9.5 C
Monday, February 12, 2024

Will Automation Remedy the Manufacturing Labor Scarcity?

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

Folks need jobs that require one thing apart from demanding, handbook 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 US, highlighting a big hole between obtainable alternatives and the workforce’s inclination to just accept injury-prone and exhausting work.

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

  • The common price 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 job
  • Coaching prices companies between $650-$1,100 per 12 months
  • It takes a mean of 12 days for a brand new worker to achieve their productiveness potential

Amidst the hiring challenges and rising prices, it’s clear that particular labor shortages should be addressed. This weblog article explores the dynamics of producing labor shortages, with a specific concentrate on palletizing operations. This weblog will contact on palletizing and automation misconceptions, the function of handbook labor, the disadvantages of getting individuals 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.

Firms are pressed to seek out low-risk automated options that supply quick price financial savings. Options are anticipated to seamlessly combine into present processes with out disrupting upstream and downstream operations. There may be additionally a shift towards modular manufacturing utilizing light-weight collaborative robots (“cobots”). These cobots constantly develop 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 take a look at automated options. That is good, as automated options have improved considerably in the previous few years. For instance, collaborative robots have made robotic palletizers accessible to firms throughout various ranges of experience. Companies don’t want inner sources with in depth technical experience to function these palletizing options. 


Palletizing and Automation Misconceptions

Probably the most important a part of manufacturing is transport the product to the shopper. As we all know, palletizing shapes the availability 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 strategy of arranging and stacking merchandise, both of their main or secondary packaging, onto pallets. Pallets are secured to change into one dealing with, transportation, storage, and distribution unit. Palletizing was a handbook course of till robotics may meet up with human capabilities. At this time, 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 widespread misconceptions persist. That is comprehensible – developments have accelerated over the previous a number of years. Listed below are only a few of the myths that Robotiq comes throughout:

Fable Actuality
Anybody who may automate their palletizing course of has already performed so. False.
Many companies (notably small and medium-sized companies) assessed obtainable choices prior to now and determined to not make investments. Just a few widespread causes are: 

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

Fortunately, there are answers in the marketplace immediately that may handle these boundaries. These options are economical, simple to make use of and will be built-in with out requiring in depth reorganization.

There are only some automated options to select from.


There are a lot of robots, software program platforms, and integration firms in the marketplace. Nonetheless, the product options obtainable are fragmented and pieced collectively. Options must be cohesive, which requires every enterprise to seek out and piece collectively an answer. Thankfully, there are additionally turnkey choices obtainable 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.


Firms that included robots over a decade in the past shall 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 realize a return on funding.


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

The palletizing case research on our web site present a couple of 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 giant and require security boundaries to maintain them away from individuals. Set up necessitates the manufacturing facility flooring to be reconfigured or a separate, centralized palletizing location to be created.

A palletizing robotic at all times requires a fenced-off security space. 


Not all palletizers must work within a barrier. Collaborative robots are designed to prioritize security and are supposed to work alongside individuals. Geared up with drive sensors, these robots can cease shortly to keep away from a collision. Whereas a security evaluation is required for each set up, there are purposes the place the cobot palletizer shall be working close to individuals.


The Position of Labor in Palletizing Operations

Folks need to keep away from placing bins on pallets. So why are we nonetheless depending on this handbook course of? It caught round for 2 predominant causes:

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

Nonetheless, there are a couple of disadvantages to counting on individuals 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 increased prices, producers are rising the amount of product that’s on every pallet. This contains maximizing using vertical house. 

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



Security and High quality

Loading bins on a pallet could be a monotonous job. Containers will be heavy, particularly in meals manufacturing. Choosing bins off a manufacturing line signifies that packers should transfer merchandise under and above their waist, leaving them liable to repetitive pressure accidents (RSIs) and different security dangers.

As producers detect bottlenecks in manufacturing, they are going to transfer individuals round within the worth stream. Shifting individuals to completely different duties will be good for morale. Nonetheless, a greener particular person strikes in when a skilled 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 1000’s (or tons of of 1000’s!) 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 business. Nonetheless, the implications of creating a mistake are increased in pharmaceutical, meals manufacturing, or beverage distribution industries. For firms with tons of of SKUs and dozens of pallet configurations, this implies fixed coaching and chief oversight to stop errors. That is time-consuming for tenured operators and manufacturing facility management.


Options for the Manufacturing Labor Scarcity

Employees are much less involved about being changed by automation. As an alternative, they count on 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 answer can increase the worth contributed by human staff:

  1. Adaptability: Versatile software program ought to enable fast changeovers and new applications. 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 clear up the palletizing employee scarcity? Right here at Robotiq, we consider that automating some of these duties (particularly ones with a threat of harm) is essentially the most simple technique to clear up this downside. Automation presents a possibility for a enterprise of any dimension 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 each 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 totally automated by subsequent month. Robotiq supplies a variety of palletizing options, guaranteeing there may be an possibility available that meets your wants. 

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

Talk to an expert


Latest news
Related news


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here