A study by the McKinsey Foundation found that automation can increase labor productivity by 0.8 to 1.4 percent annually on a global basis. with automation, production takes significantly less time to complete, since the machines won’t have to think to complete their tasks. Plus, machines can work around the clock, so you’ll never have to halt production for lunch breaks, covid sick leave or any other reason.
But efficiency isn’t all about saving time—automation takes human error out of the equation. One study found that 23 percent of unplanned downtime in factories was caused by human error. With no more human error, production will also be more accurate as the machines manage repetitive tasks.
Some tasks become automated because of how hazardous they can be to employees. So, with automation, you can decrease the amount of workplace injuries and develop a safer working environment. Automation has significantly improved workplace injuries due to Excessive Repetitive Motion.
Scalable Operational Capabilities
Markets are always fluctuating, which means you sometimes need to adapt your production schedule to meet increased demand. With automation, you can easily scale your operations to meet those demands without burning out your employees or having them work extended hours and being paid overtime pay.
Think of all the industrial revolutions throughout history. What was innovative in mechanical and mass productions decades ago is now the norm for more production facilities. The same is true for automation—if you wish to stay competitive with companies that have already switched to automated production systems, you’ll need to follow their lead.
Improved Job Opportunities
There is a misconception about worker displacement due to automation. Some feel their jobs are being taken over by robots that can work longer hours and commit less error.
Manufacturers are not bringing in automation and robots to replace employees. The truth is, they are bringing in automation and robots because they don’t have enough employees. In Utah, the unemployment rate for the manufacturing industry is very low. Hiring and retaining employees in facilities is an issue that manufacturing automation can help resolve, especially for jobs that are boring, repetitive, dirty, and less desirable.
Automation can allow a factory to scale efficiencies for the mundane, and open opportunities for skilled workers to do higher-level tasks. This shift in operations is also a shift in the management of manufacturing, moving you closer to a future-proofed and Industry 4.0 state.