While the implementation of robotics and automation can assist producers and different kinds of companies velocity manufacturing and drive efficiencies, it doesn’t all the time have fairly the identical optimistic impact on office security. Without query, introducing automation can scale back sure kinds of employee accidents, equivalent to these usually related to repetitive higher arm movement and lifting; nevertheless, with out the suitable planning, robots and automatic processes also can set off a rise in different kinds of accidents, together with in some situations these with catastrophic penalties.

When correctly deliberate, robotics and automation tasks are preceded by an in depth ergonomics evaluation or accomplished enchantment project to justify the funding. Yet, in some conditions where automation was designed to cut back one kind of danger, it has a problematic side-effect of introducing new danger factors that weren’t initially anticipated.

In an atmosphere where automation typically will likely be important to reaching environment friendly will increase in domestic manufacturing, operations executives want to have the ability to anticipate the number of new duties that could be required of staff following the set up of robots or different kinds of process automation. They additionally want to have the ability to assess any new dangers to staff related to their altering roles.

For occasion, even when positions involving repetitive and non-complex jobs are changed by automation, the workers could transfer into new roles that aren’t solely extremely repetitive, but in addition extra difficult and even physically strenuous to carry out or monotonous. This might result in will increase in work-related musculoskeletal disorders, mental fatigue, higher error rates, and a deterioration of general high quality.

Certainly, those that have achieved a radical job on the ergonomics evaluation prior to implementing automation ought to know not solely what kinds of risks the automation will seemingly remove, but in addition any important new exposures which may come into play. By utilizing more goal information, equivalent to that obtained by means of the usage of wearables, these pre-assessments may yield more insights on any new office exposures arising from automation that worker safety practices will need to address.

Here are some confirmed measures for executives in operations, engineering, and IT to realize a more full understanding of any new or unaddressed automation-related risks that organizations ought to flag and work to mitigate ideally prior to the implementation of robotics and some other course of automation.

1. Understand the rationale for investing in automation. Businesses usually put money into automation for a number of completely different reasons. They embody: changing sure kinds of highly repetitive or harmful tasks to reduce worker accidents or prevent particular well being points; creating efficiencies by eliminating positions the place a computed algorithm could make selections (equivalent to these involving sure kinds of monetary transactions or these related to automated name processing facilities); operational features the place many primary job duties may be mixed to attain an general discount in labor costs.

2. Consider the influence of AI-driven software program on staff. Some AI software program systems can observe private productiveness and supply suggestions to supervisors on how one can enhance their efficiency. In some respects,, the end result could also be that your workers now have software program with AI as their “new supervisor.” Unfortunately, while these situations could yield short-term boosts in productiveness, in addition they could require employees to carry out with larger charges of repetition, fewer micro-breaks, and less perceived management over the method.

3. Use wearables selectively to flag potential bodily hazards. Avoiding a lot of these outcomes calls for going past standard observational risk assessments and conducting extra superior evaluations of a person worker’s responses to bodily work necessities. For instance, the usage of the newest technology of wearables, equivalent to a floor electromyogram(sEMG), permits ergonomists to measure muscle exercise and determine potential fatigue. In addition, IMU (inertial measurement models) sensors can observe physique actions, equivalent to posture, velocity, and acceleration, that could be growing the inner forces on the physique, resulting in a better likelihood of harm. Additionally, monitoring coronary heart price can assist measure power expenditure to make sure the exercise is just not inflicting general muscle fatigue.

4. Evaluate particular employee duties automation will substitute. Determine the kind of jobs or activity traits new robotics and automation will tackle. Are they extremely routine kind activities, repetitive in nature, or these the place top quality could be maintained by means of standard tasks? From an ergonomics and harm perspective, these duties usually have excessive rates of repetition associated to postural deviations and doubtlessly excessive drive or muscle effort that may result in discomfort, fatigue, and potential WMSDs. In apply, these conditions may apply each to primary manufacturing meeting tasks in addition to office jobs.

5. Determine what low-risk work automation will remove and its influence. In addition to the automation of more hazardous bodily work, be sure you assess the kinds of jobs or task characteristics associated to the decrease danger duties that will likely be eradicated by means of automation. Do they require a excessive degree of guide dexterity, equivalent to involving uneven components that decision for visible processing and decision-making to control and match into an assembly? Do they embody advanced decision-making duties that require judgment or even creativity to carry out? Are they work duties that require a number of individuals and collaborative decision-making on public security issues (equivalent to plane piloted by people versus drones).

6. Develop training modules to assist staff safely alter to new roles. While automated techniques can assist plants meet and maintain elevated productiveness and high quality requirements, in addition they release human capital to deal with complementary value-added duties, equivalent to high quality inspections. Nonetheless, they could create several types of security and well being points for employees designated to function new equipment or persevering with their present roles alongside new robots taking up parallel duties.

7. Carefully assess manufacturing unit ground design and spatial relationships. A crucial subject with automation entails failing to allocate enough area for people and automation to co-exist. Consider utilizing superior human CAD pc packages that facilitate the 3D design of labor areas the place digital staff may very well be positioned in areas designated for set up of automation or robotics to check area, attain, sightlines, different visible interactions, and doubtlessly hazardous blind spots. In addition, make sure designs allow entry to crucial mechanical areas so upkeep and restore workers may have applicable, protected, and prepared entry.

Even although enthusiasm over automation and robotics has steadily elevated lately, the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the dialogue amongst producers to seek out new methods to ramp up home manufacturing. As their enterprises reply to the problem by increasing their use of automation, they should sharpen their deal with how these investments will influence employee security and well being. By taking steps prematurely to grasp the potential advantages and punctiliously assess the risks related to automation, manufacturers will likely be positioned to maximise the productiveness, efficiency, and sustainability of those initiatives.

Author's Bio: 

• A business solution centric Odoo Consultant and IT professional with about 11+ years of experience spanning Odoo delivery, Sales, pre-sales, Odoo product development, Odoo business consulting, outsourcing & ADM services in leadership positions.

• Has headed Practices for Enterprise Solutions ( SAP, Baan & Odoo )

• Experience across domains likeSales and Marketing, Logistics, Manufacturing, Retail, Chemical, Automotive maped to Odoo

• Extensive experience in large program delivery & business process transformation consulting (Odoo Consultant) for multiple programs

• Demonstrated experience in designing new product & service offerings and executing global Go-To-Market strategies for new offerings for new market penetration

• Proven leadership skills with balanced focus on people, processes & technology

• Pioneered the use of ERP systems in various Processing Industry

• Worked as Process Heads of Marketing, Sales, Purchase, HR, ERP Project deliveries and also worked as Business Heads for many companies like IBM, JKT, Denave India, FCS and presently at Apagen Solutions (P) Ltd. and Accord Brothers Media (P) Ltd. As business head.