Automation has been the buzz on the market for a long time now. For many manufacturers and businessmen, it is the biggest factor that determines your competitive advantage in the market.
So far, automation has proven to result in increased productivity, better working environments, consistency, and more profitability for the industries it has been applied.
While this may be true, automation doesn’t go without its flaws as well. Although most people will only consider the benefits of automation, its disadvantages are also important for you to know.
These disadvantages will vary from industry to industry depending on how they automate their processes. In this article, I will share with you five things which nobody tells you about automation.
1. It will take away jobs
The discussion on whether or not robots will take over our jobs has been going on for years with most people claiming that they will not, but will actually create more jobs.
However, the truth is, the process of automation involves a machine replacing human workers and thus, jobs will most certainly be taken away. With the presence of a machine that can complete a task in an hour or two, a task that takes workers days, any sane employer will prefer the robot.
Also, some of the jobs created such as maintaining and programming the robots may be too technical for some people and thus result in a high rate of unemployment.
2. Reduced Flexibility
In manufacturing and production, things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes there are faults in the system or a delay in production. Despite engineers working extra hard to make the robots flexible to adapt to such situations, the robots may not always be perfect.
Unlike humans who make their decisions based on what they see, robots will follow their program until there are reprogrammed otherwise. This might thus result in huge faults in your production system.
The robots may also be unable to work on several different projects besides the ones programmed hence, you may need to rehire more human workers or get more robots for the different tasks, which is very expensive.
Therefore, whenever you are thinking of automation, you should be ready to handle the challenge of the robot’s ability to adapt to changes.
3. Unforeseen costs
The process of automating your industry is a very expensive one. The cost of purchasing robots and incorporating them into the production line will greatly affect your budget. Without good cash flow, you may never bounce back to your productive state.
There are also other costs that may come in later in use. One example is the cost of repairing the robots when they break down. Since they are highly technical, their costs may be very expensive.
There’s also the machine becoming obsolete when the production line changes. For machines that are specifically designed to perform one task, this will be a big loss for the industry.
You should, therefore, choose a flexible industrial robot arm that can be used in different productions and can be easily reprogrammed to adapt to any changes you bring in.
4. More Environmental pollution
Automation incorporates the use of machines that run mainly on non-renewable fuel such as gasoline or petrol. These machines are thus more likely to emit poisonous gases to the atmosphere and thus pollute the working environment.
There’ll also be more noise pollution caused by the many machines running simultaneously, making the workplace unbearable.
5. Loss of the human touch
Despite machines being more efficient and productive than human workers, automation results in the limitation of human interactions.
With most of the work being done by employees, it will be very hard for workers to meet and interact or even plan on a teamwork activity that makes the workplace enjoyable. Therefore, the sense of satisfaction with the work done will be lost.
Despite automation having numerous benefits on the productivity of a business, its disadvantages are also evident. More people will lose jobs, there may be extra unforeseen costs, your flexibility will be limited and the products will lose that human touch.
Therefore, when choosing to automate your business, it is important that you get all the facts right before making a decision.