• January 27, 2022
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Is Lights Out Manufacturing the Way of the Future?

Is Lights Out Manufacturing the Way of the Future?

Presented by BARLOAD Australia

With the manufacturing industry facing an ongoing labour shortage, it’s no surprise that many companies are looking toward automation and what’s known as ‘lights out’ manufacturing. While the industry has been battling the labour shortage for years, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for change.

Factory closures and restrictions meant that many factories couldn’t operate at full capacity, severely limiting commercial output and putting pressure on manufacturing businesses. ‘Lights out’ manufacturing provides a safeguard against labour shortages and ensures manufacturing can continue, even when the lights are off. 

What is ‘Lights Out’ Manufacturing?

The term ‘lights out’ manufacturing describes a method of fully automated manufacturing, using technology to run production with little-to-no human interaction. This allows business owners to leave their machines working, even when they themselves are not present. 

Mark Nelsen, Owner and Director of BARLOAD Australia, says that ‘lights out’ manufacturing gives businesses a competitive edge. “Lights-out manufacturing can greatly assist companies to become truly competitive in today’s tough economic climate,” says Mark.

The advantages of ‘lights out’ manufacturing go beyond the ability to leave machines running with minimal supervision. Other advantages include increased productivity, reduced risk of workplace accidents, as well as reduced cost of labour. 

Take Advantage of ‘Lights Out’ Manufacturing 

If you’re considering the ‘lights out’ approach to manufacturing, you will require the right machines, equipment and software to do the job. BARLOAD Australia specialises in bar feeders and gantry loaders built specifically to assist in completing the process from start to finish.

“Bar feeders and gantry loaders can help you travel a long way down the road to lights-out manufacturing,” says Mark. “Simply put, once you are set up, just load the bar feeder and walk away, come back a few hours later and load it again.” 

Automated Bar Feeders

BARLOAD Australia’s bar feeders can help automate your manufacturing process. Source: Supplied.

BARLOAD Australia stocks both long and short bar feeders, each with the latest in technology to assist you in your automation requirements. 

A few features of BARLOAD Australia’s long bar feeder include:

  • Wide diameter range – ø0.5mm all the way up to ø110mm
  • Length range – up to 3,800mm
  • Single point diameter adjustment (patented)
  • Rapid bar loading time
  • Low friction coefficient, high wear-resisting channel
  • ‘V’ style anti-vibration design, reducing noise & vibration
  • Torque and speed are adjustable to meet requirements
  • Fast changing of guide channels saves time & increases efficiency

Mark says, “It’s a real advantage to be able to ‘set and forget’. Load the bar feeder or gantry loader, turn the lights out, and go home.”

Specialised Gantry Loaders

Gantry loaders are ideal machines for automation. Source: Supplied.

BARLOAD Australia’s gantry loaders are a fast and economical way to improve production. A few features of their gantry loaders include:

  • Compatible with any controller of CNC lathe
  • X-axis travel speed reaches 90 ~ 120 m/min
  • Z-axis travel speed is 60 m/min
  • Gripper design meets customers requirements
  • Rigid structure features maximum stability without vibration at high speed travel
  • Installed independently, no interference with lathe operation
  • Machine height is adjustable to suit lathe
  • Loading area is guarded with safety light curtains or doors
  • And many more

Thanks to its many advantages, more and more Australian businesses are turning to ‘lights out’ manufacturing to complete orders around the clock.  

As Mark from BARLOAD Australia says, “Let your investments do the work while you are doing more important things.”

If you’re in the market to automate your manufacturing process, check out what BARLOAD Australia has to offer.

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