Automation Increases Safety in New Normal

As factories reopen across the United States, we’re beginning to see the new normal:

  • Office workers doing their jobs remotely
  • Line workers standing six feet apart, maybe with barriers between them
  • Masks on all faces
  • Stepped-up cleaning and disinfecting
  • Temperature checking at the door
  • Contact tracing for coronavirus victims

These actions have kept essential workers safe in many factories during the pandemic, and they could  be beneficial going forward, reducing cases of flu as well as COVID-19.

Automation benefits human workers

Automation helps keep people safe by replacing human workers with robots in dangerous environments. People are less likely to face caustic chemicals, low-ventilation areas, and confined spaces than they were a century ago.

In the pandemic, ordinary factory floors have become dangerous. Automation can still protect human workers by reducing the number of people in a space. Replacing some workers with automation brings down the total number of human beings in a space and reduces the chances of infection.

Automated systems can also alert workers if they’re getting too close to other people, and even let supervisors know if a worker spikes a fever.

Giving manufacturers a push

Industry 4.0 technology has been available for at least a decade. Industry leaders like Rexroth have been showing robust solutions in this area and manufacturers have been telling survey-takers that they were on the verge of taking the plunge to update and automate their systems.

But the up-front costs have discouraged factory owners. Labor shortages and minimum wage changes sped up automation a little bit, but cybersecurity fears and trade wars have led to more hesitation.

The pandemic might just be the final push manufacturers needed to commit to automation throughout the supply chain.

Do you need service and support with your Rexroth drive and control systems? We can help. Contact us now to make sure you’re ready for the new normal… whatever that turns out to be.

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