Many manufacturers feel that COVID-19 has ruined their operations; PwC reports reveal that above 40% were have serious concerns about the workforce and productivity. Many companies have started extracting work from robots to replace missing employees to enhance their operations.
Manufacturers like GE, Honda, Ford and General Motors have temporarily closed their plants to safeguard their employees. Smithfield Foods closed three plants after 500 employees had positive results. "Given the current operating constraints many manufacturers face, it is likely that automation will become even more important," Paul Wellener, vice chairman at Deloitte and the leader of its U.S Industrial Products and Construction consulting practice, told Supply Chain Dive. "The key will be for manufacturing leaders to launch coordinated efforts that quickly move from pilot to production."
Businesses have been dealing extreme pressures since years, COVID-19 is has just compounded the problem said Wellener. Right from food industry to automotive plants problems have arisen in almost all the industries. Many have looked to business continuity plans and have responded by staggering shifts, changing line layouts, adjusting material flows and alternating employee breaks to maintain social distancing.
"I am hearing from my peers in mobile robot stations that they’re seeing huge demand from their current customers," Carl Vause, CEO of Soft Robotics said. "Many are taking a hard look at their supply chains and [are] now accelerating the adoption of robotics."