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Friday, February 23, 2024

Will Automation Resolve the Manufacturing Labor Scarcity?

Will Automation Resolve the Manufacturing Labor Scarcity? The reply is sure. 

Folks need jobs that require one thing aside from demanding, guide duties. Repetitive, heavy lifting is each bodily taxing and mentally unsatisfying. The aversion to labor-intensive jobs seems in financial statistics the place 45% of sturdy good manufacturing positions stay unfilled in the USA, highlighting a big hole between accessible alternatives and the workforce’s inclination to simply accept injury-prone and onerous work.

We all know that not having sufficient folks to fill roles is very acute in manufacturing.  Folks employed into guide roles, like palletizing, need to keep in that place for a short while. Consequently, operations managers should constantly transfer or add folks to handle every course of bottleneck, leaving them in a relentless onboarding loop. There’s a actual value to hiring staff. Based on Zippia, hiring prices will be important:

  • The typical value to rent is $1,633 per job opening
  • HR spends 15% of its finances on recruiting
  • It takes a mean of 39 days to fill a task
  • Coaching prices companies between $650-$1,100 per yr
  • It takes a mean of 12 days for a brand new worker to succeed in their productiveness potential

Amidst the hiring challenges and rising prices, it’s clear that particular labor shortages have to be addressed. This weblog article explores the dynamics of producing labor shortages, with a specific give attention to palletizing operations. This weblog will contact on palletizing and automation misconceptions, the position of guide labor, the disadvantages of getting folks palletize, evaluate options for the manufacturing labor scarcity, and look to the long run.


A Look to the Future

The automation panorama is poised for important shifts, as highlighted by Anders Beck, Vice President of Technique and Innovation at Common Robots. The demand for turnkey options is rising, requiring automation to be extra user-friendly and accessible to smaller companies.

Corporations are pressed to search out low-risk automated options that supply instant value financial savings. Options are anticipated to seamlessly combine into current processes with out disrupting upstream and downstream operations. There’s additionally a shift towards modular manufacturing utilizing light-weight collaborative robots (“cobots”). These cobots constantly broaden their payload and attain capabilities, offering adaptable and scalable options.

The shrinking labor pool and the manufacturing labor scarcity have pressured firms to take one other have a look at automated options. That is good, as automated options have improved considerably in the previous couple of years. For instance, collaborative robots have made robotic palletizers accessible to firms throughout various ranges of experience. Companies don’t want inside sources with intensive technical experience to function these palletizing options. 


Palletizing and Automation Misconceptions

Essentially the most important a part of manufacturing is transport the product to the client. As we all know, palletizing shapes the provision chain effectivity and the profitability of the entire worth stream. Packing a pallet is the ultimate contact level earlier than it enters the cargo and warehousing course of.

What’s Palletizing?

Palletizing is a means of arranging and stacking merchandise, both of their major or secondary packaging, onto pallets. Pallets are secured to develop into one dealing with, transportation, storage, and distribution unit. Palletizing was a guide course of till robotics may meet up with human capabilities. At the moment, turnkey palletizing options present adaptable {hardware} and user-friendly software program, enabling extra producers to spend money on palletizing automation.


Palletizing Automation Misconceptions

Regardless of developments in robotic palletizing, many frequent misconceptions persist. That is comprehensible – developments have accelerated over the previous a number of years. Listed here are just some of the myths that Robotiq comes throughout:

Fantasy Actuality
Anybody who may automate their palletizing course of has already accomplished so. False.
Many companies (significantly small and medium-sized companies) assessed accessible choices up to now and determined to not make investments. A number of frequent causes are: 

  • Excessive preliminary funding
  • Lengthy ROI
  • Lack of robotic experience
  • Restricted floorspace

Fortunately, there are answers available on the market at present that may tackle these obstacles. These options are economical, simple to make use of and will be built-in with out requiring intensive reorganization.

There are just a few automated options to select from.


There are a lot of robots, software program platforms, and integration firms available on the market. Nonetheless, the product options accessible are fragmented and pieced collectively. Options must be cohesive, which requires every enterprise to search out and piece collectively an answer. Thankfully, there are additionally turnkey choices accessible which might be the proper stability between standardized and adaptable. Standardized for palletizing duties, these options will be tailored to fulfill the distinctive necessities of every enterprise.

All robotic palletizers require extremely expert labor to program and function.


Corporations that included robots over a decade in the past will likely be astonished by the developments in software program. As an example, turnkey options function preprogrammed, user-friendly software program that may be mastered inside hours.

Automated palletizing options are solely viable for giant enterprises to attain a return on funding.


Small and mid-sized companies (SMBs) can obtain their ROI targets when matched with the best palletizing resolution. For instance, deciding on a turnkey resolution can speed up the ROI timeline. Turnkey options present an inexpensive resolution that may be stacking pallets inside a shift. 

