Manufacturing Automation
3 Types of Manufacturing Automation Systems
August 12, 2021

Have you considered industrial automation for your manufacturing? It’s become a widely appealing option for many manufacturers, and there’s a reason why. It not only helps manufacturers have a more cost-effective, efficient production, but it also creates a better experience for consumers who are able to receive inexpensive, high-quality products.  

To help you understand which manufacturing automation systems are best for your operations, we created a list outlining each automation type.  


Fixed automation systems, also known as hard automation, are the least flexible of the three manufacturing automation systems. Once the system is configured for your manufacturing, it can’t be changed. It seems counterintuitive, but it works well for productions with repetitive tasks such as automobiles or computers that don’t require a high number of complex specifications. Fixed automation, therefore, is best for high-volume mass productions that are fixed over time.


When your manufacturing is conducted through commands in a computer, it’s a programmable system. This means you can produce a varied set of products because the computer commands can be adjusted to fit the products you want to manufacture. Reprogramming the computer commands for a different set of products will take some time, however, if your products utilize similar tools and procedures, you may want to consider programmable automation for your facility.


Flexible automation is similar to a programmable system, but it has more flexibility when it comes to switching to another set of products. The key difference here is the computer is human-operated, which allows the product changes to occur more rapidly in comparison to programmable automation. The commands can be adjusted quicker, resulting in a wider range of tasks. Manufacturing facilities producing a high variety of products at a lower volume will see the best results from this type of automation.

If you’re considering manufacturing automation systems for your operations, consider Outbound Technologies. Contact us here to learn more about how our automation equipment can fit into your operations.