In recent years, digitalisation, globalisation, but also the urge to less globalisation, have brought about some changes in the economy and the world of work. In order to be better able to cope with these changes, many companies are focusing on the automation of their production. These companies are then well prepared even in crisis situations, including the current Corona crisis.
The Swiss economy is facing more and more risks: The trade conflict between China and the USA, the downturn in the German economy and also the current corona crisis, the effects of which we are not yet able to assess properly.
In addition to the risks, manufacturing companies in Switzerland in particular face further challenges:
- More and more often, individual custom-made products in small quantities are in demand. These must then be produced promptly and cost-efficiently.
- At the same time, however, there are fewer and fewer qualified employees. This makes it more and more difficult to find good employees for monotonous and physically demanding jobs.
When we look at the risks and challenges, it becomes clear that something has to change. Collaborative robotics makes this possible, and not only for large companies, but also for medium-sized and even smallest businesses. With the help of collaborative robotics, these companies can meet the challenges and risks very well. Production can be automated in a flexible and cost-effective way.
We look at three success stories from the Netherlands and Germany, which can also be applied to Switzerland:
Example 1: Heemskerk Fijnmechanica B.V. Niederlande
Heemskerk Fijnmechanica B.V. produces precision mechanical components for the aviation, automotive and packaging industries. For production, the company relies on Universal Robots collaborating robots (Cobots), especially for feeding the machines and cleaning the finished components. The automation of production is very important to the company, as Lucien Heemskerk, the owner and managing director emphasizes: “To keep up with international competition, we have to work efficiently. If you want to keep your production in the Netherlands, you have to be creative, think outside the box and do things differently than everyone else”.
For the employees, the decision to automate some areas of production has paid off. Especially the automation of tiring and monotonous activities such as the loading of machines has improved the quality of work of the employees.
The employee Anton van Dam confirms this. He has been with the company for over 25 years and previously had to perform these tasks manually. Thanks to the relief provided by the Cobots, which are also easy to operate, he has been able to develop his career.