Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on the Automation Sector

The outbreak of COVID-19 is having a significant impact on almost every industry, and the automation sector is no exception. Since millions of people infected with the virus and continues to rise across the world, uncertainties around global economic growth increase. The pandemic may have an extensive effect on the capacity layout and supply chain network of many enterprises. In this regard, multinational enterprises may improve their disaster emergency mechanisms and supply chain management processes. In the manufacturing sector, the outbreak has revealed a various number of issues and risks that already existed in the industry.

In order to defeat the pandemic, major automation suppliers focus their technologies in the fight against COVID-19. The crisis, which has led the world to turn to automation technology, is not just stimulating the transition to automation but will boost investments powering that change. Since much of the world lives under lockdown to prevent the contagious virus spread, manufacturing has been hit hard with closures of production plants, warehouses and mines worldwide.

For several manufacturers, the short-term impact of the epidemic is a decline in revenue and profits. For instance, as China implemented stringent prevention and control measures, a large number of manufacturing enterprises were completely suspended, and the loss of production capacity is expected to be the next 1-3 months.

The progress of automation and the performance of global automation suppliers rely on the health and smooth functioning of the global manufacturing sector. While several factories and production units are temporarily shut down and some are laying off workers to control fixed costs and losses, the automation industry is expected to inevitably take a back seat in the short-term.

The restrictions over movement due to the novel coronavirus not only caused businesses and productions to pause operation but also forced several automation and manufacturing conferences to either schedule to the next dates or cancel.

According to reports, over hundreds of manufacturing and automation conferences are held annually across the globe. These conferences offer key information about manufacturing and automation technologies, as well as assist professionals in the automation space to stay up to date with industry best practices.

Impact on Manufacturing Automation

As COVID-19 affected deeply the manufacturing businesses, this is the time for manufacturers to take stock of their operations, from production to the supply chain, and move strategically with considering how they may be better prepared in the future.

Some manufacturers, like the automotive industry, are undergoing a severe plunge in demand. Conversely, producers of items such as disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and preventative products that can help combat the pandemic are increasingly ramping up production and mass-producing products to meet the growing demand from both healthcare and customers. Moreover, the panic-buying of products by consumers is making manufacturers look at digital transformation, automation and robotics technologies to meet the demand.