How to Get the Most Out of Your Manufacturing Team in an Increasingly Automated World

Automation continues to transform the manufacturing industry at a tremendous pace. Each year, jobs that were previously performed by hand become feasible to assign to machines.

Automation changes the nature of jobs in manufacturing. As tasks and processes become automated, the role of human workers in manufacturing changes. While humans will always be necessary to the manufacturing process, the skills and role they must contribute will continue to change.

Here’s how to apply human talent effectively in the face of increasing automation:

  1. Focus on Skills:

Automation pressures manufacturing talent to re-skill or find themselves becoming obsolete continually. Some estimates state that workers require re-skilling every four to ten years as the pace of innovation continues to increase.

To ensure your human team members continue to contribute to areas where automation can’t do the job, focus on understanding your team’s skillset and on continual training and education. Your staffing partner can help you ensure you find talent with a passion for continual learning.

  1. Think Teamwork:

Automation makes human-machine teamwork a reality. Whereas once humans would have been assigned to a team to handle tasks like carrying tools, today, robots can be assigned similar tasks.

For example, in a BMW manufacturing plant in South Carolina, specially assigned robots follow workers around the shop floor, handing them the necessary tools and parts at each step of the assembly process. Unlike human assistants, robots do not become distracted, increasing injury risks. Their presence, meanwhile, helps human workers save time and mental energy.

  1. Leverage Workers’ Innovation:

Like the ones on the assembly line, your line workers have unparalleled expertise in their particular aspect of the job. They know, for instance, exactly how hard it is to fit a certain part into a certain area, or how long they must hold a heavy object in the air while it is secured.

As a result, workers have a clear idea where their job can be automated to make it simpler without eliminating the need for their expertise. For instance, in a Toyota plant in Kentucky, workers’ input helped create a robot that installs gas tanks. However, no workers lost their jobs; instead, they focus on a close visual inspection and fine-tuning each installation to ensure it is done correctly.

Grow Your Business the Right Way!

At Eclipse Professional Services, our recruiters help manufacturing companies connect to the best available talent in the Dallas area. When you need help building an outstanding manufacturing team that can embrace the challenges of increasing automation, call us.

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