The robot work force isn’t coming. It’s already here.
21 Oct 2022
Using robots in our everyday lives once seemed like a really long way off, with robot automation the stuff of science fiction rather than reality. The robot workforce however isn’t coming, it’s already here.
As a leading provider of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), we’re the pioneering partner many companies have turned to in order to strengthen their use of robot automation in-house. Here we reveal where robots are already being used across global marketplaces to unlock some pretty impressive advantages and why robot automation is the solution many brands have been searching for when tackling issues like staff shortages, errors and menial tasks.
Where robots are already being used
Many brands are now using robots as part of their daily operations. From the front of house to the back, robot automation has helped businesses overcome countless challenges to become commonplace across several industry sectors. Even retailers and restauranteurs are getting in on the action. Automation is being used to prepare prescriptions, place orders, improve shop floor cleanliness, scan inventory, and even flip burgers as a result!
It’s not just retail stores and restaurants that are increasing their use of robot automation and artificial intelligence (AI). Robots and warehouses are now commonly mentioned in the same breath, with autonomous mobile robots used widely to boost efficiency, speed, accuracy and safety amongst other benefits.
Robots and warehouses have come together in the most fantastic way, ensuring a plethora of advantages for businesses of all sizes – from big name brands to small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) – and the human workers within.
The combination of robots and warehouses ensures even hazardous, difficult or menial tasks can be completed with ease without incurring risk for human workers. With this, robots have been used for cleaning and disinfection, transporting contagious specimens and hazardous materials, carrying heavy loads, and negotiating extreme work environments.
It’s not just human workers that have benefited from robot automation in warehousing. Brands have been able to improve the use of their facilities, with the lack of external infrastructure accompanying AMRs ensuring a highly scalable, flexible operation. Adapting to the changing requirements of their target market is also made possible with robot automation. AMRs are able to be redeployed at the touch of a button to alleviate seasonal demands or slow throughput during downturns.
This increased flexibility, efficiency and productivity has a positive impact on the end-customer too. Brands are able to work smarter, faster and more accurately to ensure the minimal downtime and improved fulfilment that makes for an even better service and consolidates an enviable reputation.
Autonomous mobile robot applications
The use of robot automation across multiple sectors is growing, so much so that the robotics industry is set to be worth up to $260 billion by 2030. Autonomous mobile robot applications in warehousing, manufacturing and distribution are expected to represent a large proportion of this use – second only to professional services robots – with sales in the industrial and logistics sector set to hit $80 billion.
Although 2030 isn’t that far away, the warehousing, manufacturing and distribution industries are off to a flying start with robot density increasing rapidly on a global basis. Over the years, various types of robots have been developed to open up a whole new world of opportunities in warehousing, manufacturing and distribution. Combining robots and manufacturing has meant simple, repetitive and menial tasks like assembly line processes, welding, and picking and packing can be handled with ease and efficiency without burdening human workers.
Robots and warehouses also make for the perfect amalgamation. The repetitive and strenuous loading and unloading of material can be handled automatically, with AMRs even able to detect pallets and transport them to their desired locations. Order picking can be completed with robot automation too, reducing the time workers spend walking the factory floor by hours. Robots and warehouses have also seen improvements in inventory management as well as cleaning and disinfection, the latter of which has become an integral part of operations since the Covid-19 pandemic.
Logistics and distribution businesses have benefitted from robots and warehouses, with conventional picking and goods-to-person picking just two of the processes that have been transformed by AMR application. Robot automation in distribution has facilitated the flexible sortation, high-speed order fulfilment and efficient returns handling needed to meet customer demand and match the expectation for prompt timescales to keep services as competitive and efficient as they should be during the modern day.
Why are robots becoming more common
There are many reasons why robot automation is becoming more common. On the whole, consumers have come to expect shorter wait times, faster turnarounds and a certain level of service from the companies they do business with. Meeting these demands has become more and more difficult however, especially considering the staff shortages so many brands have faced in recent years.
Staff shortages have been experienced across several sectors, with the high turnover rates, low wages and menial job roles associated with the retail, restaurant, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution sectors making it difficult for businesses to find and recruit the workers they need. Rather than increasing wages to entice human workers back into the fold however, inflating the budget for robot automation is providing a solution that suits all whilst embracing changing job trends and consumer buying habits.
By combining robots and warehouses, robot automation can help customers get the products or services they require swiftly. Facilities also have the means to increase efficiency, enhance product quality, boost worker safety, improve cycle times, and reduce waste. These interconnected, automated environments lower the reliance on human labour.
With robot automation, there’s less chance of errors too, meaning businesses and their customers can enjoy the fluidity of service every consumer expects in this digital age. Whilst robot automation is often seen as the solution for automating monotonous, low-paid work, it is by no means replacing the entirety of the human workforce.
Bringing robots and warehouses together ensures workers are spared those repetitive, boring jobs, yet there are some tasks that require a human touch. With the use of robot automation, settings utilising robots and manufacturing, warehousing or distribution can use their workforce more wisely, spreading talent across value-added tasks to save money, build better business, and enhance job satisfaction.
Are you ready to be part of the robot revolution?
The combination of robots and manufacturing is no new thing. It has long been used to unlock several advantages for businesses looking to reduce costs, improve product quality, boost quality of work for employees, and take production output and manufacturing flexibility to a whole other level.
The AMRs that make robot automation possible are faster than ever, highly reliable, and increasingly accurate. They also don’t suffer from fatigue when performing repetitive or menial tasks to make errors less common occurrences. From the handling and assembly of parts, welding, cutting, gluing, cleaning and machine-tending, robots and warehouses are coming together to help organisations, their workers and their customers realise impressive results, so what are you waiting for?
If you’re ready to be a part of the robot revolution, implementing and integrating AMRs into your operations is simpler than you think. With more than 30 years of experience under our belts, we’ve helped facilities of all sizes and niches unlock their robot automation potential. Here at Guidance Automation, we provide the innovative and flexible automated technology you need to optimise processes, hit those productivity goals and truly future proof the way you operate.
Finding customised robot automation that suits you is simple, in fact, it all begins with a free trial. Our free autonomous mobile robot trial is available to SMEs looking to combine robots and manufacturing with ease, efficiency and optimum results.
Let us help you solve staffing shortages, improve worker safety, and enjoy better quality and yield by requesting your free trial today.