Tag Archives: manufacturing

Robots + Humans Collaborating on The Manufacturing Floor = “Cobots”

fanuc robot manufacturing

 

 

 

 

 

Throughout the manufacturing industry, the density of robots continues to rise around the world. Such technological applications help free up time for tasks requiring creativity and thought. According to the International Federation of Robotics, there is an average of 74 robot units per 10,000 employees. This includes the high end of 99 units in Europe, 84 in the Americas and 63 in Asia.

Countries by Level of Automation

Republic of Korea

Singapore

Germany

Japan

Sweden

Denmark

United States

Italy

Belgium

Taiwan

Robot Density

Since 2016, robot density continues to grow, as represented by the United States’ No. 7 rank in the countries of automation list above. Robots have been part of ongoing efforts to strengthen the American market and keep manufacturing at home. The automotive industry leads the way in the use of robots and it’s anticipated that between 2017 and 2020 the use of robots will rise 15 percent each year on average, according to a report from the International Federation of Robotics.

Manufacturing Collaboration

Despite some fears of robots replacing jobs, robots are now a common scene in many factories as robots and humans learn to co-exist. One of the ways this is happening is through Robotic Process Automation or RPA. With technological similarities to graphical user interface testing tools, RPA tools can automate interactions with the graphical user interface. RPA can also mimic the task-based processes, speeding up repetitive tasks and freeing up humans for interaction and the application of intelligence, judgement and reasoning. With the potential to fully automate routine tasks, RPA can reduce the total cost of end-to-end transactional processes by 50 percent to 75 percent, according to an RPA release from The Hackett Group, a global strategy, operations and business application consulting firm.

Collaborations on the manufacturing floor also include self-navigating Autonomous Indoor Vehicles, which shift goods between workstations without the need for magnets or beacons. This joint work between human and robot was coined “cobot” by professors from Northwestern University and is being tested at Cornell Dubilier, a power manufacturer who is using robots to speed up the inspection of capacitor installations, doubling the speed of its labeling process.

Growing Demand in RPA

The behind-the-scenes aspect of RPA translates into a variety of applications from supply chains, interactions between IT systems and repetitive business office tasks. Adoption will necessitate an increasing level of comfort for manufacturers concerning robotics and artificial intelligence’s. It remains to be seen how quickly companies will embrace these technologies, but such adoption has the potential to revolutionize the industry and the work of those employed within it.

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Manufacturing Industry Records Eighth Month of Job Growth

U.S. Manufacturing Industry

The first half of 2018 is off to a positive start with continued growth in the manufacturing sector. Recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor reported an additional 18,000 jobs added within the industry. During the month of May, this equated into 12.673 million jobs, just slightly higher than the 12.655 million jobs reported in April. Many of these new jobs come from durable goods manufacturing.

Compared to a year ago when May 2017 numbers were at 12.414, this demonstrates a positive lift. Other economic areas such as the non-farm sector continue to show increases with 223,000 new jobs reported during the month of May, better than the 188,000 jobs economists predicted during this time frame. Retail trade (31,000 jobs), health care (29,000 jobs), and construction (25,000 jobs) also saw increased growth, and the unemployment rate moved to 3.8 percent, according to the June 1 economic news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Areas of New Job Creation

Machinery manufacturers – 5,800 new jobs

Fabricated metal products – 2,400 new jobs

Wood products – 1,300 new jobs

Industry Downturn

One area of the industry not experiencing the same level of growth is within the motorized vehicle and parts industry. 4,400 manufacturing jobs were lost during the month of May in this sector. Traditionally, this area, which includes trucks, cars and other vehicles, has been one of the more robust in the industry. The once-top job creator continues to experience a dip as more automotive buyers switch their preference from cars to larger-size SUVs and trucks.

Despite this slump, the sector still experienced an overall gain of 1,400 jobs, and automotive dealers point out the benefits of better-quality automobiles produced by leaner plants. Another bright side is SUVs and trucks have a larger price tag than most cars. Automotive industry insiders anticipate that larger profits from the production of SUVs and trucks will make it easier for automotive plants to make production changes, hopefully decreasing the need for large layoffs. Another positive is that automotive producers now react to changes in consumer desires quicker than they did in the past.

Slow Yet Steady

Nimbleness in manufacturing methods and changes in U.S. trade policy offer two examples of how the manufacturing industry continues to rebound from the 2008 financial crisis and recession. As economic conditions continue to improve, the industry shows steady, yet slow, growth with hiring continuing throughout much of the industry. A desire for products made in the U.S. also helps justify new jobs and an increasing workforce to meet growing demand. But the continuation of such trends remains to be seen with the possibility of an upcoming trade war, according to a news report from Manufacturing Talk Radio.

This article brought to you by the Cleveland Deburring Machine Company.

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The Resurgence of U.S. Manufacturing Continues to Impact Trade Policy

local manufacturing

The resurgence of the U.S. manufacturing sector continues to impact trade policy around the world. Over the last ten years, prime manufacturing areas such as Ohio have witnessed first-hand how local manufacturers can remain competitive and positively influence the impact of international trade relations on the people working and producing U.S. manufacturing products.

Understanding the Impact

The success of manufacturing at home is directly related to the failures and successes of a growing number of international trade policies and programs. These partnerships include U.S. Trade representatives, entities within the private sector, governments of foreign lands, international organizations and nongovernmental organizations. While often out of the day-to-day mindset, the policies enacted by these various groups correlate to what’s happening with the industry at home. Considering the current 14 free-trade agreements with 20 countries, the influence of the distribution, production and ultimate consumption of manufacturing goods cannot be understated.

In our home state of Ohio, there’s been undeniable growth in manufacturing output, building from the lowest point in 2009 with continuing growth ever since. In 2015, Ohio-based manufacturing accounted for 17.77 percent of the total output in the state, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Top 10 Ohio Manufacturing Sectors

Petroleum and Coal Products

Chemical Products

Motor Vehicles and Parts

Food, Beverage and Tobacco products

Machinery

Plastics and Rubber Products

Primary Metals

Aerospace and Transportation Equipment

Electrical equipment, Appliances and Components

Measuring the Impact

Shifting production and global supply chains continue to improve the efficiencies of U.S. manufacturers. Evidence of such success is visible in the growing number of investments made across the country. Such expenditures make it critical to understand how policy changes can immediately impact the work of U.S. manufacturers in the short- and long-term. In 2017, trade with free-trade partners represented more than 90 percent of U.S. imports by value and close to 70 percent of exports, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Understanding the interdependence of trade policy logistics helps to understand the potential for disruptions in manufacturing at home including where and how manufacturers procure goods. Depending on the complexities, this could increase production and distribution costs. It’s critical for manufacturers to have alternative plans for sources and guardrails in place to minimize disruptions in the production cycle knowing what’s there today will not necessarily be there tomorrow or even next month.

Collective Power

As overseas manufacturing wages continue to increase, the focus on regional manufacturing throughout the U.S. becomes increasingly valid. Such an advantage becomes more pronounced when considering how U.S. manufacturers continue to make efforts toward innovation, increased research and development, bridging the skills gap and emphasizing abbreviated supply chains. With steady efforts, reinvestment in U.S. manufacturing and its regional players will continue to create jobs where they are needed, driving innovation at home and abroad.

 

For information on a deburring machine or a free evaluation, contact CDMC today or call us at (216) 472-0200 to speak directly with  our experts!

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