We’ve said it more than once, and we’ll probably continue saying it for as long as we watch the technology of the day. The “current” technology of today is outdated as soon as, if not before, you’ve gotten into a groove with the current. It’s consistently moving like the ocean, bringing in new waves of greatness. Not surprisingly, the Robotic Industries Association (RIA) estimates that approximately 232,000 robots are now at use in United States factories. By 2018, 45 percent of the 200 leading global e-commerce and omnichannel commerce companies will deploy robotics systems in their order fulfillment warehousing and delivery operations.
While we could spend several posts reviewing the technology expected to hit the market in 2018, we’ve outlined seven fantastic trends to look for as we continue in 2018.
Robotic Trends of 2018
- Important to packaging, we’ll see more “robo-machines,” such as robo-fillers which primarily function as case erectors and fillers. You can take a look at a couple of examples of those machines here and here.
- Also important to varying industries, 3-dimensional vision enables robots to pick up products and position them in a separate location for packaging.
- Because robotics are becoming more commonplace in the market, investment comes at a lower cost and higher functionality.
- In fact, parts can be ordered with more ease as companies create standardized pieces.
- We’ll see teachable robotics. This is so important because technology and processes constantly change and evolve. Employees will have the ability to place their robot into learning mode where it will become programmable to learn new processes.
- Robotics will be able to move autonomously. In days past, robots ran off of tracks – that is now becoming a thing of the past.
- These advancements only work to increase the ease of employees working alongside the ease of their human counterparts. They will hold sensors that will identify if humans are close, thus preventing accidents.
By 2018, 45 percent of the 200 leading global e-commerce and omnichannel commerce companies will deploy robotics systems in their order fulfillment warehousing and delivery operations.
Six Reasons Why Robotics Are Important to Our Future Processes
Packaging Digest records this interesting statistic: “According to a report from the Robotic Industries Association, 2016 Breaks Records for North American Robot Orders and Shipments, the food and consumer goods industry increased orders for robots by 32% in 2016.” The robots performed repetitive packaging tasks such as packing, loading, and palletizing.
Here are six reasons we’ll see more of robotics incorporated in our varying markets.
- Precision. Robotics offer precision where employee fallacy is likely to occur.
- Flexibility. Robots’ flexible learning style enables processes to change and evolve over time.
- 24/7/365 availability. No longer are tasks delegated by the hours of the day. Robots perform 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year if needed.
- Decreased footprint. Robots only require a small area in which to work. They do not require the space that a large machine might require.
- Robotics, by nature, increase production rates and decrease overhead costs. Lower cost of the employee workforce / decrease the amount of time needed to complete tasks = higher production rates, lower overhead cost.
- Improved employee ergonomics and decreased need for employees in more dangerous vocations (such as welding, assembly, and palletizing).
How do these trends translate into today’s economy?
Even if we have as many as 47% of jobs automated, this won’t translate into 47% unemployment. Manufacturing and robotic advances throughout history prove that technology not only takes the brunt of the hard, undesirable work off of human shoulders but also creates new proficiencies and opportunities.
Increased robotic presence equates to increased speed, agility, and ability to redistribute the workforce into more creative arenas.