Robots are the key to strengthening the American Manufacturing
I think it’s time we face the facts. We’re getting our butts kicked by a global pandemic and with the need to re-shore our manufacturing, robotics is going to be our only real option. Kids don’t want to do the same jobs their parents and grandparents did, and who can blame them? The jobs a robot can do are repetitive, mundane, and often, very dangerous. Robots are one among many emerging technologies that enable production units to get the best results across the board. So, how do the robots help?
What are the advantages of using robots in a post pandemic world?
1. Robots Support Social Distancing
I hate to say it but, robots just do not get sick. The vaccine is going to take a while to get out to everyone and if we need to continue social distancing, then we’re going to have to rethink shift work as well as how close employees can work together. Collaborative robots are a perfect solution as they are human sized or smaller, easier to integrate and thanks to technologies like force sensing and vision, safe to work around.
The primary advantage of using a robotic system is that it doesn’t get tired. The pandemic has stressed all of us and if the robots can lighten the humans load, we can help ease some of the pressure that we are all feeling as we navigate all this craziness. In tandem, we can speed up production time and ultimately, productivity. The pandemic showed us that our manufacturing supply chain needs to ramp up at a moment’s notice. Robots can help do that!
One of the things that became painfully obvious at the start of the pandemic is just how important our manufacturers are. Some of the PPE and ventilators that were created were needed to save lives. Without the right quality control, people could die and with no room for error, our manufacturers were under a lot of pressure. The repeatability of robotics will not just increase output, but save American lives.
4. Creates More Jobs
In the short term, will robots take some jobs? Yes. But, in the very near term, new jobs will be created in service, maintenance, and programming. Thanks to the previously mentioned, “collaborative robots”, humans can now work safely around and alongside humans. This opens a whole new world of possibilities. In many cases, robots are not taking humans jobs, humans have been doing robots jobs. Let’s have the robots augment the existing workforce while we up skill a future one.
6. Ultimately, Robots increase the employee’s quality of life
Let’s be honest. Many of the factory floor jobs are incredibly hard on the human body. Workplace injuries, long term conditions like carpal tunnel and arthritis are inevitable with repetitive tasks. These are also not the most satisfying of jobs. Humans are amazing! If we want to keep our aging workforce as productive (and injury free) as possible until retirement and get a new and younger workforce excited about manufacturing, robots are the way to go. It may take some getting used to for our older workers, but kids LOVE robots.
Make no mistake, the world has changed and is never going back, but if we’re willing to think outside the box and look to the future, robots represent an incredible opportunity to rebuild the American economy.