“Robots are turning up on more factory floors and assembly lines as companies struggle to hire enough workers to fill rising orders,” writes The Wall Street Journal (June 2, 2022). Orders for workplace robots in the U.S. climbed 22% last year to $1.6 billion.
Rising wages and worker shortages, compounded by increases in Covid-19-related absenteeism, are changing some manufacturers’ attitudes about robotics. “Before, you could throw people at a problem instead of finding a more elegant solution,” said the CEO of Delphon Industries. Delphon lost 40% of its production days during January when the coronavirus spread through its workforce. The disruption accelerated the company’s purchase of 3 additional robots earlier this year.