2020 – perhaps the less said, the better. It was a difficult year for many people on both a personal and professional level. Yet, automation continued to grow despite the pandemic.

And, now that the outlook is looking better for 2021, many companies who may have rued not implementing more automation before the pandemic could be looking to make sure they don’t get caught in a bind again.

“I think 2021 is, from an automation perspective, all about opportunity and finding those efficiency, quality and safety opportunities on the manufacturing floor,” said Michael Gurney, President & CEO of Concept Systems.

Discussion of automation always brings with it the idea of losing jobs to robots, but Gurney said automation may save manufacturing jobs or at least keep them in the United States rather than take them overseas. And Megan VanDelinder, HR & Recruiting Director at Concept Systems, pointed out that people’s idea of the types of jobs in the automation field often is too narrow.

“There’s a lot of diversity in what individuals can do,” she said. “Of course, you’re going to think of engineers, who are critical to automation, but also you have technicians, designers, project management is a really important [role], sales, service and support, and also the business side around the finance, HR and marketing. Really, it kind of encompasses all areas of a business, and a lot of people don’t necessarily see that.”

What most people do see is that automation is something that companies considering shouldn’t put off any longer, especially after 2020 showed the benefits of being able to control systems remotely and minimize people on the manufacturing floor. That’s why this year is an opportunity not only for the automation industry, but for anyone considering adding automation.

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