Lights-Out Manufacturing Is a Game-Changer for Production

Image credit: Ernest Brillo on Unsplash

Also known as dark manufacturing, it is a relatively new methodology using automation to operate a facility without human intervention

In theory, since robotic arms and assembly equipment don’t need ambient light to see as humans do, these manufacturing facilities could function in total darkness without any adverse effects on quality, efficiency, or productivity.

Benefits of lights-out manufacturing can be seen in: fewer workplace accidents (with no humans to get hurt!), Less waste and better quality (through the automated production of the same quality and consistency), and advancing maintenance strategies (with necessary predictive and preventive maintenance schedules running). However common challenges can be seen in: it’s expensive high tech installation (with additional staff training also necessary); the set up is better suited for only simple tasks; and slow emergency response. [Aug 18 2022]

Automation helps reduce the monotony of manufacturing by taking over some of these tasks and freeing workers to shift their focus to other, more critical tasks. Lights-out factory help increase the overall efficiency and productivity of these assembly lines but even the most advanced lights-out factory will need people to load the programs, maintain the equipment, provide the raw materials, etc.