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A New Generation of Robots Can Help Small Manufacturers

Automation technology is creating incredible opportunities for SMEs. Smaller, flexible, collaborative robots (cobots) can be used across a wide range of applications from machine tending and welding to packaging, palletizing, and screw-driving. State-of-the-art software even allows swift reconfiguration of parts, finally making automation attractive to high-mix, low-volume manufacturers. This technology development could not have come at a better time for the industry. Take the talent crunch. Manufacturing especially is having huge problems recruiting and retaining employees. More than 2 million manufacturing jobs will sit unfilled across the United States by the end of this decade and three quarters of European companies already have difficulty recruiting suitable workers – workplaces are crying out for talent and face decreased productivity and unsustainable staff turnover.

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