The Assembly Show was held in Rosemont, Illinois this year, and turned out to be a great resource for all things assembly. From lean manufacturing, to understanding what the factory of the future looks like, we are sharing some of our key takeaways.
With over 220 exhibitors and more than 24 presentations, this event opened the reality of where manufacturing is heading, not just in the United States but worldwide. Importance has been placed on the implementation on digital automation through artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity. While companies position themselves for long-term growth with investments in automated machinery, a parallel of digital security must accompany.
The importance of incorporating automated machines in nearly every industrial automation company has been increasing with the push to onshore business. Still facing a national labor shortage, many companies are being forced to pursue automation. This mindset of forced change, though, can be detrimental to the overall morale of a company.
The reality is that processes that could have previously been time consuming, dangerous, or labor-intensive now have the ability to be conducted by robots. This gives freedom to the company to upskill employees and reallocate resources where they are actually needed. The benefits can outweigh the costs when looking at the long-term plan, but this change in mindset needs start at the ground floor. Automation is pro-labor and is a two-in-one solution for businesses looking to stay or become successful.
Food for Thought
If you’re thinking about getting started with assembly automation, it’s not hard, you just need to know where to look. For manufacturers, the “how, what, when, where, and why” questions are best answered when they start on the shop floor. The operators that are involved in the day-to-day processes are essential resources in helping to determine where automation best serves the company. Bring reality to the forefront by seeking out areas of improvement from the people who work day-to-day in these areas. Ask their opinion, understand what they actually do and why. This starts the thought process of figuring out what to automate and helps automated machine builders understand your needs to better develop a custom solution.
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