With the pressure of faster production and without sacrificing quality as well as engaging a new, more tech savvy workforce, the Pump Division is embracing automation and robotics. These advanced technologies engage the workforce where skills are focused on the technology of the system in order to reduce menial, repetitive, dangerous, or highly sensitive tasks.
In addition to employing a workforce that has engaged with technology their whole lives, this generation has had more technical resources and educational opportunities to apply to the world around them. Manufacturers need to adapt to an environment where technology is key to allowing the current generation to overcome the labor shortage.
We are taking our time to implement new technology in a way that allows the entire workforce to embrace it. One area that where we are implementing robotics is in machine tending. While a machinist is using his/ her skillset on higher value activities, a robot can be performing the machine load and unload operations. A robot provides multiple benefits in this area.
Repeatability over time is an advantage that a robot has over a human operator because there is no body fatigue factor. This also means that the high-quality standards that we hold are easier to meet during long or higher quantity part runs.
Machine tending robots also provide a higher level of safety with reduced repetitive motion tasks for the machinist. While the robot is loading and unloading the machine, the machinist can be working on more technically skilled tasks such as setting up items for the next job to be run or performing inspection operations.