Industrial automation is the use of robotic devices to complete manufacturing tasks. In this day and age of computers, it is becoming increasingly important in the manufacturing process because computerized or robotic machines are capable of handling repetitive tasks quickly and efficiently. Machines used in this field are also capable of completing mundane tasks that are not desirable to workers. In addition, the company can save money because it does not need to pay for expensive benefits for this specialized machinery. There are both pros and cons for a company when it comes to industrial automation.
On the plus side, with soaring healthcare costs, paid days off, vacation time, and other costly employee benefits, companies can save money with industrial automation. While robotic machinery can initially be extremely expensive, the loss of monthly wages for production workers leads to incredible savings for the company. While machinery can break down, it does not happen often. If it does, only a handful of maintenance or computer engineers are needed to handle repairs and get lines running smoothly again.
In addition, many plants hire dozens of production workers for a variety of shifts and need to close on certain days. Industrial automation, however, allows a company to run the plant twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, without paying overtime. This fact alone can add up to significant savings.
A company that employs forty-eight factory workers on three different shifts and closes on weekends, for example, can save thousands of dollars by automating. This is particularly true if weekend work is necessary, which means overtime pay of time and a half must be paid for Saturday work and double-time for Sunday. This equates to an additional twelve hours of pay per employee. Of course, life insurance, 401K benefits, dental insurance, health insurance, pension coverage, and disability also contribute to the expense.
Industrial automation can eliminate the need for all forty-eight jobs. The robotic machinery used may only involve a monthly payment until the machinery is paid for, a couple technicians to keep the robotic machinery running, and electricity costs. Unfortunately for workers, industrial automation can eliminate thousands of jobs. As the workforce decreases and the cost of living increases, many families struggle to make ends meet as their jobs are replaced by high-tech machines.