5 Challenges Facing Manufacturing Industries and How Cobots Provide a Solution

The global market is changing daily, and manufacturers must strive to fit into the evolving market. Demand for goods is rising, and customers’ preferences are changing. Some want customized products, quality produce, speedy delivery, and variety.

The covid-19 pandemic has made it even more challenging for manufacturers to deliver. Can a cobot solve the current challenges manufacturing entities are experiencing? Let us find out in this article.

Challenges in the Manufacturing Industries

Global events coupled with varying market demands are mainly to blame for the challenges that manufacturing entities are currently facing. The following comprises the five challenges in the manufacturing sector.

1.  Staff shortages

Personnel shortages have become a cause for concern for many manufacturing entities. The shortage can be attributed to the aging and retiring older populations. Also, covid-19 has contributed to the increased staff shortages manufacturing entities are currently experiencing.

Staff shortage can cause serious problems for a company. For starters, employee shortage can prevent you from meeting your market demand. You will fall short of your production, which will mean your supply will equate to the demand.

Hence, you cannot serve your customers sufficiently as you intend. Moreover, the reduced supply will result in losing your customers to your competition. Thus, your market share dwindles and results in major losses.

2.  Rising demand

The rising demand for goods has driven industries to increase production. Recently, demand for products has risen due to the closure of businesses during the pandemic period. Most industries stopped their operations because of the ravaging covid-19 that cost many lives.

Covid-19 containment measures involved social distancing and working from home. However, for industrial production to occur, employees must be present physically. Given that most industries shut down operations, and material sourcing became a problem due to the closure of the borders, the production of goods went down.

As the pandemic slowly vanishes, life returns to normal, and demand for goods rises. Hence, the inability to meet the rising demand poses a great challenge to many manufacturing industries.

3.  Pressure on costs

Coupled with increasing demands, the current population has an affinity for quality products, faster deliveries, tailor-made products. All these make the cost of production sore, and to remain relevant in the market, you must meet the rising costs. You can only meet the rising production costs by transferring the costs to the consumers through increased product prices.

However, more often than not, consumers are not willing to pay more for a product that they can get from another producer at a lower price. Hence, the unwillingness of the consumer to meet the emerging costs will mean losing the customer to a competitor.

4.  Delivery problems

Delivery problems that manufacturing entities experience result from raw material scarcity globally. Manufacturers are unable to meet the demand for products, thus resulting in supply challenges.

5.  Skilled labor gap

Most industrial operations require skilled labor. Machines are complicated to operate and may endanger the lives of employees who do not have the know-how of operating them. Most elites have theoretical experience and lack practical experience in operating machinery. That poses a great challenge to manufacturers since most industrial operations require skilled personnel.

How Cobots Can Aid with the Manufacturing Challenges

The following benefits explain why cobots are a solution to manufacturing industries’ varying challenges.

Productivity

The key to successful manufacturing is high productivity. Employing cobots in manufacturing is a good move as it ensures precise and consistent production. Cobots can work consistently for as long as it is good condition. Even with the rising demand in the market, cobots enable manufacturers to meet the ballooning demands. Cobots do not get tired or sick.

If you receive a big order for a given product, which is needed urgently, you cannot reject it because you are sure of meeting the deadline given the availability of the cobot. Also, cobots are precise, meaning the chances of reproducing a product due to inconsistencies are nil. A cobot, once programmed with product specifications, produces exactly that.

Moreover, a cobot takes up dangerous, cumbersome and repetitive tasks, allowing the human workforce to work on what they can perform best. Thus, productivity increases from all angles of a manufacturing entity.

Employee safety

Manufacturing tasks can be life-threatening. Industrial sites involve exposure to dust, aerosol sprays, extreme temperatures, fast-moving machines, deafening machine noises, lifting heavy items, and fires. Manufacturers are often forced to provide insurance to employees in the event of an injury or death in the workplace.

Given the nature of activities and chemicals employees expose themselves to at the manufacturing sites, injuries and even death are more likely to occur. You must have heard of several cases where workers have died while operating machines or doing cumbersome tasks at manufacturing sites. Many workers have fallen into boilers and burnt to death, while others have gotten sick from exposure to harmful chemicals.

Cobots have taken over the cumbersome and life-threatening tasks in manufacturing. Cobots are adapted to handle heavy objects, perform repetitive tasks, and handle harmful sprays. Hence, cobots in manufacturing guarantee employee safety and reduce employers’ liabilities from deaths or injuries at the workplace.

Versatility

Cobots are versatile, meaning you can repurpose them to handle varying directives, unlike the traditional robots designed to perform a single task. Because cobots are software enabled, they can be programmed anytime a new task arises or when high or low production is required. Cobots’ versatility ensures a manufacturing entity can accomplish varying tasks with ease.

Onboarding

Cobots are faster to implement, unlike conventional robotics. Implementation involves inventing the required software, programming the cobots and preparing them to fulfil their intended purpose in the factories or warehouses. Hence, you can be assured of finishing the set-up much faster than traditional robots.

Consistency

Consistency is a vital element when it comes to manufacturing. Manufacturing entails producing a commodity in great amounts and doing it constantly to serve huge demands. Cobots are consistent in manufacturing and cannot be compared to the human workforce, which is rather inconsistent. They are capable of working indefinitely. A cobot will only stop in its trajectories in the event it malfunctions.

Cobots never get tired or worn-out or sick. Provided you have properly maintained your cobot; you can rest assured that it will perform the tasks it has been programmed to do well. You can rest assured of attaining set manufacturing targets by employing a cobot.

Employee satisfaction

Employees satisfaction is achieved through the use of cobots. Implementing the cobot technology improves existing cumbersome jobs, thus enhancing employee satisfaction. Cobots take over life-threatening, cumbersome, and repetitive tasks and allow employees to focus on safe and light duties.

Reduced wastages

Cobots are beneficial as they ensure wastage in manufacturing reduces to almost zero. Cobots have great precision and are exact in what they have been programmed to do. In most cases, human labor is prone to error, resulting in extreme wastages in manufacturing.

The human labor force can get tired, sick, or bored due to the monotony of repetitive manufacturing tasks. That often results in the human workforce making mistakes with measurements and product specifications. However, cobots do not get tired but work round the clock without taking breaks and still produce products of the same specifications. Thus, cobots help curb manufacturing wastages.

Conclusion

Manufacturing industries are the pillars of the world’s economy. Implementing cobots in industries will help solve the many challenges manufacturers experience.

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