Robotics, flexible automation, autonomous vehicles and the like are no longer just something “everyone else” must be doing. Offerings and awareness have continued to increase, especially as the perceived shortage of qualified and affordable labor continues.
As a result, we’re still not close to “lights out” manufacturing with completely automated processes.
Mike Futch, president of MHI member Tompkins Robotics, said any thought related to where we actually are “depends on who you ask.”
“The fact of the matter is, it’s progressing very rapidly,” Futch said. “The increased capabilities of robotic automation and the lowering of costs have created a new tool that we can use in the evolution of supply chain distribution, warehousing and order fulfillment.”