The challenge of an ever-depleting workforce pool can be solved, in part, with the help of robotics in manufacturing.
The environment for manufacturing has drastically changed in recent years. Mass customization replaced mass production, which resulted in an industry currently propelled by contemporary expectations, and customers are requesting more customised, higher-quality products provided at speed without a high price tag.
The situation has been further complicated by geopolitical developments, climate-related catastrophes, and public health issues, which has led to a global labour shortage.
This can also be attributed to the fact that a sizable chunk of the workforce is retiring, and the younger generation are seeking out other professions with better working conditions, particularly given the outdated perception of manufacturing.
The shortage of labour is a problem, but the needed skill set only adds another element of complexity. The workforce needs to possess experience or be trained in production, be well-versed in operating equipment and safety procedures and be physically fit.
The challenge facing manufacturers today is double and unprecedented: finding enough qualified workers to stay afloat while also raising productivity throughout their value chain to maintain competitiveness in an increasingly complicated environment.
The Rise of Robotics in Manufacturing
The challenge of an ever-depleting workforce pool can be solved, in part, with the help of robotics.
Robots are in possession of an extensive skillset which allows them to execute the needed job immediately, after being taught only once. Production requires the quick and correct implementation of several jobs. These include:
- Pick and place
- Material handling
- Spot welding
- Arc welding
Whilst not needing breaks and being able to take on the role of several members of physical staff, robots can be integrated into your operations in various ways, decreasing your dependency on manpower significantly. Not to mention, automation breaks the vicious loop of recruiting, training, re-hiring, and re-training talent in a sector with such high turnover rates.
Navigating the Complexities of Robotics
Robotic work cell programmers, who have a difficult time producing programmes that are error-free the first time, face several hurdles despite the obvious benefits of speed, cost savings, and accuracy that come with the use of robotics.
According to client demands, suppliers frequently must integrate their robots into production lines that also use robots from other suppliers or combine robots from several vendors. On the shop floor, however, programming a variety of devices can be extremely difficult.
In addition, programmers have no means of knowing if their algorithms can be executed correctly without a physical run on the shop floor due to the numerous variables, such as changes in products, processes, or tool designs. As product designers and tool builders construct remedies, this can quickly devolve into a hands-on trial-and-error process, causing downtime that can push back the entire timetable and result in exponential expenses.
The significant possibility of mishaps and collisions occurring during validation on the work floor raises costs. This can occasionally be attributed to programmers’ lack of first-hand experience with the actual procedure and how the tool functions.
Additionally, to guarantee that no robot is underutilised, programmers must balance the workload across several robots, a process that can only be carried out once the full system is created and operational.
DELMIA Robotics: Bridging the Gap
In order to eliminate the need for shop floor programming, industry leaders are moving to a virtual environment. This is where we come in.
Before deploying physical resources, DELMIA Robotics on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform enables manufacturers to test their production processes and robot programming in a 3D collaborative environment. This means customising your enterprise data and integrating it into a single source of truth.
You no longer need to wait for the tools to be developed in the real world in order to start inventing and innovating thanks to our smart solution. With DELMIA’s simulation capabilities, you can advance your processes by validating the entire procedure. Production on the shop floor can continue seamlessly and simultaneously as new programmes are being authored and tested.
With a vast gap between the number of individuals entering and departing the labour force coupled with the mounting pressure from client demands – automation is the future.
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