How Automation Helps to Repatriate Production
Updated: Sep 14, 2021
Automation is bringing jobs and production back to the United States. Contrary to many early predictions, automation in manufacturing isn't taking jobs and manufacturing plants away from the US; it's actually adding new opportunities for American workers and companies. The increasing use of automation is also helping workers to be more productive and offering them more interesting jobs. However, repatriating production is just one of many benefits of manufacturing automation.
Lesser-known benefits of manufacturing automation
1. Repatriating production. One of the lesser-known benefits of the increasing adoption of manufacturing automation is that it is bringing jobs back to the United States. By dramatically reducing labor costs, manufacturing automation allows companies to produce items in the United States at a similar cost to producing them overseas...without the transportation cost and potential disruptions due to political issues.
Patriotic reasoning aside, repatriating productivity by using automation is just good business in this COVID-19 era. The events of the last 18 months have shown us that overseas supply channels can't be taken for granted and can be delayed or shut down altogether with little notice.
2. Increasing worker safety. By automating some of the most hazardous manufacturing jobs, companies can reduce the risk of injury to their employees. Creating a safer work environment not only helps to improve employee morale but saves companies money. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that American businesses spend around $170 billion annually on employee injury and illness.
Automated manufacturing systems can also respond more quickly to an emergency by providing real-time monitoring. They can shut down a hazardous system much more quickly than if the situation depended on a human response.
3. Adding new jobs to the manufacturing marketplace. According to "Forbes"
magazine, manufacturing jobs (pre-pandemic) are growing at the fastest pace since 1995. This is, in part, because automation technology is creating jobs that never existed before. "Forbes" continues to explain that these new positions will require less physical and data entry work and more analytical work and decision making than traditional manufacturing jobs. More satisfying jobs will likely also lead to lower employee turnover rates and decrease the amount a company spends on recruiting, hiring, and training new employees.
The number of manufacturing jobs increased by nearly one million from 2010 to 2017, and that trend is continuing. The automobile, electronics, and appliance industries are leading this movement.
4. Allowing manufacturing facilities to more efficiently use their floor space. Another lesser-known benefit of the increased use of manufacturing automation is that it allows companies to get the same amount of productivity, using less floor space. For example, on average, automated warehouses use 40 percent less floor space than traditional warehouses. Unlike humans, robotics can be positioned almost anywhere, on walls, on shelves, on the ceiling. This means you can do the same amount of work in less space or use that freed-up space for a new line or to warehouse a new line of products.
Automation is changing the way American manufacturing companies do business. To learn more about how manufacturing automation can help your company thrive, contact Prime Test Automation at (insert contact info). We've been helping companies like yours improve their efficiency--and bottom line--through automation since 2001.