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The Potential of Democratizing Automation

Automation can only become democratic when all employees inside the company are involved.

AutomationToday, automation has become at the forefront of each and every aspect of our life. Enhancing the tantalizing prospect it improves the critical incident response by reducing the mean time to respond and resolve (MTTR), boosting customer satisfaction and freeing up more developer time for innovation. In the present time, almost a third of the world’s population is enjoying remarkable automation growth. According to the International Federation of Robotics, the global average robot density reached a record of 126 operational industrial robots per 10 0000 workers in 2021. The year prior, global corporate investment in artificial intelligence (AI) stood at $67.85 billion, a 5-year increase of over 330%. Satish Shukla, Co-Founder and CHRO, Addverb Technologies and Sougandh K.M., Country Manager of India, Universal Robots throw some light on democratizing automation.

Automation Democratizing Across the Organization

With technological breakthroughs, democratising automation has become essential for scaling up as well as for boosting the efficiency of a manufacturing or distribution facility, explains Satish. Addverb has taken a number of initiatives to democratise automation within the company.

  • Addverb has established a training centre within its facility Bot-Valley. This training centre is equipped with all the latest robots and automation systems. Employees and customers get trained on different kinds of automation systems through this.
  • We have installed automation systems for our own material handling process in our manufacturing facility.
  • We have installed robotic welding and plan to put up robots for material movement in our upcoming manufacturing facility.
  • We conduct a basic warehouse automation module for all employees across cadre and departments so that they are aware about automation systems and technologies in our domain.
  • We regularly send our employees to participate in exhibitions, technology fairs, symposiums, and conferences, which helps us to remain in sync with the latest technology trends, and helps employees to incorporate new trends in our products.

Advancement in technology has changed the way of living. Robotics technology has witnessed unprecedented growth and at the same time, digital divide across the globe has also widened. Technology should be accessible to all and for that, people need to be technologically literate, says Soungadh.

In the case of robotic technology, access is primarily restricted to engineers and technicians; nevertheless, in order to boost productivity and efficiency, manufacturers must teach both their employees and workers about automation. Democratising automation is crucial for the organisation’s success and the development of its workforce.

Modern robots such as collaborative robots are less complicated than traditional industrial robots, and anyone with a basic understanding of programming and robotics could operate them. Employee-driven automation is a crucial component of transformational change, and businesses need to realise this. Automation can only become democratic when all employees inside the company are involved, he further elaborates.

Key Benefits and Future Trends of Democratizing Automation

The global pandemic has increased the demand for many different things, including automation, and created several avenues for technical innovation. Worldwide demand for automation is rising as a result of several causes, including reduced costs, a focus on sustainability, and a global labour shortage.

Satish highlights the following trends and benefits
  • Reduced wastage: Due to rigorous tasks, employees tend to make mistakes due to fatigue and tiredness, and through automation, employees are relieved from such tasks. As the errors are reduced, the cost of wastage also gets reduced.
  • Sustainable approach: Today’s consumers are exceedingly cautious and well-informed about how products affect the environment. Automation that is democratically controlled will result in significant energy savings and help manufacturers achieve sustainability.
  • Lack of labour: As a result of the pandemic, manufacturers are experiencing a global labour shortage. Democratising automation is a great way to solve the problem because robots can do redundant chores, freeing up humans to work on more important tasks.

Whereas Sougandh says – Democratic automation is crucial in a number of ways;

  • Lower Cost: Operational and labour costs will be decreased as a result of democratising automation. Additionally, the rate of staff retention will rise, resulting in lower recruitment expenses
  • Increased productivity: As workers receive training for their jobs, productivity will increase as they are able to focus on more worthwhile tasks that call for cognitive abilities. Additionally, since they wouldn’t require assistance from a professional, workers would find handling and using robots to be simple. The pace of the work will likewise speed up as a result
  • Enhanced adaptability: Businesses will be able to respond to market conditions more quickly thanks to lower development costs and increased productivity, outpacing their competitors

AutomationKey processes of training and enablement of organizations

It is crucial for businesses to train their staff members to comprehend and democratise automation.

