It’s an understatement to say that things have changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many of us, almost everything about our daily lives has changed in an effort to adapt and continue operations while keeping our teams safe. As you move into what we are now referring to as our “new normal” cobots can be a great tool for preserving efficiency while promoting safety. Here are the top five reasons why cobots are an excellent tool.
- Despite the high unemployment rates, manufacturing staffing is not a factor of high or low unemployment. It is instead, a demographic issue. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted the overwhelming number of open manufacturing and warehousing jobs in western Michigan. Despite jobless numbers being at a 50-year low, they are still unable to fill positions paying $15/hr with no experience needed. This could be because a Deloitte study found that while 83% of Americans think manufacturing is important, only 33% would suggest that their children choose it as their career. Due to this stigma, unfortunately, it is unlikely that even those who have been laid off from food service or retail jobs will want to move to a job in manufacturing. For this reason, utilizing cobots for repetitive, dirty, or dangerous jobs is an excellent solution to your staffing headaches. Not to mention, robots can work 24/7 without interruption!
- Cobots are great for ensuring the safety of your workers by helping them to better social distance. If work stations are too near each other, you can place cobots between human workers to maintain productivity with a lower staff density. Also, because cobots, such as Doosan, can be deployed quickly, they can be moved to new locations when your needs change. In most cases, they also do not require fencing so they will take up approximately the same amount of space as a human.
- COVID has left many companies with the need to reshore operations. Because cobots are easy to learn, they are great to help speed up that process. They can also help with manufacturing flexibility as they can quickly and easily move to a new manufacturing process.
- As operations get back up and running, you may not have the capital to automate the entire factory. However, cobots can be used as incremental automation allowing you to change over one process at a time to both address your staffing dilemmas and promote workplace safety.
- Cobots are a tool for taking what you’ve learned from the pandemic to improve your operation and protect against future production interruptions. They are ideal when traditional robots may not be a good option, such as in high mix, low volume applications.
Want to learn more about how cobots can help your facility stay up and running? Contact our automation experts today to discuss your specific application.