Learning to Love Robotics: Five Myths About Automation
Your company is considering adding automation to your production line. Congratulations!
This is probably one of the best things that could happen for your career. Seriously. Machining professionals have a lot more to gain than lose in a move to automation. Not convinced? There is a lot of misinformation out there that may be influencing your thinking. Let’s take a look at 5 of the major myths about the automation process and put some of your concerns to rest.
Myth # 1: I’m Going to Lose My Job
When they hear that automation is coming, many employees fear that they will no longer be needed. Actually, it’s just the opposite. Automation is more likely to save your job than end it. If a company stays with manual systems, the competition will grow and the entire shop could be in jeopardy. While it is true that, with robotics, one person can do the job of three, the cost savings and additional profits can allow growth that actually expands the number of lines in operation.
Myth # 2: Robots are Dangerous
Strict guidelines are followed for the manufacture and integration of each industrial robot and robot system installed. Safeguards are built into every cell with an emphasis on establishing personnel safety. Besides physical barriers, software and sensors are employed to limit the movement of a robot if anyone is nearby.
Myth # 3: Robots are Hard to Operate
Today’s robots are designed for easy operation using a touch screen or a pendant. It’s actually more like using a smart phone than the complex rows of switches and dials seen in old sci-fi movies. To build confidence and proficiency, comprehensive training is provided by Matrix for anyone who will operate the system.
Myth # 4: I’ll Lose Control of My Station
Actually, once you become comfortable with the robotics, you will be a valuable resource in their evolution on the line. We see it all the time. Professionals who were once skeptical become managers of the system and act as their own engineers, seeing ways to make the process even faster and more efficient.
Myth # 5: I’ll Just Be a “Button Pusher”
Operators are often excited about their new skills and how they increase their value to the organization. Automation frees operators from routine tasks and give them time to concentrate on quality or work on more challenging aspects of their jobs. You will probably find your workday more interesting (and productive) than ever before.
Automation is gaining ground in the machining industry because it provides such a boost to profits, productivity and quality. Companies and operators who embrace it will prosper, and hopefully it will be coming to your shop soon.