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Don’t Fall Behind: Automation is a Boon, not a Headache

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Resistance to automation

With the rising intensity of digitisation, and how rapidly information is exchanged today’s clients’ expectations are increasing. Along with the demand for high-quality and fast product delivery, SMEs struggle to maintain low operational cost while keeping up with first class production. The fast-paced world right under our eyes requires companies to look into new ways of making its production line safer and more efficient; they must prove they value their employees by avoiding time on repetitive dexterous tasks, in some cases, extremely hazardous tasks. Automation cannot simply be treated as friction to a company’s owners, rather owners must consider developing new employee skill sets.

Operators once stuck behind machines, can now operate Cobots and understand production line behaviour by projecting upcoming installations. On the other hand, CEOs/Production line managers can interpret an increase in market demand, and manual processes involving inefficiency, and human error can now be an opening for high productivity (bringing down the losses once occurred). Workers are likely to resist the changes on the impact of automation, but the truth of the matter is that robots may substitute dexterous tasks with valuable jobs utilising workers’ skill sets on key business decisions.

Adopting a new attitude

Many SMEs have heard about automation and the benefits around it, but misinterpreting complex installations can create fear around the concept of automation. Without changing the approach towards new technologies, business will eventually lose their competitive edge. It is true that implementing new processes always comes with new challenges, but focusing on long-term results, rather than processes or workflows will allow companies to have an open mind toward implementing a collaborative robotic cell in their facilities.

The good thing is that many collaborative robots, end-of-arm tooling and parts feeders’ manufactures are devoted to creating a friendly ecosystem when implementing a collaborative robotics cell. This movement has created opportunities in the production line, and has helped automate tasks that were once considered irreplaceable by robots. With a fast, easy and simple motor these companies gave SMEs the potential to invoke the new era of robots working alongside humans. Overall, automation is not a choice, but a necessity.

Renata Barros

Recommendations:

The guys from HIRO Robotics S.R.L created this great website with more than 150 collaborative robots brand review and EOAT options, check it out here.

And to learn more about implementing lean manufacturing, Robotiq’s CEO Co-Founder, Samuel Bouchard, has written a very informative book: “The Lean Robotics Book: A Guide To Making Robots Work In Your Factory” https://leanrobotics.org/

Written by Renata Barros, Consultant/ Robotics & collaborative Automation/ Industry 4.0