Manufacturing automation has been common since the 1970s. Advances in technology, including robotics, big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things have improved factory production since then.
Collaborative robots — also called cobots — are sweeping across the industry. Rather than take over for laborers completely, cobots can work alongside humans to improve efficiency and reduce hazards. Autonomous mobile platforms are popular in factories and warehouses, as seen in Amazon’s fulfillment centers.
Here are some robotics trends that are driving the evolution of manufacturing automation.
RaaS can help manage costs
Software as a service and cloud computing tools have revolutionized all industries, especially smaller startups and midsize operations. Not only do they allow organizations to remain stress-free about the maintenance and operation of their crucial systems, but they also alleviate the burden of costly adoption for smaller teams.
Robotics as a service (RaaS) is similar, and it involves the rental or temporary acquisition of hardware to keep costs more manageable. This has allowed more advanced technologies and robots to penetrate the agriculture industry, for example, which is usually extremely cost-sensitive. Farmers can rent and use equipment they couldn’t before, and in return, pay agreed-upon rates.
Read more: How Manufacturing Automation Is Evolving