How to balance this, then? The magic word “automation” promises one way out of this situation. On paper, this looks rather easy: In the future, what is now manual labour will be done by highly specialised machines and robots. No need for staff, no days off, production around the clock.
But apart from these urgent factors, automation promises further advantages. For one, there is speed. When looking at individual work steps, a specialised machine will usually beat human staff regarding speed. Using machines therefore means significantly increasing turnover. Especially in the packaging of food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, automation can also decrease the risk of contamination for the product through less points with manual contact.
In reality, the process of automation is of course much more complex. Before a ready-to-work robot is standing on the shop floor, the work step that needs to be carried out must be precisely analysed, sequences of movements must be modelled and compatibility with the packaging materials must be agreed on.