Manufacturers are increasingly benefiting from greater efficiency, reduced risk, and opportunity for innovation made available by the automation revolution. In addition, as we discussed in our recent post about the rising cost of labor, the current environment in the U.S. has made it even more challenging to hire and retain the number of workers needed in a non-automated manufacturing operation. The optimal solution is to create the perfect human/machine blend with the right automation application for each situation, and that is precisely where the future of manufacturing is headed.
We recently read an article on thomasnet.com that interviewed Saman Farid, CEO of Formic Technologies. He clearly laid out the benefits to U.S. manufacturers of innovation through automation, which include:
- Improve competitive position in the global economy
According to the article, “for American manufacturing to remain at the helm of innovation, it may need to accelerate its adoption of automation.” Farid is quoted in the article as saying, “Most factories in America only operate between 2,000 to 3,000 hours per year, out of a possible 8,700 production hours. That means every machine in that factory, every air conditioner, every forklift, every CNC machine, every square foot of space sits idle 75% of the time.”
- Reduce risk and increase worker satisfaction
Again, according to Farid, “There’s a lot of data to show that countries that adopt more automation actually end up having more jobs available for their people and higher paying jobs.” As detailed in this recent case study, Wes-Tech has discovered that we can help organizations reduce the risk of worker injury by finding creative ways to use robotic solutions that keep people employed while taking the burden of heavy lifting off of the humans on the line.
- Improve flexibility
If customer demand changes unexpectedly and you want to quickly implement product changes, upskilling workers to make the needed adjustments to the manufacturing equipment is much quicker than reteaching workers how to create a new part. Farid believes that, “Humans are fantastic at problem-solving, at dexterity, at being creative, and at highly skilled tasks and decision making. Whenever mechanization comes in, people take on more advanced and creative work.” This type of upskilling allows for much greater flexibility in your manufacturing operations.
- Protect the U.S. supply chain
There have been wide-reaching supply chain disruptions beginning with the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing into 2022 due to current world events. As we mentioned in our post on reshoring, many companies have been reshoring their supply base to gain better control over future disruptions. According to Farid, “By bringing automation to the U.S. and increasing the amount of automation in American factories, we’re creating a much more defensible supply chain,” both for military reasons and to reduce shortages such as during a global pandemic.
Going forward, manufacturers must consider where automation can help them innovate and drive toward increased productivity and profitability. At Wes-Tech, our applications engineers have the depth of experience to concept the perfect solution — the best combination of your skilled operators and your capital budget. When your production staff and your production equipment work in unison, you will discover that they can provide you with optimal resource utilization. To help you reach this goal, we strive to deliver the very best Man-Machine-Automation systems and solutions.
Wherever you are in your manufacturing optimization journey, the Wes-Tech team can help you get to the right solution for your operation by helping find the right fit for your production needs, your budget, and your timing. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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