The Council of Industry held its annual luncheon on November 19, 2021, at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie.
The networking session preceding the luncheon featured several members demonstrating their products, including packaging materials from Viking Industries shown by Richard Croce and a Universal Robots UR10e collaborative robot, shown by Jim Quinn of HAAS Factory Outlet.
“What we have found is that our customers are not using robotics to replace the existing workforce, but to give them the ability to be more efficient by keeping more machines running longer,” Quinn said in an email following the event.
Domenick Del Rosso and Michael Garofalo attended from JGS as associate members of the Council of Industry and observed the robotics demonstration.
“I can see how this could be helpful if you’re dealing with a very repetitive task,” Del Rosso said. “A robot doesn’t need lunch or an eight-hour day, but you still need employees who can program the robot, ensure its operation and perform maintenance and repair. Is it a tax-wise investment for your production line? That’s what I can help you figure out.”
Manufacturers are facing some of the same economic issues that another JGS niche industry, beer distributors, are contending with currently. They’re working to attract and retain talent, making decisions about software and automation and experiencing inflation in their raw materials, whether those are precious metals for building circuit boards or sheet aluminum for making cans.
You see early automation at ordering kiosks in fast food restaurants and check-out lines at supermarkets. The concept is out there; it’s just a matter of appropriate application.
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The Council of Industry promotes training, advocacy and networking for manufacturing companies and their employees in the Hudson Valley. Visit them online at https://www.councilofindustry.org/ and check out their podcast, e-newsletter and semi-annual magazine, HV Mfg.