Future of Automation in Manufacturing: 3 Key Points

Future of automation will be quite different from things we have currently. Moreover, it will focus on removing manual labour from the production lines to get more reliable and profit to the organization.

Back in the days during the industrial revolution times, human were the core strengths of making the pieces of equipment and machinery. By that time, it was not that hard to find jobs

However, at present the technology advancements has pushed the industrial giants to interest in a new area which is automation. There are several key factors that influence companies to focus on future automation. The sections can give as below;

1. High labour cost

The labour cost is growing and finding the full skill labour is becoming hard, which makes automation to have a significant impact on the years to come. The current global trends have shown that the automation industry has a considerable effect on the manufacturing industry and our standard practices.

2. Sudden leave of a highly skillful labour

In the past 10-15 years, we have seen that high skilful people in most of the technical areas do leave their jobs seeking better opportunities in another country or an organization. This has been mainly an issue in the developed countries where most of the companies struggle to find the right skill full of talented people into their organization. If a person who has 10-15 years of technical experience leaves an organization suddenly, it may take 3,4 years to train someone in that field.
As solution organizations are looking for automation opportunities in order to close issues encounter in production. Automobile manufacturing giants are using robots in order to achieve their target.

3. Agile practices influencing future of automation

The world is changing, and the same thing is with the business world. Therefore, companies should practice agile concepts in order to stand-up without an issue. In mainly software development companies are using the agile methodology concepts which can also be used in the production lines by applying the core principles.

How automation impacted my organization


During my time at one of the manufacturing plants, there was this operation which was done by manually with the 2 technicians; and this operation is directly related to plastic manufacturing. The mechanic in the position was a senior person who has been working in the area for almost 20+ years. Due to that reason, he has known every nut and bolt of the operation. But the problem with the process was when he is absent there is no one to look into it. If any breakdown occurs, other technicians were reluctant to go for the operation and conduct the work there.

In here, we observe that once this person goes, it would be challenging to replace a person to do this process. As a suggestion as an industrial engineer, I recommend checking the feasibility for future automation the process. At last, from the conclusion, we were not able to do the automation due to a constrain that currently has in our plant. However, we hope in future automation methods that are directly related to our case would solve the issue without any doubt. 

The production factories do need automation for some parts for efficiency purposes.

The factories are mainly running on a shift basis. The man-power is divided typically on an 8-hour shift basis into most of the European regions, whereas in Asian region, 10-hour shifts are used. Even though these shifts consist of breaks, the humans do not have the strength like the robots or machines to give their full effect to make the work done. It is generally accepted that any worker performs well during the first half of the day. The fatigue factor is always there. Highly-user friendly manufacturing dashboards do help to facilitate the work properly.

Incentives schemes are also introduced to have constant production, but there is a difference between quality work and fast work. The quick work only will give products that are not good for the final delivery to the customer.
And quality work is always needed to be there, but the workers.

Because of this reason still, organization think to focus on manual labour

1. Precise quality needed products processing

Some of the high demanding products need to inspect when they are being considered as a raw material without being fed into the machines. Since

2 High Initial Cost for automation

In the long term, automation will do wonders to the company, but the capital cost is very high. If it is to eliminate a certain amount of manual labour, you still need to have proper robotics items with a high level of PLC knowledge. In the industry, most of these automation processes will require a considerable investment, and there is a risk also if the automation fails, it will impact the company as well.

3. Skilful labour is needed when automated parts break down

Unlike manual labour, the automated parts will require to have proper maintenance of its elements. In seasonal time, we have seen machine capacity goes up. If an automated part breaks down, it will inevitably impact the company’s profit for that quarter. And as I have mentioned earlier, unlike a machine when it requires extra people can be used with an allowance to complete a task whereas a machine can not be used in the same way.

What would be the future of automation?

In future, there will be companies who will try out new thing to get the competitive advantage in the market, and there will be mass unemployment in most of the developing countries in future if organization put out automation to their production line.

Developed countries who owns production facilities in their home countries would switch their production into more cost-effective regions like Asia and Africa and start to look into automation processes from there onwards. This would be a big issue when it comes to job perspective. The below link will surely give you a clear idea how Australia has already started this thing in DHL warehouses;

Therefore, for the coming generation, the balance should be there cause the organizations will not survive only with robots the humans are required to make them.

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