Automation has become one of the most disruptive technologies in terms of operational and developmental processes for organizations. Many are widely adopting this technology to reduce costs and increase efficiencies.
Labor shortages are not as big a concern as automation makes businesses more self-reliant than ever. It helps businesses like manufacturers to overcome the challenges related to the manual assembly of products.
However, the technology becomes all the more valuable for businesses in the pandemic era with potential risks of looming disruptions ahead. There are plenty of reasons why they should embrace automation sooner rather than later.
Human operators offer the benefits of speed and flexibility, but they aren’t great from the scalability perspective. If a line suddenly needs to double up its capacity, getting double the number of human operators right away can be challenging.
Even if they try to make up for the emergency demand, there are chances of human errors down the line. Hiring people quickly may not be the most viable option for businesses as it may be hard to sustain a larger workforce in the long run.
Smart automation can come to the rescue as it is easy to add hardware or adjust the software quickly and increase throughput. Moreover, it enables agile product variation without any hassles about training workers and operators.
Automation brings flexibility and intelligence to assembly processes as it facilitates distributed manufacturing and remote management. It is easy to realign processes and manage people in the dynamic landscape with automated software and PLCs in place.
The technology also empowers managers to manage people on the floor, even in the era of social distancing. Moreover, it supports the concept of social distancing by ensuring that the work in the plant is completed with fewer people around.
With automation, industries have the flexibility to adopt trending products and work with just as many people as they need.
Right now, the manufacturing segment is struggling with the aftermath of COVID-19. The pandemic’s impact is widespread, from affecting the workforce to disrupting the global supply chains.
Manufacturing lines cannot depend on human operators right now as things are unpredictable with people falling sick and not coming to work. The only way to build back is by showing resilience, and it is possible only by achieving high productivity and curbing operational costs.
Automation is perhaps the smartest way to gain these resilience goals and get back to normal operations. It curbs this risk as it keeps production lines going regardless of disruptions to the workforce or the supply chain.
While industrial automation has been around for some time, it wasn’t taken up by every business earlier. But it is no longer an option for industries in the new normal, as there is a new set of challenges for manufacturing and assembly lines. The sooner businesses embrace the technology, the better are the chances of recovery and getting back on track.