Renting Robots For Less Than Minimum Wage Is A Boon For Companies
Renting Robots For Less Than Minimum Wage Is A
Boon For Companies
BY TYLER DURDEN FRIDAY, JAN 21, 2022 - 11:20 PM
Automation has rapidly expanded in businesses of all sizes to
cope with rising wages and labor shortages.
Robotics help firms streamline otherwise inefficient tasks and slash labor
costs amid an inflationary environment.
Orders for robotic machinery have jumped for automotive,
agricultural, construction, electronics, food processing, and warehousing
companies. The benefits of employing a robot over a human are now being
realized for small and medium-sized companies.
Jose Figueroa, who manages Polar Manufacturing, a small company
that produces hinges, locks, and brackets in south Chicago, told Wired that
he employed a robot on the production line that costs only $8 per hour versus a
minimum wage of $15 per hour for humans. He said the robot has allowed workers
to concentrate on other tasks while increasing output.
"Smaller companies sometimes suffer because they can't
spend the capital to invest in new technology," Figueroa said.
just struggling to get by with the minimum wage increase," he added.
Polar pays $8 an hour to use the robot, making it very
affordable for small businesses. The manager expects 25 of these production
line robots within five years. As for the 70 employees, he expects to retain
them but said robots had made it so that no new hires are needed.
Over the last two years, the virus pandemic has created a
shortage of workers and a whole host of inflationary
pressures, from wages to transportation to energy costs, squeezing
margins and forcing companies to become more efficient and or pass along the
extra costs to consumers.
Another small business, called Georgia Nut, a confectionery
company in Skokie, Illinois, struggles with labor shortages and employs robots
for $8 an hour.
that can help reduce labor count or the need for labor is obviously a plus at
this particular time," Steve Chmura, chief operating officer at Georgia
Companies like Formic make it possible for small and
medium-sized firms to reduce operating expenses and increase capacity by
allowing them to pay per hour for robots. Renting robots is a gamechanger
for smaller companies than outright purchasing one.
Robotics as a service is driving a new wave of affordable
automation. This will only accelerate the automation wave (something we've described for
years) that will displace millions of workers by the end of the decade.
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