Manufacturing Competitiveness through Robotics and Automation

The challenge facing North American manufacturers have escalated as manufacturing industry struggles to stay competitive in global marketplace. Labor costs, task rates, health care costs, retirement costs, tort costs and pollution abatement costs are just some of the problems.

The following initiatives were outline with a focus in improving manufacturing competitiveness:
• Reduce tax related to manufacturing
• Conduct a regulatory review
• Lower health care costs
• Ensure an appropriate focus on innovation and productivity enhancing technology
• Train employees

The one area where manufacturers could secure result immediately, while maintaining control, is the use of innovation and product enhancing technology. The state of the manufacturing community has changed. Quality and efficiency have become essential which has shifted the focus to lean manufacturing and Six Sigma process. Automation and robotics are also credited with improving efficiency and quality.

Some manufacturers are concerned investing in automation and innovation will displace workers. The fact is if manufacturers do not innovate and embrace automation, they will leave themselves open to loosing their entire facility, company or worse to outsourcing.

Several factors that are directly impacted include: quality, efficiency, increased control, and viability. An automated facility manufacturers the highest quality products, enabling manufacturers to optimize current capital, labor resources, maintain control of their operations, strengthen manufacturing leadership and retain jobs, all while loading to significant cost improvement. Industrial robots provide a number of direct and indirect economic benefit. One robot can perform the work of three to five people, reducing the cost labor. Over the three next decades, 76 millions baby boomer will retire and only 46 million new workers will be available to replace them.

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