This story was originally published by CIRAS News.
A new presentation from the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS), co-authored by ISU mechanical engineering senior lecturer Emmanuel Agba, seeks to educate company owners about the place automation could have in their business.
According to Agba, the presentation was created because of a “gap in communication and understanding of what is needed by manufacturers and what should be provided by system integrators.”
The presentation outlines four different types of automation: fixed, programmable, flexible and integrated. It is designed to teach company owners about all possible levels of automation and help them use that knowledge to decide what path to pursue and how to properly shop for automation equipment.
Agba says automation decisions can lead to “costly and disastrous” failures if they’re not made with a clear understanding of how the changes will impact the entire business.
Before joining Iowa State University in 2010, Agba held a career at Ford Motor Company where he specialized in metal processes and techniques. He currently works with students in the mechanical engineering capstone design course to pair them with real problems they can solve for Iowa’s industries. CIRAS has allowed him to connect students to specific needs of area businesses.