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6 Trends in Manufacturing Automation for 2023

By OTC Insights Team on February 16, 2023

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OTC Insights Team

Established in 1963, OTC Industrial Technologies is one of the largest industrial distributors & service providers in the United States. We're committed to seeing industrial operations advance through expert technical solutions & unmatched support using our years of experience.

While the future of the global economy is uncertain, one thing is certain – automation is here to stay and will continue to shape life and manufacturing in the future. For business leaders in manufacturing, the question isn’t if you should embrace automation, but what systems to implement first. How do you maximize the advantage that robotics and sensors will bring to your plant? 

Having insight into the future can help in answering these questions. Here are our predictions for manufacturing automation in the year 2023.  

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Higher Demand for Automation  

The demand for automation in manufacturing will continue to rise. Automated machinery will not only become more widely used, but it will become even more advanced. 

These past years, industries worldwide have seen the benefits of including automation in their manufacturing process, benefits which are not limited to: increased productivity, a reduction in expenses, and improved product quality. As technology becomes more readily available and best practices for new systems are refined, proving the ROI will become easier. More companies are going to want the best in automation. 

Skill Shortages 

While the demand for automation will increase, many companies will struggle to see the full benefit of the technology. This is in part due to the shortage of skilled workers needed.  

There are expected gaps for professional developers in the field of artificial intelligence, as well as a shortage of trained analysts and project managers for automation projects. Rather than getting into a bidding war for talent, many manufacturers will look to partner with automation companies for support, or provide specialized training for the staff they have on hand. 

Increase of Robot Workers 

Labor and skill shortages will likely force more businesses to invest in manufacturing robots. Industries such as food and beverage, janitorial, delivery, and healthcare have already started to enlist the help of robotic workers.  

Collaborative robots, also referred to as cobots, are designed to work alongside humans. They are commonly utilized for assembly work and quality control.  

These robots reduce human error and increase productivity. They are especially useful in handling small tasks such as attaching screws or components, allowing the human worker to complete tasks that require more critical thinking. With cobots, a single worker can do more with less, boosting productivity and reducing the need for workers. 

Add manufacturing robots to your team. Learn how to get the most out of your investment.

Rise of Internet of Things (IOT) Devices 

One type of automation expected to be a priority is data-driven automation. This data comes from data events collected from Internet of Things-enabled devices and state changes in applications of machine learning. 

The Internet of Things is the combined network of connected devices and tech that enables communication between devices and the cloud, as well as the devices themselves. IOT devices are wireless computing devices that transmit data to the Internet of Things. IOT-based systems have the capability to automate machine operation and product assembly. 

This tech provides real-time reports on machinery performance, material levels, and more. The IOT data helps businesses make more informed decisions regarding planning and quality control. It provides manufacturing leaders with the data and information they need to make better production decisions. 

Advanced Safety Equipment for Employees 

In 2023, employee safety will continue to be a priority. For manufacturers with the means, advanced safety tech will be made available to employees.  

While many businesses are already using safety features like sensors and light curtains, new systems are providing even more worker and site benefits. One example is the exoskeleton. This protective body covering is designed to help with lifting and other physically demanding tasks.  

Another type of safety equipment that will become more readily available is smart helmets. These helmets have sensors to monitor workers’ vital signs, provide alerts of fatigue or illness, and contain a GPS tracker to locate workers in case of an emergency.   

Warehouse Drones 

Drones are rising in popularity in many industries and tasks, including manufacturing. They provide companies with the ability to do more and work more efficiently, managing inventory, delivering products, and collecting data. 

Drones are especially useful in hazardous environments. They are less likely to damage the product and eliminate the need for workers to be exposed to danger or safety hazard.   

Choose OTC for Your Manufacturing Automation  

In conclusion, 2023 will be a thrilling year for the field of automation. Moreover, with the demand for automation likely to become fiercer, manufacturers need to start making their automation plans and strategy today!  

OTC Industrial Technologies is here to help you grow your business and successfully meet any challenges your business might face during the automation process. Contact us to learn more today.