Robots Working Alongside People in the Manufacturing & Distribution Industry

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When we think of the future, American dreamers envision flying cars, holograms, and robotic assistants. But have you ever considered that the future is now? The manufacturing and distribution industry has been utilizing industrial robots for decades. Now, as technology continues to advance, finding newer, better ways for humans to be successful and productive in their work, we’re seeing a forward-moving industry rapidly developing. This industry is paving the way for technology in the workplace, as manufacturing companies integrate cobots (or collaborative robots) in their every day tasks.

Robotics and Manufacturers

Commonly misconceived, cobots are used to assist employees, not replace them. Industrial robots are designed to complete precision work and lack decision-making abilities, which is why they work so well with human employees. Employers in the manufacturing industry can utilize advanced computer systems and industrial robots to accomplish tasks that are deemed dangerous or tedious for human workers. This protects workers, saves time and resources, and improves production.

For example, manual tasks, such as pick-and-place, light assembly, and sorting, can be easily completed by robots. Beyond freeing human workers from having to do these monotonous tasks, robots also reduce human error and minimize risk of human injury.

So why haven’t more employers in the manufacturing and distribution industry adopted these smart-manufacturing technologies? According to Sikich’s 2018 Manufacturing & Distribution Report, almost 40 percent of survey respondents do not perform manufacturing operations with robotic assistance. For fear of high costs, complexities surrounding the advanced technology, and a reluctance to change their operations, industry leaders are hesitant to integrate this form of technology.

The Real Cost of Industrial Robots in the Manufacturing Industry

Since cobot technology focuses on precision work and eliminating human error, the use of this technology actually decreases labor costs in the long run. Less mistakes equal less downtime and product deficiencies.

Sikich’s Manufacturing and Distribution Report also states that certain simple-to-install robots can be secured for less than $20,000. Additionally, Report findings predict a decrease in these costs in the coming years; providing an opportunity for manufacturing companies to invest in these resources sooner rather than later.

Leaders in smart-manufacturing expect the industry to continue its development with artificial intelligence (AI) technology and machine learning. For more information on this topic and related manufacturing and distribution insight, download Sikich’s 2018 Manufacturing & Distribution Report.

This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. In addition, this publication may contain certain content generated by an artificial intelligence (AI) language model. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.


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