Giving your robots a hand
Robots will be a bigger part of manufacturing in 2018 for two primary reasons: they can relieve human workers from the tedious and dangerous work found in plants and they can plug the nagging skills gap problem in plants. Manufacturers still can’t find enough people to fill the basic jobs desperately needed to help what is expected to be a growth year for industry. The Robotic Industries Association expects robotics in the food and packaging industry along to be a $31.5 billion market and grow at about 4.2% a year through 2020. There also remains a need to find greater operational efficiencies. The emerging robotic process automation industry is supplanting the skills of humans with the speed and accuracy of robots. While there remain concerns about manufacturing become a faceless (and humanless) process, it’s important to understand many manufacturers are employing robots as their second choice.