In light of the evolving automation technologies, higher productivity at low cost has become a mere necessity for industries. A prolonged change from simple to complex control applications has taken a form into a fulgurated force for colossal transformation in the field of automaton. The emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) has simultaneously revolutionized automation over the decades. Regardless, there is an array of apprehensions about industry disruption through automation: will it replace human labor and take away all the human jobs, making other resources obsolete in the coming days?
Automation has brought an abundance of rewards to industries, enhancing production capacities, improving productivity, and offering efficiency with increased satisfaction. Nevertheless, automation is greatly recognized because of its ability to perform repetitive tasks with augmented output, thus facilitating businesses.
Soaring Impact of Automation on Industries
The implementation of automated systems has gone sky-high, benefiting various industries in almost every sector. The global industrial automation market size is expected to reach USD 296.70 Billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 8.4%, states Fortune Business Insights. Automation is playing a massive role in the healthcare industry by enriching treatment and patients’ experience. The following list provides a nuance of the benefits offered by Automation.
- Low time-consumption
- Metric prominence
- Improved work efficiency
- Enhanced control
- Diminished turnaround times
- Low-price operation costs
Central Categorization and Functionality Modes
To understand themodern automated processes, it is very essential to familiarize them with their types and functions. One should be able to identify between the broad categorization of Fixed, Programmable, and Flexible automation. Let’s find out how imperative are these three main types of automation.
- Fixed Automation for Specific-applications
Fixed automation AKA hard automation includes the utilization of operation-specific equipment to automatize monotonous series of tasks, handling, or other processing operations that are not complex. It also comprises of the fundamental functionalities such as plain linear motion, or rotational or the integration of both. There are several benefits obtained from fixed automation. It enhances production rate, decreases unit cost, automates the material handling process. In general, if the tasks have identical units with repeated automation, that means it is Fixed Automation. However, hard automation units necessitate replacement when new and different tasks are needed, making it the meager in fixed automation.
- Programmable Automation Enables Consistent Outcomes
Programmable automation assists to design and deploy systems in new processes. Programmable automation expedites reprogramming for various tasks after a series of tasks are complete. It gives the advantage of higher flexibility to allocate with the disparity of numerous designs, producing fewer units as compared to fixed automation due to the turnaround time between operations. The two key examples of programmable automation are thermostats and traditional cruise control. The mechanism authorizes speed and temperature set for consistent outcomes for sequence operations.
- Rapid Change in Flexible Automation
Flexible automation has the ability to produce a wide range of products with close-to-zero downtime. It has no complication associated with the variation-over manual procedure, leading to a higher production rate. The no-complex programming of flexible automation drives it to switch between tasks. Modern adaptive cruise control and self-learning thermostats do not require reprogramming for modification in outcomes. The advantage of completing the tasks on demand for manufacturing can only be accomplished with flexible automation. This further allows rapid variations in programmed sequences, with practically no down-time, besides offering a diversity of procedure outcomes and elevated productivity.
The Most Fundamental Question:
Will Automation Revive Hiring?
In actuality, vast majority of legendary companies have employed automation to ease operations but does that mean there will be more job opportunities on the way? For instance, FedEx’s distribution center in Kernersville, North Carolina recruits 100 people a year, which seems a little less with the blooming automation. However, in 2019, the company revealed that it had hired 96,000 people for a variety of roles supporting automation. Oxford Economics predicts, the rise in industrial robots can affect manufacturing jobs that could be lost to robotization by 2030. It is quite contradictory whether robotics will create jobs or eradicate them. Nevertheless, automation is solving enormous problems every day and aiding the entire civilization.