The benefits of utilising robotics in manufacturing

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Around the world, manufacturers are searching for ways to make their practices and processes more effective and efficient. As their industry becomes more reliant on technology, this industry needs to look toward the future to stay ahead of their competition.

Robotics may be the answer, as many claim this technology could usher in the fourth industrial revolution. For manufacturers, robotics offer many benefits that could help them give a competitive edge. 

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Increased flexibility for workers

For employees, manning their job on the line can be rewarding. Being a contributing part in the greater creation of a product is something to be proud of. But what if manufacturers could offer their workers a larger and more flexible role in the process. Instead of participating in the same, monotonous part of the line everyday, employees could help out in various ways along the assembly with the introduction of robotics.

Robots can be programmed to take on particularly repetitive tasks so that workers can focus on roles that require the creative thinking that robots can't do. This, in turn, creates more jobs for current employees and enables the company to forecast future hiring.

On top of that, employees may experience greater daily flexibility as well. If technology completes some of the more mundane morning and evening actions, workers can create a schedule that offers a greater work-life balance. Workers who are happy in their jobs stay with companies four times longer than their unhappy counterparts. To foster long-term fulfillment among employees and create a strong and reliable workforce, manufacturers should consider the flexibility robots create for their staff.

Greater product reliability

With humans manning the assembly line comes human error - it's inevitable. Skill-based errors - often unintentional - tend to happen due to memory lapses or slips of action and frequently occur due to fatigue or distraction. Enhanced workplace design in the form of robotics technology can help reduce these mistakes and ensure that there is uniformity across the products being manufactured.

With repeatable outcomes, manufacturers can avoid defective items that may not meet quality standards of both customers and regulatory organisations. The time and money spent rectifying these issues can also be decreased, as certain robotic codes can simply be re-programmed to avert a repeat error instead of leaders having to re-train employees.

With greater product reliability also comes a stronger company reputation. Manufacturers that repeatedly offer faulty items may gain negative character descriptions, while those with consistently dependable output can benefit from positive standing within the industry.

Improved cost savings

When considering introducing robots to their workforce, it's common for manufacturers to point to the up-front costs associated with implementing the machinery. While investing in technology can be a large expense, the cost-savings associated with having these tools on the assembly line can outweigh the initial price-tag.

The decision to add robotics to manufacturing is a large one. Companies must consider the return on investment. Leaders can calculate the payback period by dividing the initial capital cost of the technology by the annual savings amount. Keep in mind that the average lifespan of a robot is about 12 years.

Not to mention the reduced expenses relating to decreased re-production of defective items, robotics offers other cost savings when it comes to manufacturing. For example, the technology is only active for the time needed to complete whatever job it's performing. In addition, the price of upkeep and its associated downtime is often reduced with these machines in place. Instead of unplanned maintenance forcing the line to shut down for potential extended periods of time, robotics technology can alert business leaders to needed and more frequent updates.

Enhanced safety

Dangerous or hazardous jobs can create unsafe working conditions for employees. With the introduction of robots, manufacturers can reduce worker exposure to serious chemicals, fumes and overall injury.

With enhanced safety, manufacturers can keep production at an all-time high and decrease the chance of accidents that could result in workers' compensation claims or necessary leaves of absence.

The outlook for Robotics in Australia

Robotics offer a wealth of benefits to Australia's manufacturing industry. This automation could increase the national income by up to $2.2 trillion by 2030. To remain at the forefront, it's imperative that manufacturers not only consider introducing this technology, but begin making major strides in implementing robotics within their workforce. While the benefits listed above are substantial, they only crack the surface of the advantages enhanced machinery can do for the industry. To improve worker happiness and productivity, customer satisfaction and more, robotics in manufacturing is the future.

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