Profiting From Lights Out Manufacturing

Lights-out manufacturing is now becoming a common concept with more and more factories automating most of the production process. Even though few manufacturers have realized a truly independent automated system, the existing levels of automation are enough to allow robots take over those late night shifts or replace the bulk of the human employees during them.

The ‘lights out’ philosophy draws its name from the fact that robots don’t need light to work. With the proliferation of intelligent automation equipment and control units, more business are in a position to maximize production by employing the lights out manufacturing philosophy.


A perfect blend of machines and skilled employees

Even though the methodology emphasizes automating as much as possible, it is almost impossible to set up a job and let it run for hours without occasional human supervision. The idea is to transform the workplace from a mundane labor-intensive environment to a tech-savvy place where robots do most of the heavy lifting with minimal human intervention. This opens up a wide range of possibilities and advantages.

Substantial throughput improvements

Robots and machines will naturally work harder and faster than human beings do. They will not tire and rarely make mistakes when handling mundane tasks. Lights out manufacturing capitalizes on this to increase throughput without hiring new employees to cover the night shift.

Cheaper and faster modular production

If you can automate the simple parts of the production pipeline and leave the humans to handle the delicate sections of the process, you can improve your production line’s throughput without necessarily hiring more employees. Better still, you can let the machines run their cycle overnight so that the day shift finds everything ready when they report in the morning.

Accommodate demand surges better

Finding skilled employees on a short notice is hard. What happens if you get three times your regular order and you don’t have the time to hire more employees? Normally, you will have to turn down the offer. However, with lights out manufacturing in place, you just have to push your automation system harder to meet the demand. The versatility of strategic automation gives every manager the logistics needed to actualize on-demand production scaling without necessarily investing more on labor.

Save on the utility bills

The only power you will be using in a lights out scenario would be what the automation system needs to operate. You won’t have to run rows of high-power lights to keep the place illuminated or keep the thermostat at 70 degrees to favor humans. Even though this might sound petty and negligible, research has proof that cutting down on HVAC and lighting could have a significant effect on warehouse and production house power consumption. The more you save the better your profit margin.

Experts believe that lights-out manufacturing is the key to stabilizing and reducing labor costs without affecting production consistency. The overall reliability of robots and automation systems will not only improve on the throughput of your company but also eliminate human error hence raising production quality to an all-time high. Your customers want you to produce high quality products faster. Lights out manufacturing is the only way to achieve this.

Even though most of the enthusiastic entrepreneurs would seek to automate every step of the production, experts advise on modular automation that yields the best returns on investment (ROI). Automation is attractive in processes where the human can’t match the speed, strength and tenacity of a machine. These should be the first sections to think of when contemplating night time manufacturing.

Night time manufacturing can save your company money, time and work hours; creating a better environment for your employees, a more dependable product for your clients and a more efficient workflow for your company.


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