The Key Takeaways on the Robotisation of Labor in the Industry 4.0 Era

Besides the technological innovations that Industry 4.0 brings to the table, there’s also a new shift in the way that employees work in the manufacturing domain. According to business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan (USA) in their article “Global Workforce Transformation in the Era of Industry 4.0 for Frost Perspectives, “the rapid adoption of digital technologies, organizations are transforming not only their structures, but also their workforce capabilities”. In a nutshell, the rise of automation and connected systems has a major influence on workforce transformation. And yes, I mean precisely the robotisation of the labor.

 

Let’s check some statistics from a press release by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR):

 

  • By 2019, 2.6 million industrial robots are expected to be deployed globally;
  • Nowadays, the average robot density is 69 entities per 10.000 employees;
  • South Korea is the global leader in terms of robot density at 631 units for every 10,000 employees;
  • China will take the substantial 40% share of industrial robots sales by 2019;
  • From 2017 and on, the robotics market is foreseen to grow by 13% annually;

 

Doing business is all about beating the competition and doing more than expected. Deutsche Bank Research in their recent report states that the smart manufacturing initiatives show a raise in productivity by almost 30%. This way, among other benefits, Industry 4.0 will allow businesses to get rid of such territorial advantages as cheap labor. This opportunity is especially vital for the United States, where President Donald Trump is actively pursuing measures to return production from China and Central America to his homeland.

 

The impact of Industry 4.0 development can be felt in almost anything within the way an organization operates: customers ecosystem, regulatory compliance, third-party experts, suppliers, and so on.

 

Modern manufacturing brings on the improvements that lead to productivity enhancement, risks reduction, incremental revenue growth, and new revenue sources generation. To clarify, Industry 4.0 implies an integrated use of all modern technological advances such as the blockchain, advanced analytics, cybersecurity, cloud computing and data storage systems.

 

Here are the top 10 reasons to invest in the robotisation of manufacturing:

 

  1. Reduction in production costs;
  2. Consistent high quality of products;
  3. Improved quality of human workers labor;
  4. Production growth;
  5. Increased technological flexibility of manufacturing;
  6. Reduced waste;
  7. Compliance with safety requirements and improved quality of labor protection;
  8. Reduced staff turnover and recruitment difficulties;
  9. Reduced capital costs;
  10. Production space saving;

 

In the future, automated plants will be fully automated, and robots can work at the same “expense” (or even lower) as human workers. This way, profits from investments in the production of this type can be increased from 10 to 50%.

 

Experts believe that the success of many enterprises will depend on the robotisation of production, and the scope of automatic machines is constantly expanding and requires thorough research and development. At the same time, the president of the economic club in Davos, Klaus Martin Schwab (who is considered as “the driving force” of the Industry 4.0) warned about the possible social and economic consequences of the modern technologies introduction that will free people from manual labor. However, many industry professionals believe that it doesn’t make sense to resort to automation just because your competitors do. In other words, automation shouldn’t be an end in itself, and it is worth introducing artificial machines only in situations where a human cannot perform a particular work better.

 

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