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Rockwell Automation study finds that 85 per cent of automotive manufacturers plan to maintain or increase workforce

Rockwell Automation study finds that 85 per cent of automotive manufacturers plan to maintain or increase workforce

June 16, 2023 4:50 pm

The comprehensive study includes input from 197 industry leaders, including automotive manufacturers, automotive suppliers, and electric vehicle manufacturers, representing 13 prominent manufacturing nations worldwide.

Rockwell Automation has unveiled the findings from their latest report, the “State of Smart Manufacturing Report: Automotive Edition,” which marks its 8th annual release. The comprehensive study includes input from 197 industry leaders, including automotive manufacturers, automotive suppliers, and electric vehicle manufacturers, representing 13 prominent manufacturing nations worldwide.

The report emphasizes the evolution of the automotive industry with a focus on the pursuit of quality, the impact of process automation, the adoption of smart manufacturing, and the essential role of technology when mitigating risks, navigating workforce challenges, minimizing costs, and boosting production.

Key global findings revealed that the majority of automotive manufacturers, accounting for 85%, are looking to either maintain or expand their current workforce due to the adoption of technology. Furthermore, 64% of companies are utilizing software to automate their processes, while 54% are increasing automation to address the scarcity of skilled labor. The primary drivers for accelerating digital transformation are centered around cost reduction and enhancing quality. Regarding investments, 31% of automotive manufacturers have already invested in or plan to invest in AI and machine learning technologies, with further growth anticipated as more use cases and user-friendly applications emerge. Repurposing the existing workforce is expected by 42% of manufacturers, while 27% foresee an increase in hiring as a direct result of technology adoption, indicating that technology can address present challenges while fostering growth opportunities. In terms of practical implementation, 35% of these businesses affirm that smart manufacturing has assisted in resolving issues related to deploying and integrating new technologies. Additionally, 29% believe it has aided in managing the ongoing effects of the pandemic. Notably, 97% of automotive manufacturers and suppliers have established sustainability and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives, with nearly half of them pursuing these initiatives as a means to gain a competitive edge.

Paul Epperson, Vice President, Global Industry – Auto, Tire & Advanced Mobility, Rockwell Automation. said that “Over the last few years, the automotive industry has been tasked with navigating many new challenges and obstacles. From shifts in consumer demand and supply chain issues, to microchip shortages and manufacturing workforce challenges, the industry has been compelled to remain agile. For instance, with the automotive industry’s switch to electric vehicles, manufacturers are having to increase their workforce as they make the transition, not only at their existing facilities but also as they open greenfield plants. It is evident from reviewing the survey findings that navigating these challenges by adopting new technologies, while balancing quality with profitable growth, are top of mind for automotive leaders.”

The automotive industry is aware of the essential roles technology and automation play when navigating risks and striving towards profitable growth. 59% are mitigating internal risks by adopting technology, with 50% doing the same for external risks. Similarly, when asked how they intend to drive positive business outcomes, the number one response was increasing automation.

“Rockwell is uniquely positioned to serve as a trusted advisor in the automotive space for companies around the world, not only because of our dynamic portfolio of industry solutions but also our extensive partner ecosystem,” said Epperson. “Wherever companies are in their digital transformation and smart manufacturing journeys, Rockwell can meet them there and help drive innovative growth.”

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