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  • Chris Callura

Manufacturing's Next Frontier: Automation and Robotics 


It’s evident to all that American manufacturing is experiencing significant disruption, driven by the rise of automation and robotics. Companies are meeting complex manufacturing challenges we had previously only imagined. As labor and energy costs rise, this shift to more efficient, safe, and profitable operations is a welcome development. The adoption of robotics is increasing rapidly, and there is also an increasingly greater familiarity and comfort with people and robots working collaboratively for more substantial productivity. Performance is steadily growing, and manufacturers attribute much of the rise to autonomous systems.


Automation and Robotics Increase Productivity and Safety


Productivity is not the only benefit of autonomous systems for manufacturers. Safety is paramount in all manufacturing environments.


Automation and robotics significantly reduce the risk of workplace injuries by taking over dangerous or repetitive tasks.

Robots can handle hazardous materials, work in extreme factory conditions, and perform high-risk operations without putting human workers in harm's way. Robotic technology can mitigate ergonomic concerns. Autonomous systems that feature robotics protect your workforce and minimize the liabilities and costs that accompany workplace accidents and injuries.  


If you’ve attended any automation trade shows recently, you’ve likely walked through aisles and booths with mobile robotics roaming around. A sight that once triggered a sense of concern is now commonplace. This demonstrates the high level of robotic development and the safety mechanisms that state-of-the-art robotics can bring.  


Workforce Resiliency. 


  • The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the vulnerabilities in traditional manufacturing setups where human presence is essential. Many factories faced operational disruptions during the pandemic due to health risks and lockdowns.  Robotics automation can provide an ideal solution by ensuring continuous production, regardless of external circumstances. This resiliency protects business continuity and helps companies navigate crises more effectively. 


For example, the healthcare sector regularly experiences some of the world’s most extreme workout burnout, which rose to crisis levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. Robots now do much of the lifting, carrying, sorting, and recording work, enabling nurses to reclaim 10 percent more of their work time to use in direct patient interaction.


Efficiency. 


  • One of the most significant advantages of automation and robotics in manufacturing is the dramatic increase in efficiency. Robots can operate 24/7 without fatigue, ensuring consistent production rates and reducing downtime. Automated systems can perform repetitive tasks with unparalleled speed and precision, far surpassing human capabilities. This efficiency translates into higher output, productivity, and faster turnaround times, giving companies a competitive edge in the market. For example, consider the teams responsible (and the regulatory requirement) for keeping airport roads and runways clear of snow and ice. The technology now in process will relieve airport personnel but can also do so with clean fuel and electric alternatives, providing them with higher efficiency and more power than before.


Quality Control. 


  • Robotics technology enables precise and consistent quality control. Automated systems can detect defects and inconsistencies accurately, ensuring that only products meeting stringent quality standards reach the market. This level of precision is particularly crucial in industries like food and beverage and healthcare, where product quality and safety are non-negotiable. Consider a meatpacking operation where several facilities experienced a 400 percent greater incidence of COVID-19 transmissions than other work operations. These operations became a hotbed for sickness and industrial accidents. One of the messiest and most demanding environments for food processing is separating the meat from cartilage and bone. In addition to the need for supreme sanitation, this function is dangerous and fraught with worker burnout as a manual task. Imagine increased accuracy, productivity, and safety when robots can take over these repetitive yet precise butchering tasks.


Conclusion 


The integration of automation and robotics in manufacturing is no longer a futuristic concept; it is a reality reshaping the industry, as our real-world examples attest. Our company is at the forefront of this transformation, leveraging cutting-edge robotics technology to enhance efficiency, safety, and quality in the food and beverage and healthcare sectors. By embracing these innovations, we are improving operational capabilities and setting new benchmarks for industry leadership and profitability. 


As automation specialists, we must continue to innovate and adapt to the evolving manufacturing landscape and remain committed to delivering excellence and ensuring the highest levels of customer satisfaction. The future of manufacturing is here, and with automation and robotics, we must lead the way to a more efficient, safe, and high-quality production environment. 


While the benefits of these technologies are tangible, measurable, and trackable, we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the possibilities ahead. Rapid progress is rising in technologies such as artificial intelligence, voice recognition, and mobile cooperative robotics (“cobots”). 


Our company's pilot programs to test functionality, effectiveness, and benefits have proven the best way for our customers to “dip their toes” into the automation and robotics space.

At Chang Robotics, we strive to develop custom-tailored solutions to fit the needs of our customers instead of forcing solutions that do not provide the flexible efficiency our customers need.  We maintain this is the approach every leading automation expert should take. With responsible use of today’s best innovations, the future is ours, for today and the dynamic seasons. Do these stories recall an implementation idea you’d like to implement? Please feel free to contact our president, Kate McAfoose, or me. You can find us on LinkedIn or via our company website anytime. We’d love to help you imagine the future with you.


Chris Callura leads operations, program management, and strategic partnerships for Chang Robotics.

 


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1 comentário


hakopa7596
30 de jun.

Great job highlighting these important issues. It's a topic that needs more attention.

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