increase machine capacity, which in turn increases profits.
Both systems, however, are viewed as a deep investment for a manufacturer. Especially when it is software, and not a tangible item where the benefit is immediate, the surface benefits of worker productivity are sometimes not enough to allow a decision to be made.
The best way to show that an investment is worthwhile is not by showing how it will help you. Its showing them why the switch will benefit the companys bottom line.
Shop Floor Automations provides the top three ways to present automation/IIoT investments on the shop floor to decision makers:
#1 - Find & Prove ROI - Show how much time is being wasted with your current process and the cost of this waste - this helps to show that making your job more productive leads to profits. Other than preparing the cost of these new solutions, you should research the potential return on investment (ROI) that adopting the new automation solutions can bring. Its all about profit, whether lost or gained. The IIoT and automation solutions you want allows everyone directly in the manufacturing process to focus on programming, tool crib and related activities instead of actively managing machines. Decision makers may not consider this enough of a reason to go forward, however.

#2 - Show ROI - A great example of actually showing your ROI comes from one of our customers who had an ROI sheet showing that their company had 30 machines, they ran two programs per day, and they loaded 300 programs per week. The average time to load a program used to take them a minimum of seven minutes. They then showed how expensive this older process was where they were using outdated shop floor media to transfer programs and estimated how much time/money would be saved by upgrading to DNC. Taking data similar to this, put together a presentation, such as a slideshow, video, or a spreadsheet, that shows the ROI that could be gained by integrating automation into your daily routine. Request a private meeting or present it during a weekly/monthly meeting where decision makers will be present. Be sure to remember your audience - if its a group meeting, a spreadsheet is likely not the most exciting way to present the information.
#3 - Show alternative choices - Have alternative options prepared, just in case - especially in the interests of cost. There are multiple solutions to improve shop floor productivity past merely replacing machines. For example, a smaller shop may not have a need for a DNC system, but using hardware, such as a far less expensive portable DNC transfer box, could be a more realistic way to better manage machine program transfers. Also, machine monitoring as an on-premise solution can be a pricey move, but some providers offer more affordable alternative options, such as Cloud-based monthly payments that can be made per month with no contracts. You can even request a trial or a pilot run to see how well the system works initially.

About SFA: Shop Floor Automations is dedicated to providing tailored, optimized automation solutions for manufacturers since 1998. We are on social media on Twitter @SFA_Inc, as well as Facebook, YouTube, & Instagram under our company name. Call for more info at (877) 611-5825 or Email

Featured Product



To maximize the productivity of an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) or automatic guided vehicle (AGV) deployment, it's critical to create the optimal environment that allows the vehicles to perform at their peak. For that reason, Cornerstone Specialty Wood Products, LLC® ( created the TriGard® ESD Ultra finish for its ResinDek® engineered flooring panels. The TriGard ESD Ultra finish is ideal for high-traffic robotic applications characterized by highly repetitive movement patterns and defined travel paths.