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The Role of Humans in Automated Production Processes

Humans create machines and program them to perform tasks. It is the power of imagination and thinking that differentiate humans from machines. Industrial automated machines of today are intelligent and can do various things without human intervention. However, these automation machines need human to help solve and accomplish complicated problems during the manufacturing processes.

Robots and other automated industrial devices, in some areas, exceeds the human capacity of performing repetitive and extensive tasks. For instance, it is not possible for a man to work for three days continuously and produce products that are consistent in size and quality. This is where machines outsmart humans and dominate the production process. Following are some of the situations where it becomes hard for businesses to automate a production process:

  • Tasks which are too complicated to be automated and that there are financial limitations.
  • When it is not economically viable to automate a production process, taking into account the short life cycle of a product. Business cannot afford to spend money on expensive automation technology when the demand for a product is unpredictable.
  • Situations where humans can perform a task efficiently and reliably as compared to machines.
  • When the upfront cost of installing an automated system is too high.

Since skilled labor plays a crucial role in running and maintaining the production system, it is important to differentiate humans and machines in terms of physical and mental capabilities. With the advent of modern industrial technology, the role of humans is mostly related to inspection and supervision. Labor now deal less with difficult physical tasks.

Technological advancements make it hard for people to understand the automation as a whole and the lack of skilled labor sometimes makes it hard for manufacturers to proceed with machine failures. This is where skilled labor plays its role in making an automation system successful and profitable.

The implementation of automation is generally associated with the minimum human intervention and low labor costs. The workplace safety is also one of the factors that encourages the use of automation. When it comes to the comparison between machines and humans, the human capabilities cannot be expressed in technical terms. The success of an automation solution depends on how it helps a manufacturer achieve the desired production goals with minimum human intervention. However, humans play a critical role in development, design, installation, maintenance, and overall management of an automated industrial device.

The growing competition, high production costs, and demand for superior quality products have made the use of automation a necessity. Along with the growing use of sophisticated industrial technology, the demand for highly skilled and experienced labor is also increasing

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