Over the years, the human race has been threatened by epidemics and pandemics again and again. SARS, H1N1, Ebola have spread all over the world and shown their teeth in the past and now we have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 13 million people have already been infected by the novel coronavirus, and the United States alone has a maximum number of cases at over 3.37 million. It has impacted our way of living and work. In such trying times, technology has been a significant factor in overcoming these diseases.
Even today, as we brace ourselves for a fight with the COVID-19, the advancements made in technology have helped us a great deal. With a complete lockdown in several states, automation and robotics have taken precedence.
Companies are now relying more on robotics and automation to get the work done. Robots don’t get tired, sick, or face an emotional burnout and most importantly, the transmission of the disease can be prevented. With these advantages, the robotic invasion has already begun.
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Industries like healthcare and sanitation, delivery services, and manufacturing industries have already incorporated automation.
Automation in the Manufacturing Industry
Cairn Oil’s Barmer Plant was initially managed by 7500 personnel onsite but after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, it was managed by 1500 employees only. Despite this dip, the oil and gas major recovered 1.6 lakhs barrels of oil against 1.8 lakhs barrels of oil before lockdown. This was possible due to Cairn Oil’s investment in automation and digitization in the last two years.
COVID-19 has brought about a shift in the employment status of many where a global recession is already underway. This is due to massive amounts of resources required for employees like daily personnel body temperature, protective gear, and adherence to social distancing norms, and hence companies are now looking for new ways to reduce dependence on the availability of employees onsite/office.
Several other manufacturing majors like Tata Steel, Mahindra, Toyota, Tata Motors, VE Commercial Vehicles have also laid out big plans for automating their production lines.
Investment in technology huge, but returns expected much higher
Experts have pointed out that although the investment in the technology will be huge, the expected returns will be many folds in terms of higher productivity and preparedness for future calamities. Also, automation will mean the replacement of a less-skilled workforce with a new set of skilled people who can work with newer systems and technology.
To sum it up, automation is indeed the road ahead with the ongoing pandemic and a solution to prevent future sudden shutdowns.