Automation and Robots in The Manufacturing Sector with Tyler and Colby Stilson
The possibilities of automation have hung over the head of manufacturing industries for many decades and while some may shortsightedly characterize robots as replacing human jobs, those with more foresight see the potential innovation they can bring to small and big businesses alike. To discuss the current state of automation in their manufacturing shop, we are joined on the show today by Tyler and Colby Stilson of Operose Manufacturing, a relatively small job shop, embracing automation wherever possible and sensible.
We get to hear from these brothers about their different routes to the sector and what drove their passion for making things. Tyler is the founder and main force behind Operose, while Colby is an advisor, investor, and keen eye on the company! With a lot of experience in the world of manufacturing over the last few decades, we hear some great perspectives on what automation has meant and means now for the type of work that Operose does. Our guests are firm believers in innovations enabled by robotics. We hear from Tyler about examples in their manufacturing process and how he started to gain efficiency with the help of the right kinds of robots. One of the major points he makes is that it is not as simple as plug and play; machinery and new automated systems needed to be well-matched, understood, and tested. Building human skills together with automation is key. These are human decisions that can increase productivity, create new jobs, and drive profitability. For all this and whole lot more from a technology sector that is often misunderstood, listen to this podcast episode.
I don’t think we’re eliminating jobs, I think we’re providing better jobs, higher paying jobs, more productive jobs and at the same time I think we’re making the industry a lot more attractive to the upcoming generations.
Key Points From This Episode:
• Tyler and Colby’s background in manufacturing and investment
• Looking at the evolution of automation during the last three decades
• Machines that Tyler has watched evolve in the space during his career
• Skills development, fresh talent, and new perspectives on older techniques
• Boosting productivity, aiding innovation, and creating new jobs through automation
• Compatibility between machines and robots and the future of plug and play options
• How Operose prototyped and created their own barbell collar for CrossFit
• The move to 3D printing and the convenience it offers for new prototypes
• The workload that Operose takes on and concerns over utilizing machines and hands
• Sketching the idea of a zero-person manufacturing operation in reality
• Opportunities for platforms with more automation
• Barriers of scalability
• New ideas, equipment, and machines in the shop; the leap of faith that is necessary
• Cost-benefit analysis and boosting productivity without adding more personnel
• The next step in innovation and automation that Tyler is excited about for his shop
• Getting over the hurdle of human and financial capital in order to scale