Sougandh says, a few crucial procedures to democratise automation are listed below:

  • Executive champion and visionary: For automation to become more democratic, strong executive champion and visionary goals must be established
  • Skill management programme: It’s important to implement a skill development programme for training staff. Managing a workshop or automation programme, for instance. Additionally, make a distinction between the enthusiasts so that they can pick up new information rapidly and impart it to their coworkers
  • Training and enablement: To teach personnel automation, the organisation must develop a training programme while keeping in mind its own organisational objectives. The organisation can utilise the finest of both worlds thanks to the carefully prepared plan

In the upcoming years, automation will be in high demand. Automation must be democratised for the organisation to remain competitive in the market since it offers several advantages, including reduced costs, enhanced productivity and throughput, leading to a more efficient and sustainable supply chain, says Satish. Several procedures, some of which are mentioned below, can help organisations train their employees:

  • Skill enhancement Program: In order to democratise automation, organisations must run a variety of programmes to improve employees’ technological skills. Organisations must provide its employees with regular training and workshops on the latest technological trends and their optimal usage.
  • Activities to improve coordination and communication: Activities should be planned on a regular basis to maintain open communication between peers and colleagues so they may share information among themselves. In order to overcome resistance and implement the necessary strategies for automation projects, organisations must urge managers to take part in these activities
  • Governance: Effective governance is crucial for establishing the proper limits for security, compliance, and risk management before adopting any new technology. So, it is crucial to governing every step of the action, in the initial stages at least.

FRAMOS Industrial AutomationInitiative towards democratizing automation

Universal robots have UR academy, education programmes and myUR to educate customers about every automation process, from choosing the right robot to installation and making the cobots work. All of these platforms are open to everyone, from entry-level employees to business owners. Their in-depth programmes, workshops, and webinars are open to anyone and everyone. Additionally, Universal Robots has more than 700 training facilities across the world for its clients, elaborates Sougandh.

Satish highlights, as a part of developing automation solutions for customers, we co-create the solution with them, and this ensures that customer also gets a first-hand experience of how automation systems work.

  • We have created an experience centre in Bot-Valley where our existing and prospective customers visit and get a first-hand experience of how different automation systems work.
  • We also conduct regular automation workshops for our customers.
  • We organise visits of our prospective customers to existing sites to help them understand and visualise automation systems better.
  • We also create 3D simulations and video case studies for our customers which help them to understand different applications of automation in their warehousing operations.
  • We participate in different supply chain and automation exhibitions around the world demonstrating different kinds of automation products and solutions.

Your Views on humans and robots working together

Machines are designed to assist humans, not to take their place. UR aims to see the world where “People Work with Robots, Not Like Robots”. We think that human-robot collaboration is the only way to attain optimum effectiveness and production because so many tasks call for human intelligence. Additionally, Universal Robots is the pioneer in collaborative robots, a robot that is safe to use alongside people that takes on tedious duties from people so they can concentrate on more important ones. Additionally, robots are designed to assist people and relieve them of dull, dirty and dangerous tasks, says Sougandh.

In order to attain the highest levels of production and efficiency, Addverb believes that human-robot collaboration is the best course of action. Prima facie, automation may appear straightforward and advantageous in isolation. However, practically there may be certain difficulties while carrying out tasks, which must require human intellect for optimal execution. So, it is imperative that for technology to sustain, humans and robots must work in collaboration, concludes Satish.

Concludes

As time increases, the development and democratizing will automatically get enhanced in coming time. Customer requirements and expectations will continue to grow.

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Nitisha Dubey

I am a Journalist with a post graduate degree in Journalism & Mass Communication. I love reading non-fiction books, exploring different destinations and varieties of cuisines. Biographies and historical movies are few favourites.

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