Should the Manufacturing Industry Embrace Automation?
The world is undergoing a massive digital transformation. As technology further develops and more places get access to the Internet, many businesses are seeing the benefits of automation. But is it a good thing in the world of manufacturing?
Pro: Leaving Menial Tasks for the Robots
The manufacturing industry is filled with repetitive tasks. While people can capably accomplish them, these aren’t that fulfilling. It’s not as rewarding as doing a managerial or executive task. Thus, one positive effect of automation is that the repetitive process can be done by robots instead.
When you eliminate the need for humans to do these mundane things, they can be tasked to do more meaningful operations. This will help them feel that they are indeed valuable to the company — not just a replaceable cog in the machine. Plus, the workers would have the opportunity to improve their cognitive skills.
Manufacturing companies would have to spend more on training workers to take on new tasks. But in the end, they will have loyal employees who are ready to take on more demanding jobs.
Pro: Better Efficiency and More Savings
There’s no skirting around the fact that robots can do manual tasks faster than humans. An increase in production speed means having more goods to sell and distribute. Thus, companies stand to gain a lot from using robots to handle the manufacturing process — and they don’t even need regular breaks.
Likewise, companies can save a lot of money if they implement automation. They will pay fewer people. That means they don’t have to worry about the payroll, the health benefits, and the sick leave payments of manual laborers since there will be none of them in the first place.
Con: Unemployment and Inequality
Ideally, companies would simply put their blue-collar workers in other departments or positions after a new set of training sessions. But the truth is that not all of them will be willing to do this. Many people will lose their jobs once the manufacturing industry embraces automation.
There is already significant social inequality in the world. Automation can exacerbate this issue. Note that local and national governments provide support to companies who have many employees. In other words, a reduction in your workforce could lead to losing forms of government assistance.
Con: Uncertain Issues
Automation requires the industry to anticipate new problems. As more and more computers and robots are utilized, the issue of cybersecurity gains more prominence. Software engineers and developers must be prepared for a variety of maintenance procedures. They should know how to implement VPN load balancing and other processes that will maintain efficiency and security.
Overall, the manufacturing industry has a lot to gain from embracing automation. Then again, there are problems in terms of human resources and unknown threats. Companies should think long and hard about their next steps.