Biesse experts discuss why automation is becoming a necessity for today's manufacturers.
For decades, North American manufacturers tended to ignore the advantages of automating. When times were good, there was no big incentive to make changes. The downturn changed all that. Smart, productive and profitable companies took time during lean years to rethink long-held views. Add to this today’s declining labor situation in the United States where the quality and supply of labor is going down as competition to keep employees goes up, and everyone is eager to start conversations about automation.
To address this challenge, manufacturers of all sizes are required to add automation for machine tending. “For this reason, there has been a rise in robotics to handle this type of general task, allowing companies to move employees to higher value positions such as painting, assembly, etc., adding value to the product,” said Jason Varelli, North America Systems Brand Manager.
“Everybody is facing the same issues,” says Randy Jamison, Biesse America’s V.P. of Sales. “Companies need to become more productive and efficient, but when unemployment numbers are so low, it’s hard to find reliable labor.“
“The challenges are the same but each customer has unique goals. In many cases, automation is not about increasing productivity but simply stabilizing it. As I mentioned earlier, as labor struggles continue to grow, manufacturers need a way to maintaining existing productivity with less, due to the shortage in the labor pool, increased labor cost and loss of current employees to higher paying jobs elsewhere,” said Varelli. “With a very quick ROI, automation is a great solution. It reduces manufacturing costs, improving your bottom line and allowing you to see the benefits very quickly.”
“Manufacturers are also looking for automation that is flexible, as well as more affordable,” states Jamison. “Biesse has done a fantastic job developing solutions that are easier for our customer base to justify. In the past, people perceived that robotics wouldn’t be feasible for us because our industry works with pieces in such a wide variety of dimensions. We want to demonstrate how it’s no problem for the same robot to handle picking up a 4-foot by 2-foot cabinet side as well as an 8-inch long by 4-inch tall drawer front, showing the flexibility.”
“Biesse offers a variety of automation solutions that can be scaled up or down to meet any manufacturer’s needs. For example, sorting of parts robotically can be done with one robot, two robots, etc., it depends on your demands. The point is, automation is flexible and scalable to meet individual requirements and users are embracing it,” said Varelli.