Using People in Automated Assembly
With each passing month, there seems to be new developments in robotics and automated assembly. Some argue that as technology advances, the need for individuals in a factory become less and less. These same critics of automated assembly think that ultimately factories will be run by machines alone and will not need the hands-on assistance of a trained employee. Despite improvements in technology, a person will always be the most flexible part of automated technology.
Those using linear conveyor belts benefit from having an operator who organizes parts into a rotary index dialing system. All other parts of assembly (including pressing plates, installing screws, inspecting and unloading parts, and inserting pins) are be done by the custom automated assembly machine. The role of the individual here is to do what an automatic pick-and- place device would have trouble with. This includes identifying and sorting good and bad parts and properly handling fragile parts that might break in a vibratory bowl or automatic feeder. The flexibility that a human provides helps to ensure that automated assembly works optimally.
As you acquire automated assembly machines, it is equally important to also hire and train professionals who know what they are doing.