Robotic systems have never been more requested or more needed. The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the need for zero-touch systems—the type of fully automated systems that only robots can provide. Apart from the manufacturing plants and warehouses that routinely use Robots, even doctor’s offices, hospitals and all business establishments may need robots in 2020. Still, the global pandemic generally has stressed how vulnerable systems that require people to work close to each other can be. Wipro is uniquely situated relative to most other companies in alleviating the mounting need for robotic solutions to today’s problems.
A Growing Need
The move toward automation and robotics isn’t new. But the acceleration of digital adoption and need for more distanced and automated work environments have spurred the latest innovations and developments. Industry leaders and innovators have dubbed the current age as Industry 4.0, the latest industrial revolution, and a time of increased automation using systems that don’t need constant supervision and human support.
Before Industry 4.0 dawned, robots were relegated to the factory floor, mostly tending to conveyor belt-style systems. Now, robots work in warehouses, doctor’s offices, hospitals, and delivery systems. And they are no longer just assembling. Robots are sanitizing, inspecting, inventorying, and more.
Common Pain Points
Of course, investors and businesses want to ride the future wave that includes robotics, but that can seem daunting. Return on investment is one area of concern. In the past, robotic systems have been costly, and it has taken two years or more to get a good return on automated investment. Only the largest manufacturers could afford them.
Today, deserted factory floors, empty offices, hospitals, and doctor’s offices with more patients than ever drive more demand for automation. The fragility of in-person, on-site work has become suddenly apparent. The focus has changed from ‘How can we afford to get this?’ to ‘How can we afford not to?’
Streamlining with Wipro
Wipro has demonstrated capabilities to deliver robotic solutions to complex problems. One of its clients had a complex product assembly taking place in multiple factories. With several assembly stages and shipping of product between them, the company had a slow production schedule that frequently suffered delays. Damage to product and parts was a real problem. Wipro stepped in and, with their innovative solutions, was able to shorten the assembly schedule while improving productivity by 20 percent.
This streamlining and improvement was achieved using Wipro’s integrated solutions. While most companies specialize in operations (conveyor belts and automation) or information technology, Wipro bridges these technologies with its capacity in both spheres. For their client, Wipro was able to simulate the entire production end-to-end with their software before implementing hardware solutions. This saved time and minimized the damage since all testing was virtual. Any miscalculated parameters were corrected before implementation. And various simulations could be run before deciding, meaning Wipro and their client could settle on the best solution among countless possible options that were all thoroughly vetted.
Another unexpected benefit of Wipro’s middle layer lying between operations and IT is that experts could work from the safety of their homes, even while designing an automated system, an essential consideration in the age of COVID.
Wipro’s Innovative Solutions
Wipro is situated to deliver robotic solutions globally. Most robotics businesses are based in big national or regional markets, like China, North America, or Europe. Wipro is geography agnostic, meaning it can implement robotic solutions globally, anywhere the customer needs them.
To create zero-touch solutions, Wipro designed Intelligent Automation, taking all the rules that a person would follow while working in concert with a machine and programming those tasks in a rule engine. Wipro gave robots vision so they could inspect parts, taking action when necessary. As a result, a fifteen-person factory-floor team could be reduced to nine or even six which means a reduction of human effort (in turn cost) by a minimum of 40% to accomplish the same work. The excess employees can be redeployed to other company sites or reassigned as consultants who can help automation developers to design their systems, since they know the factory floor and its systems better than anyone else. In this process, Wipro was able to improve productivity by 20 percent by eliminate idle time due to humans carrying out the tasks. The reduction in cost and improvement of productivity have improved the overall operations efficiency significantly.
Increasingly, robots can be made to order, with base models that have configurable and programmable parts for use in various systems. They may not be as complex as the human eye or hand yet, but robots take the brunt of the dangerous work while improving productivity and decreasing damage. The future is bright with robots, and Wipro is prepared to deliver them in ways that fit your company’s needs and goals.
As Warehouse and Factory managers start to understand the growing need for automation, we suggest this three-point approach:
- Identify the existing pain points — both generic and specific
- Conduct an ROI analysis to gain executive sponsorship for robotic automation
- Engage a partner who can deliver end-to-end robotic automation solutions targeted to address your needs
We have helped multiple clients in each of these areas to equip their warehouses/factories with intelligent robotic automation. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to start with your automation journey in the new normal.