Introducing Your New Robot Coworker

Introducing Your New Robot Coworker

As businesses prepare for success in the upcoming new year, they are rethinking the entire workplace dynamic. By introducing robots into the workplace, machine shops around the world are redefining organizational structure, accomplishment of manufacturing processes, and the entire workplace environment for the better.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported more job openings than people available to fill them in the manufacturing industry. This statistic is largely attributed to the skills gap, or the inability to find enough human workers to fill job openings. Reasons for the inability to fill these positions are because of the stigma behind manufacturing and its impact on younger generations, along with the inevitable retirement of baby boomers. Common misconceptions surrounding manufacturing jobs has left jobs unfilled and the industry at risk of skyrocketing prices, lower wage growth for the existing workforce and less global competitiveness. With these consequences at stake, it is not hard to imagine why many companies are choosing to automate. However, it has become clear that the U.S. has a long way to go before fully automating processes, without any need for operator intervention.

John Hitch, Senior Technology Writer for Industry Week, addresses the inevitable “robot invasion” in his article The Great Robot Takeover: Fact or Fiction? Hitch writes “With a new breed of robots on the market and more sophisticated automation solutions arriving every day, many workers...feel they’re on the front lines of a full scale robot takeover”. However, “the fact is, robots will take some jobs and create others. And the tech is not that advanced....yet. Amazon, at the forefront of automation, says it’s at least a decade from fully automating a single order”. The key to successful integration of automation in a machine shop is to introduce machine operators to their new robot coworkers early, fully understand the investment into robotics, and be open to positive changes in the workplace. As the new year approaches, what better time is there to implement CNC automation on your shop floor?

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