For decades now, there have been concerns about what effect robots and automated machinery will have on human workers. To some degree, this nervousness is understandable; our technology is constantly improving, and as we advance our understanding and our capabilities, it's difficult to know what any industry will look like in ten years' time. However, are these concerns exaggerated? Here's what you need to know about CNC machining's impact on factory teams specifically.
Man Vs. Machine
One misconception about CNC machining is that it will eventually replace all human factory workers in every situation. This simply isn't the case. No matter how cheap CNC technology gets and how it improves, it isn't always suitable for every production line. For one thing, CNC machining tends to be best suited for companies with very high production goals. They work quickly and accurately, more so than a human ever could. The advantages here are obvious — but not every part or item needs to be mass-manufactured, or processed extremely quickly. Sometimes, it simply won't be cost-effective to buy an expensive machine to do a job that a human employee could do perfectly adequately.
Let's not forget that CNC machines are machines. They can't operate entirely by themselves. Besides, just like any other piece of equipment, they also need to be programmed, maintained, repaired and constructed — and many other things besides. As the demand for CNC machines increases, so too will the demand for specialists who know how to take care of them and ensure they're functioning correctly.
Sharing the Job
The roles in production that CNC machines occupy are not exhaustive. They are immensely versatile machines and can be used to produce a wide variety of complex parts and constructions — but they aren't designed to oversee the entire production process from start to finish. For example, they can't assemble a larger product from the pieces they've created. They can't package them or inspect them for quality. These are all examples of tasks that human employees are excellent for.
In the end, buying machines for your business is not a zero-sum game. You aren't choosing between machines and humans; it simply doesn't work that way. In the end, it's less about taking work away from your staff than it is about lightening their workload to allow them to focus on their other duties — and increasing the efficiency of your production line in the process.Share
27 July 2018
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