Today’s supply chains must be flexible and highly innovative in order to keep up with fluctuating market demands. This puts a lot of pressure on manufacturers to operate in new proactive ways. While AMRs can improve processes, a competent and willing workforce is needed to complement this technology. MiR recently made a report that found three clear barriers to a smooth automation transition; while manufacturers do want to automate further, a lack of qualified staff, workforce resistance and safety concerns are delaying this.
While many companies have concerns related to their workforce, when implementing new technology, AMRs actually offers a way of collaborating with people in a safe way. The mobile robots don't take over jobs but injury-prone and monotonous tasks that are related to internal transportation. In this way, the employees get more time to focus on higher-value tasks. Moreover, the mobile robots from MiR are extremely user-friendly and can be programmed without prior programming experience. This means that the employees can take ownership of the robots, which adds new and more interesting tasks to their work.
Visteon in Mexico has deployed a fleet of 7 MiR100 robots to automate the transportation of materials from the warehouse to the production. With a 24/7 hour production, this has increased productivity significantly. The employees were hesitant when the mobile robots arrived, but as soon as they got to know them, they see them as colleagues, as the robots have taken over the heavy lifting from the employees and save them many steps each day.