The palletizing case research on our web site present just a few ROI examples, together with:

18 month ROI in high-end packaging manufacturing

A palletizing robotic requires a large footprint and huge overhead house.


Collaborative robotic options require considerably much less flooring house in comparison with conventional robotic options. Conventional industrial robotic palletizers are massive and require security obstacles to maintain them away from folks. Set up necessitates the manufacturing facility flooring to be reconfigured or a separate, centralized palletizing location to be created.

A palletizing robotic all the time requires a fenced-off security space. 


Not all palletizers need to work within a barrier. Collaborative robots are designed to prioritize security and are supposed to work alongside folks. Outfitted with pressure sensors, these robots can cease shortly to keep away from a collision. Whereas a security evaluation is required for each set up, there are functions the place the cobot palletizer will likely be working close to folks.


The Position of Labor in Palletizing Operations

Folks need to keep away from placing packing containers on pallets. So why are we nonetheless depending on this guide course of? It caught round for 2 major causes:

  1.     Adaptability: Human staff possess the flexibility to adapt to completely different case weights, dimensions, cycle time, and different actual time components. 
  2.   Flexibility: People have dynamic problem-solving abilities and might alter in real-time.

Nonetheless, there are just a few disadvantages to counting on folks to palletize merchandise.


The Drawback of People Palletizing

Tall Pallets

Worldwide transport prices stay elevated and components like conflicts in transport routes are anticipated to maintain it there. To mitigate these larger prices, producers are growing the amount of product that’s on every pallet. This contains maximizing using vertical house. 

Whereas producers enhance the peak of pallets, this observe comes with an elevated threat of harm for workers. As the burden and top of the packing containers enhance, it turns into difficult to stack them manually, particularly when putting packing containers overhead.



Security and High quality

Loading packing containers on a pallet could be a monotonous process. Packing containers will be heavy, particularly in meals manufacturing. Selecting packing containers off a manufacturing line signifies that packers should transfer merchandise under and above their waist, leaving them susceptible to repetitive pressure accidents (RSIs) and different security dangers.

As producers detect bottlenecks in manufacturing, they may transfer folks round within the worth stream. Transferring folks to completely different duties will be good for morale. Nonetheless, a greener particular person strikes in when a educated particular person strikes to a different space within the course of. This particular person has to be taught dozens of pallet configurations shortly. Manufacturing firms might also have hundreds (or a whole bunch of hundreds!) of SKUs to handle. The inexperience of the palletizing particular person mixed with product complexity will increase the danger of creating errors or taking security dangers. 

High quality is crucial in each trade. Nonetheless, the implications of creating a mistake are larger in pharmaceutical, meals manufacturing, or beverage distribution industries. For firms with a whole bunch of SKUs and dozens of pallet configurations, this implies fixed coaching and chief oversight to forestall errors. That is time-consuming for tenured operators and manufacturing facility management.


Options for the Manufacturing Labor Scarcity

Staff are much less involved about being changed by automation. As an alternative, they anticipate automation to help them of their day-to-day job. Greater than 80% of staff need investments in automation to assist them with their duties. Deploying the suitable automated resolution can increase the worth contributed by human staff:

  1. Adaptability: Versatile software program ought to enable fast changeovers and new packages. For instance, Robotiq makes use of assistant instruments and easy configurations so switching to a unique setup is straightforward. Turnkey options make making a pallet structure simple. Moreover, the Robotiq Palletizing Answer robotically generates optimized trajectories for the cobot, lowering cycle time and making the operator’s job simpler.
  2. Flexibility: Robotic palletizers can alter for case weight, dimensions, and cycle occasions. The Robotiq Palletizer Simulator demonstrates how simple it may be to configure a palletizing robotic.



Will automation remedy the palletizing employee scarcity? Right here at Robotiq, we consider that automating a lot of these duties (particularly ones with a threat of harm) is essentially the most simple approach to remedy this drawback. Automation presents a possibility for a enterprise of any measurement to avoid wasting time, cut back prices, and preserve worker well-being.

The labor scarcity numbers and employee turnover charges show that individuals don’t need to work in repetitive, low-skill jobs. We discovered that every one producers, even the small to medium-sized ones, can use turnkey options to automate their palletizing course of. Producers open the door to empower people, improve productiveness, and foster adaptability by incorporating a cobot palletizer on the finish of the manufacturing line.


Make a Transfer

You may be absolutely automated by subsequent month. Robotiq gives a variety of palletizing options, making certain there’s an possibility available that meets your wants. 

Schedule time with an automation knowledgeable to debate your necessities, consider feasibility, and estimate ROI.

Talk to an expert


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