USA Principle of Automation

USA Principle:

The USA principle is a common sense approach to automation projects. Similar procedures have been suggested in the manufacturing and automation trade literature, but none has a more captivating title than this one. USA stands for:

    1. Understanding the existing process

    2. Simplify the process

    3. Automate the process

Understanding the existing process:

The obvious purpose of the first step in the USA approach is to comprehend the current process in all of its details. What are the inputs? What are the outputs? What exactly happens to the work unit between input and output? What is the function of the process? How does it add value to the product? What are the upstream and downstream operations in the production sequence, and can they be combined with the process under consideration?

Simplify the process:

Once the existing process is understood, then the search can begin for ways to simplify. This often involves a checklist of questions about the existing process. What is the purpose of this step or this transport? Is this step necessary? Can this step be eliminated? Is the most appropriate technology being used in this step? How can this step be simplified? Are there unnecessary steps in the process that might be eliminated without detracting from function?

Automate the process:

Once the process has been reduced to its simplest form, then automation can be considered. The possible forms of automation include those listed in the ten strategies. An automation migration strategy might be implemented for a new product that has not yet proven itself.