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Thoughts from an Integrator: Is Automation Recession Proof?

Manufacturing employee wondering - is automation recession proof?

By: Greg Selke | CEO

Depending on who you listen to, we are in an economic recession, have been in one, or will be in one. No matter which, there is plenty of reason to speculate on what our national (and, world) economy will look like over the next couple of years.

When economic downturns have happened in the past, companies often suspended or delayed spending on capital projects. Sometimes this makes sense to preserve capital until you know what revenue can be expected.

So, are conditions different, now?

We recently received an email from a good customer who presently has one of our PalletizHD™ units on order. The email indicated that the company is concerned with the national economy and has decided to curtail their capital spending plans except they wanted to order three more PalletizHD™ units. We gave them current pricing and they sent their order in.

If one thinks about it, there are several very good reasons to invest in Factory Automation today, even if there is an economic slow-down. Some of those reasons are:

  • Labor continues to be difficult to hire
  • The cost of labor is only going to go up
  • You need to ship product out the door, even if your overall volume has temporarily declined
  • The cost of Automation is not likely to go down
  • If you finance the cost over time with a level monthly payment, you will be paying for it with future inflated dollars
  • You will be in a much better position to take advantage of opportunities as the economy ramps back up

All of this is especially true for applications where we are transitioning from manual labor to some type of
automation. The most consistent complaint we hear from customers is that they cannot find reliable labor.
Factory Automation is important because it is a viable response with both short-term and long-term rewards.

Automation eliminates uncertainty.