Robotic Automation and Industry’s Changing Future

April 15, 2024
From the use of robots to handle repetitive and hazardous tasks to alignment with corporate sustainability goals, robotics are proving to be the answer to industry’s labor shortage and skills gaps.

The excitement surrounding robotics is not merely a trend but a strategic foresight into the trajectory of industry. Even giants like McDonald's are investing in robotics and automation, underlining the universal shift towards efficiency and innovation. 

At George T. Hall Company (GTH), we see the integration of robotics as an integral part of industry’s future as manufacturers across the globe delve into the use of robotics within their facilities. 

The allure of robotics lies in its ability to solve multiple challenges manufacturers face. Some of these challenges include labor shortages, safety concerns, cost pressures, quality control and regulatory compliance. For now, let’s look at how robotics can be used to successfully address industry’s labor shortage and skills gaps. 

It is no surprise that talent acquisition challenges since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic have plagued our nation. Specifically, within the manufacturing sectors, the need to bridge the skills gap is imperative to keep up with supply and demand and not exacerbate the supply chain deficits we continue to face post pandemic. Robotics has emerged as a promising solution to bridge industry’s skills gaps and combat these labor shortages by alleviating humans from repetitive tasks, which also serves to improve safety and enhance the company’s bottom line. The repetitive movements required in production operations, which were traditionally performed by human workers, can be executed by robots, marking a paradigm shift in industrial labor activities. 

The integration of robotics into manufacturing plants enhances productivity, efficiency and quality, laying the groundwork for more streamlined production processes. With robotics handling repetitive, hazardous and labor-intensive tasks, this will empower human workers to focus on higher-skilled activities requiring critical thinking and creativity. 

More companies are also aligning robotics with sustainability goals, aiming to achieve a zero net carbon footprint while enhancing production efficiency. 

As an example, the new Lexium Cobot from Schneider Electric, not only offers key robotic capabilities, but the data it generates can provide valuable insights and efficiency throughout the entire machine lifecycle, from production to maintenance. 

The future of robotics automation is poised for even further advances, marked by trends such as IoT (Internet of Things) connectivity, digital tools and user-friendly programming methods. These developments promise increased adaptability and versatility, particularly in hazardous environments. As automation technology continues to evolve, traditional roadblocks to implementing robotics, such as complexity and scalability issues, are gradually diminishing. 

GTH's journey into the realm of robotics is not just about capturing a burgeoning market, it’s about aligning our passion for technology and automation with our core competencies. Our journey is not just about staying ahead of the curve, it’s about actively shaping the future of control systems by integrating cutting-edge robotic solutions. The decision to embrace robotics is a natural extension, blending seamlessly into our overarching expertise in SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) data logging systems. 

Jeff Sanders is senior system integration manager at George T. Hall Company, a certified member of the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA). For more information about George T. Hall Company, visit its profile on the CSIA Industrial Automation Exchange

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