Modular Automation Means Flexible Manufacturing

Using modular automation gives the manufacturer the ability to change production on the run or produce custom products quickly and cost-effectively.

Rob Spiegel

March 31, 2023

1 Min Read
Phonlamai Photo for iStock Getty Images Plus

A big part of smart manufacturing is the ability to create flexible and reliable production lines. To achieve this, companies are beginning to work on modularization This allows the line configuration to be rearranged according to the immediate need. Manufacturers are working on automation to replace common tasks, such as transporting products, assembly lines, and work performed in difficult-to-access areas. Modular automation lets companies adjust quickly to production changes while using the same equipment for multiple products.

Design News interviewed Paul Bosnyak, application engineer at Oriental Motor USA on the benefits of modular automation.


On-the-Go Production

Festo has noted that conventional large-scale process systems have a central control system and are precisely designed to meet the defined requirements. This works well as long as the required production quantity and the product remain the same. If demand fluctuates or if smaller, more customized batches are required, adjustments can get extremely costly. Modular production with decentralized automation offers greater flexibility and cost-effectiveness. Each networked module of the system is a separate functional unit that operates autonomously and contains the complete control system.

Oriental Motors explains modular automation in this video:


About the Author(s)

Rob Spiegel

Rob Spiegel serves as a senior editor for Design News. He started with Design News in 2002 as a freelancer and hired on full-time in 2011. He covers automation, manufacturing, 3D printing, robotics, AI, and more.

Prior to Design News, he worked as a senior editor for Electronic News and Ecommerce Business. He has contributed to a wide range of industrial technology publications, including Automation World, Supply Chain Management Review, and Logistics Management. He is the author of six books.

Before covering technology, Rob spent 10 years as publisher and owner of Chile Pepper Magazine, a national consumer food publication.

As well as writing for Design News, Rob also participates in IME shows, webinars, and ebooks.

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