Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing: A Job-Seeker’s Guide
As American industry marches forward into the 21st century, the role of advanced robotics in manufacturing grows ever more present and even necessary. Particularly in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, these machines are relied upon more than ever to revitalize production.
This is great news for the modern job-seeker, because with new technologies come countless new job opportunities. The demand for jobs in advanced robotics is only growing, and skilled workers are in high demand.
First, let’s take a look at how robots can optimize manufacturing.
The Robot’s Role
There are a lot of ways that robots improve productivity. They perform tasks with incredible precision on a consistent basis with little-to-no margin of error. They’re able to operate on a 24/7 schedule, and they can perform dangerous tasks like arc-welding or handling hazardous materials. They’re programmable and scalable to work within a variety of manufacturing environments. Their ROI is exceptional, often paying for themselves within a couple of years.
You might think that these benefits eliminate the need for employees, but in reality the use of advanced robotics creates an entire new set of job opportunities.
While we might think of manufacturing robots as autonomous machines that work independently without the need for human assistance, nothing could be further from the truth. Robots are machines that need to be monitored and maintained, and that means there needs to be specialists capable of performing those functions and understanding the operating procedures.
The robotics technicians are responsible for ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of machines on a manufacturing floor, utilizing practical and mechanical expertise to keep things running. On top of mechanical knowledge, these specialists are also trained in safety protocols and troubleshooting know-how.
Also needed on the manufacturing floor are robotics specialists who understand the processes on a higher level. These specialists are able to analyze the production flow from an efficiency-based perspective and recommend improvements and upgrades to increase and optimize productivity.
The robotics specialist must have a strong working knowledge of the capabilities of advanced robotics, as well as the vision to spot areas where those capabilities could benefit manufacturing and production. They must also be able to identify problem areas where perhaps the process isn’t moving as smoothly as it should and perform safety-risk assessments as needed.
To make use of advanced robotics for manufacturing, there must first be a plan for integration. Somebody needs to assess the overall process and determine which areas are appropriate for automation, and then design the robots capable of performing those tasks. This is where the robotics integrator comes in, a big-picture thinker capable of envisioning the most efficient manufacturing floor possible.
The robotics integrator utilizes big data, virtualization, and simulation to plan and implement advanced robotics into the manufacturing process. They must have skills in computer programming, as well as an understanding of system and process design.
There are plenty of other robotics-adjacent job opportunities involved in the integration of advanced robotics in manufacturing as well.
For instance, the robots need to be built, the parts manufactured, and the materials sourced and transported. The online functionality of manufacturing robots means greater threat from network attacks, which means a greater demand for cybersecurity professionals. All of these jobs need to be filled with trained professionals, opening up opportunities for education and training institutions.
Where to Learn More About Advanced Robotics Jobs
Built upon the expertise of more than 200 educators, robotics suppliers, manufacturers, economic development and government experts, ARM has developed strategies to fill the jobs necessary to bring us into a future of unparalleled production, efficiency, and safety in the world of American manufacturing.
Learn more at roboticscareer.org.