Covid-19 Proves the Era of Automation in the Post-Pandemic Period
Published by : Industrial Automation
Since the coronavirus outbreak hit the world in a short period of time, it is now leading enterprises towards automation age. Several countries are heading for very abrupt and unprecedented recession, and will witness huge changes in the coming days in sense of operating businesses. For many of regions that are severly infected with Covid-19, the economy will fall sharply in the short term. In February, China’s manufacturing purchasing manager index was recorded 35.7%, which was down 14.3 percentage points from the previous month.
The outbreak may have an extensive impact on the capacity layout and supply chain network of many enterprises. This is why, many companies are now focusing to invest in automation technology. In India, companies such as Tata Steel, Ceat Tyres, Maruti, Mahindra, Toyota, Tata Motors, VE Commercial Vehicles and Shriram Pistons, among others, have big plans to automate their production lines.
On the other hand, the pandemic is illuminating the use of programmable industrial robots that can make simpler production processes. It does not only enable robots in industrial processes but also food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and others due to social distancing. As manufacturers decipher how to keep their workers socially distanced on the factory floor, robotics are increasingly coming to the fore, making continued production not only possible but safer and more efficient.
Rajeshwar Tripathi, chief human resources officer, Mahindra & Mahindra said, “Rise of robots in automobile manufacturing was inevitable. We have automated the body shop, most of the paint shop and parts of the final assembly line. Touch points need to get automated.” Even, Tata Steel company have planned to implement automation, as the company’s vice-president at HR, Suresh Tripathi said the employs thousands of contract manpower for machinery maintenance – work that can be automated through use of sensors that can predict breakdown well in advance. “Once we restart production we have to minimise people coming together, work can be done by someone where distancing is not required,” he said.
Before the pandemic, automation had been gradually seen replacing human work in a wide array of jobs, from warehouses and call centers to grocery stores and others. This was mainly because companies looked to cut labor costs and improve profit. While robotics seems to decrease employment rate, it doesn’t mean the technology will take place humans, rather it will open new areas of opportunities. Moreover, as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic fears jobs cut, it will force a renaissance of many industries, and we believe it will create new job requirements.