In the early days of the industrial revolution, manufacturing was labor-intensive and relied heavily on human power, with automation being a concept yet to be introduced. Workers would use industrial tools and machinery to cut, shape, and assemble parts. This approach was often rigorous and time-consuming. However, the manufacturing industry has undergone significant changes recently, with a shrinking workforce and increasing pressure to produce ultra-precise parts more efficiently.
As manufacturing processes and technologies have advanced, the industry has shifted toward modern production approaches, including automation. Today, machines and robots can perform many tasks that were once done by hand, significantly improving efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness, allowing manufacturers to produce parts faster and with higher quality. Yet, despite this new reality, many traditional manufacturing shops resist adopting automation, fearing the costs and changes it might bring. In this blog post, we’ll explore this modern manufacturing shop dilemma and why embracing automation is crucial to avoid falling behind.
Automation and the Dwindling Manufacturing Workforce
The shortage of skilled labor in manufacturing is a complex issue with hefty consequences. As older workers retire, they take a wealth of knowledge and experience with them that can be difficult to replace. At the same time, fewer younger workers are entering the industry, creating a skills gap that is challenging to overcome. This shortage of machinists can lead to production delays and increased labor costs as manufacturing shops struggle to find and retain qualified workers.
The solution: automation.
Automation is a smarter, faster, and more modern solution for a dwindling manufacturing workforce. Automation in manufacturing uses technologies like sensors, robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to streamline production processes and improve productivity. Automation can also involve integrating systems and software to create seamless workflows to automate repetitive and manual tasks. Ultimately, automation helps today’s manufacturing shops reduce the reliance on human labor and free up teams for more complex and creative work.
The Benefits of Automation in the Modern Manufacturing Shop
Automation offers numerous benefits for modern manufacturing shops, including:
- Increased productivity & utilization
Automated machines can work more reliably and longer without fatigue or error, increasing productivity and accuracy. In addition, automated machines can work around the clock, without breaks, resulting in a more efficient production process.
- Improved quality control
Automated machines can often perform tasks more accurately than humans, resulting in better quality control and fewer defects. These technologies also enhance consistency. Programming technologies to perform tasks the same way every time ensures that parts are consistent from the first to the last run.
- Better resource allocation
By automating repetitive tasks, manufacturing companies can reduce their highest cost: labor. It also helps allocate resources more effectively by freeing up employees for more complex, valuable, and creative work.
- Safer working environment
Automated machines can perform dangerous or repetitive tasks, reducing the risk of workplace injuries and creating a safer working environment.
- Faster turnaround times
Utilizing advanced technology in manufacturing can also enable companies to expedite part production, thereby decreasing the time needed to introduce devices and innovations to the market.
- Talent recruitment
Finally, when used and presented properly to the employee base, automation is widely accepted, which can help attract and retain top talent. This allows manufacturing shops to position themselves as innovative and forward-thinking, making them more attractive to the next generation of workers.
The solution to the modern manufacturing shop dilemma is clear: either embrace automation or fall behind. Automation is the key to resolving the manufacturing labor shortage problem while preparing the industry for the future by making it more competitive and sustainable. In addition, automation creates new opportunities for innovation, allowing manufacturers to produce parts that were once considered impossible. With automation, the possibilities are endless, with the power to revolutionize manufacturing as we know it.
Calling All Automation Engineers!
As the manufacturing industry shifts towards automation, the choice to adopt it is no longer an option but a necessity to stay competitive. As a result, the demand for automation engineers is beginning to soar, with pioneering companies like ours actively seeking creative minds to design and implement automated systems. We’re investing in a “sandbox” space within our modern state-of-the-art facility where engineers can experiment and develop new automation solutions to solve today’s manufacturing challenges for medtech, aerospace, defense, space exploration, and other mission-critical industries.
If you are an experienced automation engineer looking for a new career opportunity, now is the time to explore the modern manufacturing industry. With a solid, value-driven organizational culture, competitive wages and benefits, and exciting professional development opportunities, we want to help you succeed. For more, check out our post on the five reasons to consider a career in manufacturing, explore our employment opportunities, or contact our management team.