Tuesday, October 3

Robotics guru lists the next three industries to be automated

A software and robotics machine called mGripAI from Massachusetts-based Soft Robotics sorts artificial pieces of chicken into trays for packaging at an automation conference held by the Association for Advancing Automation in Detroit.

Michael Wayland/CNBC

DETROIT — The automotive and logistics industries are no strangers to robots.

They’re among the most heavily invested businesses in automation in the US economyusing robots to sort packages, transport goods and assist in building vehicles.

But other industries where robotics haven’t yet taken hold may be potential investment opportunities and expansion areas for automation companies in the coming years.

Those emerging areas intrigue Jeff Burnstein, an automation-industry guru and president of the Association for Advancing Automation. His trade group represents more than 1,000 global companies involved in robotics, machine vision, motion control, and motors and related technologies.

Burnstein, who recently received a prestigious award for his more than 40 years in the industry, believes automation and robotics could greatly assist in doing the “dull, dirty, dangerous jobs” that people don’t necessarily want to do.

Jeff Burnstein (right center), president of the Association for Advancing Automation, after receiving a Joseph F. Engelberger Robotics Award for his more than 40-year career in the industry.

Photo courtesy of the Association for Advancing Automation


Deere’s autonomous 8R tractor


Food processing

In 2021, Tyson Foods said it would invest over $1.3 billion in new automation capabilities through 2024 to increase yields and reduce both labor costs and associated risks — and ultimately deliver savings for the meat processor.

Tyson CEO Donnie King last month told investors the company is continuing to “invest in automation and digital capabilities with opportunities to improve our yield.”

He said the company has 50 lines for deboning chickens that are fully automated.

Pilgrim’s Prideone of the world’s largest chicken producers, has also announced substantial investments in automation, including more than $100 million it announced in 2021.

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