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A helping (robot) hand

There’s no denying robotic automation can do many of the jobs that are arduous, dangerous or dirty for humans to carry out. But what areas of manufacturing will always require human input?

Increasing levels of robots in manufacturing in the digital factory mean that many jobs that we would prefer not to do can now be carried out by machinery. Robots are becoming smarter and more sensitive to their environments. This means that robots that can safely work alongside humans – co-bots – are already a reality.

Industrial robots are getting better at assembly, but they are expensive and need human experts to set them up.

Machines need engineers

All these automated machines require engineers to service and maintain them, and they must also be programmed – a skilled job. Certain tasks, such as many assembly operations, remain too complicated or fiddly for robots to do, which is why assembly is sometimes subcontracted to countries with low wage rates for manual labour.

Industrial robots are getting better at assembly, but they are expensive and need human experts to set them up, who in themselves are a costly resource. For smaller manufacturers with fewer resources, robots can cost too much and be too inflexible to take the place of people in highly specialised manufacturing operations.

Essentra and robotics

Essentra Components supplies many different sectors and as the demands on our customers increase, our manufacturing processes, production line and supply chain must evolve to meet these needs. By incorporating higher levels of automation and digitisation at our facilities, Essentra is meeting the increasingly intricate and challenging needs of its customers. For example, we are already using robotic automation in parts of our business to aid efficiency, drive production and reduce waste. However, the input of our engineers and production personnel is crucial to using any new robotics technology effectively.

Essentra Components has also recently launched the Industry 4.0 Hub on their UK Knowledge Centre to help demystify Industry 4.0, inform and educate the industry and document their own journey.

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