Despite all of the advantages that robots bring to a factory, around 90% of tasks are still operated by humans. Machinery basically doesn’t have the agility, responsiveness or adaptability to manage all tasks, especially those that demand a high amount of precision. And this means that manufacturers will continue to need people in the factory of the future and have a blind spot when it comes to precise operations.
Because humans will continue to be an integral part of the factory of the future, true digital transformation relies on helping individuals to complete tasks better and more efficiently. This can come in the form of collaborative robots, or other technology that is emerging at the moment, such as computer vision, artificial intelligence or machine learning. This and more, technology for the manufacturing field can’t ignore the human factor. Instead, research must be centred on the relationship between man and machine, and never on robots replacing humans.
The demand for new ideas and innovations in the manufacturing field is very high. The community that is composed of assembly lines and production companies is impatient for new ideas and innovative reasoning, in the engineering dimension. Companies who push the boundaries of what’s possible and drive more along the lines of productivity, quality and tracking are in high demand. New enterprises are completing the lack of new, creative ideas, and are inspiring manufacturers to look further into what’s going on the factory floor, especially what tasks the workers are led to do.
As ever, there is a constant need for start-ups to be focused on solving real-life problems, in this case we are concerned about manufacturing and industrial fields. When you look back at the evolutions that have happened so far, it becomes clear that sometimes ease is promoted instead of challenging issues. When start-ups create new technologies, they need to choose useful and time-pressing challenges rather than friendly robots that aren’t very efficient. If you make choices to make something too simple and too cheap, you’re at the risk of missing the point completely.
It’s quite exciting to see new and innovative companies start up and address challenging matters that plague us today – such as health at work issues. The factory of the future and industry 4.0 enterprises are slowly but surely creating a collective that will continue to attack issues for, hopefully, years to come.