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Robots in manufacturing – assembly lines are evolving

While some believe that automation will affect the human workforce, in reality, more jobs are being created due to the productivity robots actually ensure.

robots in manufacturing
Image: Pexels

Over the last years, a focus on technology has been observed on a global scale. New tech trends have emerged, and different industries have spotted their potential from an early point and have made impressive changes. Companies functioning in the manufacturing field are presented with the possibility of pursuing automaton in their in-house processes, and for many of them, the implementation of robots have had quite a powerful role.

Assembly lines that still follow an old-school approach, with minimal use of technology, have fallen behind on competition, while production processes that do incorporate robotics have noticed an increase in speed and quality. Robots give companies the possibility to evolve their production, and various businesses from this sector are starting to notice the benefits.

The following factors are the ones that draw attention first and determine manufactures from all over the world to start using collaborative robot arms and other similar automation tech trends available:

Quality and consistency

One of the main aspects that make industrial robot technology such a popular subject in recent years is the quality automation can provide. Regardless of experience and qualification, human operators are less likely to maintain the same quality throughout each step of the production line – avoiding human errors constantly is not a plausible goal.

With robots, manufacturers can gain a competitive advantage, these being predictable and precise, and ensuring high quality each and every time. The characteristics of the final product remain consistent and quality will no longer be influenced by unpredictable human errors. Accuracy, precision and consistency – these are all things that robots can bring to the table, aspects that certainly appeal to manufacturers that wish to maintain impressive quality standards.

Productivity

Managing to complete production on time is one of the most frequently encountered challenges. When time efficiency isn’t on point, manufacturers aren’t able to keep up with market demands, and improving success becomes harder. Robots have the capacity to work on constant speeds, without breaks, vacations or sleep. This means once put in use, robots will complete change in-house productivity for the better, ensuring shorter cycle times.

Productivity usually goes hand in hand with profitability, and manufacturing businesses that wish to optimize their processes, manage time efficiency better and bring a specific number of products into the market at a certain point, have a lot to gain with robot assembly lines. The difference between a manufacturer that uses human operators solely and one that combines human operations with technology is quite significant, in the productivity department. Producing more in a shorter period of time is one of the main goals that can be met here.

Safety

Depending on the specifics of a manufacturing process, various safety issues can often come into the discussion. Being exposed to hazardous environments or dangerous material can lower the production efficiency of a company. Manufacturers have now the possibility of lowering liability concerns and keeping their employees safe through automation.

It will always be easier to deal with a damaged robot than handle a situation where an employee gets injured, and more companies are starting to understand that. And even if employees still need to oversee processes, their job can be done from a safe distance or even remotely.

Keeping up with customer expectations

In the 21st century, consumers’ expectations are higher than ever, which means adopting existing trends can become a necessity. Robots allow manufacturing businesses to provide their target audience with a final product that actually meets requirements.

Customers want high-quality products, and they want them in a timely manner – being able to cover expectations is difficult, when operations aren’t consistent, when human errors occur or when productivity is far from optimal. Embracing automation and technology is simply something that manufacturers need to do if they want to remain relevant In a competitive industry.

Growth opportunities

There are many powerful examples of companies that have managed to reach their desired success and to expand on an international level once they have started using the right tech resources. The adoption or robots and automation comes with realistic growth potential, something any business naturally desires. Innovative, smart, efficient – characteristics that an industrial robot usually has. It’s easier to reach expansion objectives when appropriate technology is accessible and that is why more organizations are automating their assembly lines. While initial investment is necessary, the long-term returns make that said amount worth spending.

Labor costs

mit flytrap gripper robot

Image: Jason Dorfman/MIT CSAIL

Last but not least, companies that are part of the manufacturing industry, especially smaller businesses, need to maintain their production budget in-check, which can be difficult when labor expenses are high. The costs of having human operators carry out processes from A to Z will be much most expensive than the initial investment and maintenance costs technology demands. Because in some cases, safety concerns are also involved, businesses naturally deal with an increase in labor costs. Automation has a powerful influence on the manufacturing business’ overall budget.

This particular topic has triggered controversy, many claiming that robots have caused the loss of many factory jobs. However, the majority of companies implementing the right type of technology have managed to grow and develop, increasing thus the number of job vacancies available. Robots give businesses the opportunity to save money with production and invest it in other segments of their company. A manufacturing company that becomes successful due to technology will always have more jobs available for human employees.

Technology has certainly managed to revolutionize various industries, and amazing changes are still being awaited, as more advancements are being introduced. The manufacturing sector has benefited from impressive upgrades with the rise of robotics, and assembly lines seem to continue moving forward.

While some believe that automation will affect the human workforce, in reality, more jobs are being created due to the productivity boost robots actually ensure. It remains to be seen if the impact of robotics will grow, and what companies will fully embrace this futuristic trend, as well as what new inventions revolving around production will appear.

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Just another guy who likes to write about tech and gadgets.

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