Is Coronavirus Bringing Automation Faster Than We Realize?
Published by : Industrial Automation
The novel coronavirus Covid-19 has now become pandemic across the world as it continues to raise the death toll at an unprecedented rate. As the number of people infected due to the virus continues to increase worldwide, uncertainties around the global economic growth are also growing. The deadly virus has erupted from Wuhan, the City of China, and now it is spreading all over the world, leading industries to shut down their business operations. For regions that are infected from Covid-19, industry analysts expect, the economy will fall sharply in the short term, and keep to bounce back will be difficult, as the outbreak is unlikely to have a vast long-term impact.
Considering reports, China’s manufacturing purchasing manager index in February was 35.7 percent, which was down 14.3 percentage points from the previous month. In the same way, the production index was 27.8 percent, which was down by 23.5 percentage points during the same period. This indicates that manufacturing production activity had plummeted radically.
However, some reports claim that the effect of local government’s prevention and control of the epidemic is the game-changing and the most decisive factor. On the basis of effective prevention and control, the deadly outbreak will be over in the next 2-3 months, and societies will return to normal.
The Coming Age of Automation
Currently, people around the world order something, from products to eat foods, digitally. However, the coronavirus outbreak is placing intense pressure on food retailers. In many regions around the world, restaurants are now closed for on-premise dining, and in many cases shifting their operations to takeout and delivery to stay in business. While these closure orders do not currently apply to retail grocers, these businesses are undergoing another form of pressure as panic buying puts both their systems and their people to the test.
Consequently, the deadly disease has now shoved retail grocery workers, as well as healthcare workers, into a role where people need to identify them as a valiant public service. Most enterprises now are thinking to relocate manufacturing. In the food industry, ordering online is part of a much larger trend toward automated self-service. Conversely, in food retail, these systems can smash business processes into three overlapping, but distinct, tasks, including selection, payment, and delivery. Because as more of the repetitive, low-skill tasks involved in preparing fast-casual meals are automated, their cost will drop even more, offering people more incentive to forego home cooking.
When it comes to economic losses due to Covid-19, the epidemic is a decline in revenue and gains for manufacturers. For instance, under China’s strict prevention and control measures, a wide range of manufacturing enterprises were completely suspended, and the loss of production capacity is expected to be 1 to 3 months in total.
Furthermore, production recovery cannot be accomplished overnight, and the resumption of work may also face intricacies in terms of recruitment issues, an inadequate supply of raw materials, and other issues like logistics and cash flow. So, this is an opportunity for automation to happen in terms of the last mile. In this context, delivery drones, robots, and autonomous vehicles like self-driving trucks and vans could play a significant role in this scenario.