A look at how the future of industrial robots will affect the industry.
As a leading supplier of shelving and racking systems in Johannesburg, Krost stays abreast of the happenings in the warehousing sector, as well as the predicted trends for the future. This is why we are aware of the predicted rise of robotics in the industry. While shelving and racking systems will always be needed, there may be a shift in warehouse operatives over the next decade or so.
According to research being conducted in the USA, they may be a significant surge in the use of robotics between now and the year 2025, which could result in as much as a quarter of all warehouse processes being handled by robots.
Why the shift?
The truth is that today’s generation is quite different from past generations. While workers of the last millennium were happy to get their hands dirty, the new generation – termed ‘millennials’ – is less inclined to do heavy lifting. This is because the rapid advancements in technology have created a different way of thinking in the generation of millennials.
It is not that millennials are lazy, they are simply more inclined to put their effort into the production and development of technology that makes their lives easier. So, as the older generation of workers reaches retirement age, there must be certain changes to accommodate the different approach of the new generation.
Will this mean a loss of jobs?
There is no need for the workforce to suffer as a result of the increase in industrial automation. Yes, robots will replace some workers where suitable, but this does not mean that hordes of workers will become unemployed. An increase in workplace technology means the need for teams of developers, programmers, and maintenance staff to ensure the continued running of workplace robotics. Instead of jobs being lost, they will simply evolve.
Will workplace safety suffer?
Safety in the workplace is of paramount importance, both to warehouse operators and to the shelving and racking services that supply hardware to warehouses. For this reason, safety can never be allowed to suffer.
Industrial robots are also manufactured with safety in mind. However, there is a chance that some safety features on certain robots can be inhibitive. It has been theorised that, if robot safety features become too restrictive, workers may be inclined to bypass them in order to speed up productivity. But, since safety must always remain a priority, robots are equipped with safety backup systems which come into effect until such a time as their primary systems can be repaired.
Automation is an inevitable part of the future of the warehousing industry. And, with a boost in industrial robotics predicted for the immediate future, it will be the companies that embrace this which flourish.
Krost is a leading supplier of shelving and racking systems in Johannesburg, which means we know our industry inside out. So, for more news on the warehousing industry, keep an eye on our blog.
Image credit: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/industrial-robots/warehouse-robots-get-smarter-with-ant-intelligence