Best manufacturing process automation software in 2023
Nowadays, manufacturers must constantly seek innovative ways to improve their processes, reduce costs, and increase efficiency in order to stay ahead of the competition.
One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by implementing manufacturing process automation software.
In this guide, you’ll explore:
- Several benefits of automated manufacturing systems.
- The top 5 manufacturing process automation software in 2023.
- How to choose the perfect solution to propel your business forward.
But first, let’s go over the definition of automated manufacturing systems.
What are automated manufacturing systems?
Automated manufacturing systems streamline production by using manufacturing process automation software. This reduces reliance on manual labor and frees up time for high-value tasks.
Manufacturing software optimizes operations, enhances productivity, and controls equipment and processes, improving your efficiency and output quality.
Let’s look at what you stand to gain when you automate your manufacturing processes.
Benefits of automated manufacturing processes
Automated manufacturing processes, powered by manufacturing process automation software, offer numerous advantages that transform your business.
Reduce costs and production waste
Manufacturing process automation minimizes costs by reducing labor requirements and streamlining operations.
Additionally, it lowers production waste by enhancing accuracy and optimizing resource usage.
Faster response times
Automated systems improve response times to fluctuations in demand, ensuring timely production adjustments.
They help you analyze data in real time and make quick, informed decisions. This enhances agility and adaptability.
Optimize your production rates and efficiency
Manufacturing process automation software optimizes production rates and efficiency. This maximizes your output while still maintaining quality standards and meeting customer expectations.
Take repetitive tasks off your plate
Automated manufacturing systems handle repetitive tasks, freeing up employees to focus on value-added activities.
By automating mundane tasks, you boost employee satisfaction and reduce the risk of human error.
Essential features of manufacturing process automation software
Selecting the right manufacturing process automation software is crucial to achieving the full benefits of an automated manufacturing system.
To help you make the most informed decision, here are some essential features to consider.
- Scalability and flexibility
Choose manufacturing process automation software that can easily scale and adapt to your business’ changing needs. It should support seamless integration with your existing systems and accommodate future growth or adjustments in your production processes.
- Real-time data and analytics
Real-time data and analytics capabilities are crucial for monitoring, controlling, and optimizing production processes. Your chosen software should provide comprehensive data analysis tools and visualizations, enabling informed decision-making and continuous improvement.
- User-friendly interface
An intuitive user interface is vital for smooth implementation and operation. Look for a solution with a clear, easy-to-navigate dashboard that simplifies complex tasks and reduces the learning curve for users.
- Advanced scheduling and planning
Effective scheduling and planning features optimize production timelines, minimize delays, and maximize resource utilization.
Your chosen software should allow for precise scheduling, considering factors like machine availability, labor, and material constraints.
- Robust security and compliance
Ensure that your manufacturing process automation software meets industry-specific security and compliance standards. It should protect sensitive data and support secure communication protocols to prevent unauthorized access and potential cyber threats.
Now that you know which features to look for, let’s go over your top 5 manufacturing process automation options.
Top 5 manufacturing process automation software
First on our list of the top manufacturing process automation software is Method. It’s an ideal solution for managing both manufacturing processes and accounting due to its seamless two-way sync with QuickBooks and Xero.
This integration ensures smooth data flow and collaboration across the shop floor and sales office alike.
Method also offers detailed customer history that helps you deliver exceptional service, as well as custom reports to inform future strategies.
With Method’s automation capabilities, creating work orders becomes effortless. Accurately track critical details and convert work orders into error-free invoices in just a few clicks.
- Effortless two-way integration with QuickBooks or Xero.
- Time tracking for simplified payroll management.
- Self-service online portals for your customers.
- Mobile app for shop floor managers on the go.
- Native integrations with Gmail, Outlook, Paypal, Zapier, and more.
- Smooth data flow between Method and your accounting software.
- Limitless customization using no-code, drag-and-drop tools.
- Easy work order-to-invoice conversion with a single click.
- Personalized templates for email campaigns, reports, and transaction documents.
Method is best suited for QuickBooks or Xero users and is currently only available in English.
Method offers three subscription options:
- Contact Management: $25 per user per month.
- CRM Pro: $44 per user per month.
- CRM Enterprise: $74 per user per month.
You can try Method for free, no credit card required.
2. Katana MRP
Image credit: Katana
Katana is a cloud-based MRP manufacturing platform tailored for small businesses, offering modules for production planning, inventory management, and order and purchase management.
Its Shop Floor App provides real-time insights, enabling you to track manufacturing costs based on your production operations.
- Production planning and scheduling.
- Real-time inventory management.
- Centralized dashboard for sales order management.
- Integrations with Shopify, QuickBooks, Xero, and more.
- Visual interface for effortless progress tracking.
- Monitors manufacturing costs based on BoM and production operations.
Katana lacks key manufacturing features like shipping supply tracking and may be too costly for small businesses compared to similar solutions.
Katana offers three pricing plans:
- Essential: $99 per user per month.
- Advanced: $299 per user per month, and includes 3 shop floor operators.
- Professional: $799 per user per month, and includes 3 shop floor operators.
Image credit: L2L
L2L (Leading2Lean) is a cloud-based manufacturing software focusing on lean manufacturing principles that improve operational efficiency and reduce waste.
L2L offers real-time data and performance tracking, enabling businesses to make informed decisions and optimize processes.
- Production maintenance and management tools.
- Work order management and scheduling.
- Integrations with major ERP systems.
- Mobile access for shop floor insights.
- User-friendly interface for easy implementation.
- Emphasizes lean manufacturing principles to minimize waste.
- Real-time data helps you address issues quickly.
Some users report that recurrent system updates restrict operations. L2L’s native integrations are also fewer compared to similar solutions.
L2L offers customized pricing based on individual business requirements.
Image credit: Prodsmart
Prodsmart is an MES explicitly designed for fabricators and manufacturers. It offers a user-friendly solution to track and manage the entire production process, from sales to shipping.
With Prodsmart, manufacturers can monitor production progress, pinpoint bottlenecks, anticipate machine downtime, and reduce waste.
- Real-time operations and performance tracking.
- Material requirements planning and inventory management.
- Work order management and scheduling.
- Easy deployment with minimal setup.
- Accurate tracking and inventory overview.
- Responsive and effective customer support.
Some users have pointed out a lack of must-have warehouse management system features.
Prodsmart has a single annual pricing plan at $9,925 per year. It also offers a free 14-day trial.
Image credit: Infor Syteline
Syteline, or Infor CloudSuite Industrial, is a comprehensive ERP solution designed for manufacturers and distributors.
It provides robust functionality to simplify manufacturing processes, enhance productivity, and facilitate informed decision-making.
- End-to-end manufacturing and distribution management.
- Advanced operations planning and scheduling tools.
- Supply chain management and real-time analytics.
- Intuitive and accessible cloud-based solution.
- Comprehensive functionality for manufacturers and distributors
- Seamless integration with other Infor products and financial systems.
Users have reported lengthy and costly implementation, as well as slow loading speeds. Some have also pointed out significant reporting limitations.
Syteline offers custom pricing based on business size and requirements.
Recap: How to embrace manufacturing process automation in your business
Manufacturing process automation software has become indispensable for businesses seeking to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and stay ahead in the competitive manufacturing industry.
By leveraging the benefits of automated manufacturing systems, you optimize production, improve response times, and reduce waste, ultimately driving growth and profitability.
As you evaluate your options, focus on essential features such as:
- Real-time data analytics.
- User-friendly interface.
- Advanced scheduling.
- Robust security.
Free yourself from the chaos of your day-to-day operations with your free trial Method!
Image credit: lifestylememory via freepik