Automation is fast becoming widespread in the manufacturing industry. What positive impact does advanced technology like robotics have on humans? Read on to find out.
Different People have Varying Perceptions about Robots
Today, some people still believe that robots, guided vehicles, cobots, and mobile robots will in the future replace human workers. However, it is worth mentioning that many experts have come out to admit that automation requires human intervention to operate effectively. For example, Elon Musk once said that “excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake. To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.”
Many entrepreneurs agree that employees play a critical role in the implementation and deployment of automation, with some leveraging leading manufacturing technologies to facilitate the opening of new opportunities, ensuring that people are safe, and promoting quality and efficiency.
Leveraging Automation to Enhance the Working Experience
With proper deployment meant to ease hard to manage and repetitive tasks, automation brings about transformation making these tasks fun. It also eliminates risks while creating career development opportunities. Further, the industrial robotic arm can automate repetitive, routine, and dirty tasks.
Some of these tasks include assembling small parts, subsidiary replenishment, and staging. Once these tasks have been taken care of, humans can focus on other valuable tasks like exclusive handling and excellent problem-solving issues.
The role of automation goes beyond the manufacturing floor. Advanced solutions like RPA (robotics process automation) can ease manual tasks like data entry. Some companies are already leveraging RPA to facilitate the automation of numerous transactions in the accounts department. Doing so allows human workers to focus on improving innovative tasks.
Robots Promote Safety
Apart from eliminating repetitive and dangerous tasks, automation helps cut down various risks from the manufacturing floor. Some of these risks include injuries resulting from lifting heavy objects to accidents resulting from distracted employees. Some of the recent advancements in robotic sensors have allowed robots to sense the human presence; slow or shut down, and evade contact to prevent possible accidents. During the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, automation has effectively stretched the manufacturing floor to adhere to social distancing rules.
The continued technological evolution inspires employees to evolve through upskilling. This approach promotes the creation of new job opportunities while promoting individual professional growth.
Still, the upskilling phase should be executed carefully. Some companies focus on combining in-house training with the introduction of automation-based solutions. Doing so keeps employees engaged from the beginning while enabling them to participate in the company’s progressive manufacturing journey.
Promoting system learning becomes crucial as continued automation or workflow changes can impact the whole manufacturing process. Advanced automation triggers new careers. Experts say that often employees move from executing simple tasks to managing multiple robots and eventually becoming skilled equipment engineers. Automation hardly replaces jobs. Instead, it helps generate new roles and opportunities leading to career development.
The Human Effect in Automation
While automation boosts productivity, efficiencies, productivity and minimizes risks, it is not a universal solution. Automation is a robust technology that is often programmed to only focus on particular tasks.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence are some of the technologies that have facilitated on-the-job learning. However, automation diminishes in comparison to the level of handling and flexibility that human workers offer.
As a result, the robot-human combination works much better. It allows both human workers and the robot to execute tasks they are well suited for. This concept explains why many companies today have adopted robotic systems to enable humans and robots to collaborate in the same working environment.
Progressive manufacturing technologies today, such as simulation, can offer 3D models that outline the robot-human interaction, determine the understanding of human workers on how tasks can be executed together more efficiently, and define the future workplace appearance.
Robotics is a robust technology. However, it will take more years of innovation before replacing human workers’ critical thinking capacity and experience.
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