What happens when you cannot find enough skilled manufacturing workers to keep your factory in business?
You turn to robots.
Assa Abloy (AA) Romania in Bucharest assembles locks and has invested in robots for repetitive tasks that free up their 500 workers for more complex tasks. Consequently they’ve become a robotic leader among AA manufacturing plants worldwide because the low unemployment rate in Bucharest means few want to work in manufacturing.
AA Romania, for example, decided they wanted to automate the assembly and welding of the front plate and a case. A collaborative robot from local distributor Robotsnet coupled with an electric gripper and wrist camera from Canadian company Robotiq to locate parts, allows mechanical design engineer Adrian Losif to teach the robot to assemble locks. Simply by teaching the robot the different parts, and which parts go together to create the proper locks, he teaches the robot how to assemble many different kinds of locks.
So the robot locates the front plate, places it in the welding machine, picks the case and places it over the plate. Then the operator pushes the button for welding. It took time to get the robot to beat a human but before long, with only logic and no need to learn any programming, they produced a 20 second cycle time and a 20% productivity gain. While the robot still needs babysitting, the person doing the babysitting now has a much simpler job. AA Romania hopes they can put each operator in charge of two assembly cells.
In Romania, nobody is losing their job to robots needed in Romania because they cannot find workers. The robots are collaborating with human workers to actually ensure the continued employment of workers.
After all, not everything can be done by robots, and with collaborative robots human workers are finding their jobs both more secure and more fulfilling.