My co-worker the robot

Talking to employees early in the decision process about ways to use robots to increase productivity, reduce costs or increase quality will improve acceptance.

By Matthew Bush, Hirebotics, for Control Design

Are you thinking about introducing robotics into your factory? You can make the transition a smooth one and reduce the amount of anxiety felt by your existing human workers. First, why are you looking to add robots to the mix? That will determine how you need to approach introducing robots into your plant.

Plant managers add automation for a few different reasons:

  • reduce headcount
  • reduce costs/increase productivity
  • increase quality
  • fill vacancies that you can’t seem to find a human for
  • increase global competitiveness
  • create a safer work environment from either dangerous tasks or tasks that may cause repetitive motion injuries.

Of all the reasons listed, reducing headcount is probably the hardest to overcome with the existing workforce, and it’s the worst reason of all for deciding to get into robotics as it will drive a high level of anxiety among the workforce and make adoption a long uphill battle.

To learn more, read "Who’s that new robot on second shift?" from Control Design.

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