If you’ve tried to order something off the Internet recently only to be greeted with a several week or even month-long delivery estimate window, you’ve experienced first-hand the major issues caused by the current global supply chain crisis.
Spawned in large part from the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the supply chain has been struggling since March of 2020. Prices at grocery stores are soaring. Critical parts can’t make their way into manufacturing plants to produce products for consumers. Even logistics providers are having a difficult time recruiting employees to move crucial items across the country. The list goes on and on.
In October, President Biden reached an agreement with shipping companies like UPS and FedEx to expand their business hours to help relieve some of the stress ahead of the holidays. Certain strategic ports like the one in Los Angeles will even be working 24/7 for the next few months to help eliminate some of these bottlenecks.
But interestingly, the true solution to the global supply chain crisis may be the one that is already hiding in plain sight – collaborative robots.
Cobots to the Rescue
For those unfamiliar, a collaborative robot (called a “cobot” for short) is one designed to work not as a replacement for human employees, but alongside them. Think of it as something like a virtual assistant – it can navigate unsafe environments or perform tasks like heavy lifting that a human wouldn’t necessarily be able to, all so that those employees are free to focus their attention on more important matters.
Many experts agree that a continued investment in cobots could be just what the global supply chain needs right now – particularly in advance of the massive influx of orders that we’re about to experience during the holiday season. Cobots allow employees to not only move more product per pick, but to also use heavier tools, to produce heavier parts and achieve many other benefits that they just cannot match through other means right now given the circumstances.
But again, the major benefit that cobots bring with them is time – something that is at a premium considering everything going on in the world right now. Especially if certain businesses are going to be operating around the clock, cobots can be a great way to relieve some of the burden on human employees so that they can devote the maximum amount of their attention on driving revenue. Companies get to continue to operate at peak efficiency at virtually all hours, but at a fraction of the cost it would normally require – which in and of itself may be the most important benefit of all.
If you’d like to find out more information about how collaborative robots may very well be the solution to the global supply chain problems that people have been looking for, or if you’d just like to discuss your own situation with a team of experts in a bit more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact Pioneer Industrial Systems today.