Robotics in automation

Posted by Joe Amick on January 18, 2023

Automation in many ways can be a great help but it causes fear and worry.

Some fear that machines will take over all of the jobs and push workers out of the market. The reality is that machines only do what you tell them to. That means you need people to instruct the machines and direct what they do. In many cases it allows workers more longevity by removing risk or hazards. For example, spending 8 to 10 hours a day manually sanding or polishing is not the most healthy task. From the dust of sanding to compounds in polishing they create a mess in general. Now place yourself in that environment day in and day out. That is why these jobs tend to have higher turn over as its just tough dirty work. They also tend to have higher injury risk and that is no good for anyone involved.

Now take the person who has worked in that environment and pair them with a robot. They have the learned experience of working with the parts and know exactly what is needed. They can then impart that experience into the robot to do the dirty work. You then have a situation where the worker gets to stay far cleaner and healthier and turn over falls. They learn a new skill set and get to go home far cleaner at the end of the day. You also gain consistency and through put vs the manual process making for a positive on both the business and employee sides.

As we moved away from using horses as a general tool and transport the jobs around them changed. The same plays out with many things over time. Things will adapt and change over time and automation is one of them. There will always be manual operations in every aspect of manufacturing as it is the nature of the beast. Some things may be very low volume or of such a shape it requires a set of hands and eyes. Automation is about making the most with the resources available. Rather than pay a skilled welder to grind down a weld let a robot do that grinding task. The welder is less likely to burn out and you are not paying them to sand welds. Letting the welder focus on welding puts his time where you need it and increases production. 

Automation and robots is not about removing people as its just not that simple. There is more to it than a few buzz words on TV.


Joe Amick

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