Behind the scenes in plant automation

Every day we all cross paths with products that are the end result of automated manufacturing processes.  These products include the cereal box we open in the morning, car we drive, shampoo we use, luggage we pick up at the airport and laptops or tablets we use for business.  As consumers we rarely consider the technologies it takes to manufacture these products and ensure they arrive to us on time and with consistently high quality.  Simply stated, automation systems play enormously important roles in making production and fulfillment processes run smoothly, so we are not left waiting at the curb or breakfast table!

To understand how Molex industrial automation products are an integral part of the seamless delivery of manufactured goods, let’s look at two manufacturing industries on the leading edge of automation technology—

Modern Automotive Plants require complex assembly, machining and welding.  Costs quickly add up for planned or unplanned production downtime.  So, machine—and component—reliability are absolutely critical.  Such demanding work environments call for products that are not only robust and durable, but built to withstand high flex, welding, and chemical exposure.  Additionally, automotive plants require global suppliers with the resources to meet design, build, install, start-up, and maintenance requirements of complex assembly lines or vehicle platforms, with timely delivery of products, technical support, and consistent quality.

Molex Brad Connectivity products were invented over 40 years ago, specifically to reduce downtime caused by the frequent need to replace mechanical limit switches.  The subsequent introduction of the “plug and play” wiring concept to the automotive industry in the early 1970’s greatly improved uptime.  Brad automation products are designed and tested to meet harsh environments through IP and other reliability testing.  In conjunction with our global design, manufacture and sales capabilities, Molex is well positioned to serve the factory automation requirements of our automotive customers.

Consumer Goods, including Food & Beverage processing, packaging and consumable packaged goods manufacturing plants all present similarly challenging environments requiring harsh-duty industrial communications, connectivity, power and control products.  Key drivers on the plant floor include demand for increased productivity and reliability, in addition to machine designs that are safe for workers and product.  Increasingly, consumers are also concerned to know that a manufacturer’s practices promote sustainability and social responsibility.

Molex network expertise and IP67 rated products for industrial automation are mission-critical to connect all machine functionality on a food and beverage plant floor—from packaging and bottling to processing equipment.  By providing advanced components with zero defect product quality, we are able to help customers lower maintenance, repair and operating costs.

Brad industrial communications products enable machines and devices to communicate with each other using a variety of protocols, such as DeviceNet, Ethernet/IP, and Profibus/ProfiNet, while our connectivity and power products connect signal and power to controllers, devices, and motors.

The end results are that Molex automotive, industrial and other manufacturing customers can meet vigorous production, efficiency and quality standards, so they can bring product to consumers faster and more competitively!