There's no question, the use of robotics in the manufacturing sector continues to grow across the globe as technologies improve for sensors, precision, and durability. What are the most noticeable impacts as our society seeks out new ways to build products that remain competitive on the international market?
Not Just Building Cars
Japan introduced the use of robotics in their car factory floors decades ago. Domestic manufacturers followed suit and the poster child for robotics became a large metallic creature precisely mounting large parts into place time after time, increasing production and reliability. Forty years later, robots have become smaller and smarter. They are used to make computer boards, build small electronics, and even speed up textile plants. Other industries now represent almost 40% of robotic usage.
Food and Beverage Industry Booming
Over the past decade, the food and beverage manufacturing companies have seen the greatest increase in use of robotics. Improved sensors and more dexterous appendages have helped to add robots to sorting and packaging lines. This can greatly improve the consistency of packaged products as the robots eliminate almost all damaged foods before they are sealed on the line.
Shifting the Job Force
While the implementation of robots has seen a reduction of humans working on factory floors, there are positives to the process. While the demand for low-skilled workers has dropped up to 25% in a shop that introduced robots, jobs in the engineering and creation of robotics have increased by more than 30% over the past ten years. Also, robots are pairing up with humans in the factory and doing many repetitive tasks, reducing injuries. The human half often receives further training for a more skilled and productive position.
The manufacturing industry is now capable of producing products faster while raising the quality of life in the workplace for all employees.