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Robotics and Manufacturing Automation

Manufacturing automation can take many forms, such as using collaborative robots (cobots) or industrial robots to handle parts and products in specific areas. Robotics has traditionally been thought of as costly systems that were mainly used by large manufacturers. Recent technology advances in sensors, software, vision systems, and more, are making robotics accessible for even the smallest manufacturers.


Depending on the application, robotics and manufacturing automation can provide many benefits including:

  • Enhanced productivity
  • Increased throughout and production capacity
  • Improved consistency, quality and yield (partly by eliminating human error)
  • Enhanced worker safety
  • Shifting human effort to non-repetitive, higher value activity, which is critical in the current labor shortage environment.
  • Capturing operational data that leads to a better understanding of processes and decision-making


The MEP National NetworkTM is working with small and medium-sized manufacturers to apply manufacturing automation solutions for a number of common applications, including:

  • Machine tending for loading/unloading from a machine
  • Autonomous mobile robots for material handling
  •  Automated visual inspection using machine vision, which can measure, guide a robot, inspect seals/labels or read bar codes
  • Use of cobots which operate side-by-side with humans, enhancing their capabilities and taking on dangerous tasks


MEP Center experts can work with you to understand your needs and propose manufacturing automation solutions that are right for your business. The process generally involves:

  • An assessment of your company’s operation
  • Customized recommendations for priority opportunities where robotics and automation solve problems or generate the greatest benefit
  • Development of a business case that aligns with your company’s business strategy
  • Connection with integrators and technology vendors
  • Rigorous measurement of results


For General Information

  • MEP Headquarters
    (301) 975-5020
    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 4800
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4800
Created August 10, 2022