How Coronavirus is Transforming the Automation Industy


While employees in most industries have the opportunity to work from home during the pandemic, this is not the case for those in the manufacturing sector. As a company that deals almost exclusively with physical products, FANUC Robotics started cycling employees into its Michigan headquarters once their governor gave the green light.

But how have its employees adjusted to new workplace expectations?

Advanced Automation host Joe Gemma reached out to Mike Cicco, President and CEO of FANUC in America, to learn how his company is faring during the pandemic and how the coronavirus will impact the automation industry as a whole.

Compared to other industries, business is booming for FANUC. Cicco recounted how companies reached out to them in the first few days of shutdown for robots to build ventilators, masks, test kits and more.

“We saw a large growth in robot sales during that time, almost exclusively due to the pandemic,” he said.

He also noted that many manufacturing organizations with global supply chain networks were severely impacted by the effects of the pandemic in different countries. Because of that, business leaders are now looking to diversify their supply chains and keep things local where possible. However, this is a movement that has been taking shape for years.

“It may have highlighted it or accelerated it in some ways, but the concept of reshoring or localizing or diversifying a supply chain – the pandemic hasn’t created these concepts,” Cicco said. “It’s just something we’re talking about more today.”

Listen to the full episode for the latest insights from thought leaders and experts in the world of automation.

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