The United States faces a labor shortage with 10 million jobs available and only 5.7 million workers unemployed to fill those jobs. The manufacturing industry is particularly hard hit, with 803,000 job vacancies in the US alone. It is estimated that by 2030 there will be 8 million job vacancies worldwide. Faced with this labor shortage, companies are turning to automation, and many are turning to 3M for help.
3M has been a leader in robotics and automation for more than 30 years and operates 10 laboratories in eight countries around the world. The company offers a variety of robotic solutions that automate manufacturing processes involving abrasives and adhesives. These systems allow organizations to continue operations with greater reliability, consistency, and profitability.
A notable example is the 3M Finesse-It robotic paint repair system that revolutionized the automotive industry. This system automates the process of visual inspection, grinding, polishing and finishing of new vehicles coming off the assembly line. In cooperation with the robotics expert FANUC, 3M has managed to fully automate this complex and costly process in close cooperation with major car manufacturers.
Another area where 3M combines robotics with its adhesives expertise is in the RoboTape system. Launched in 2022, this system uses 3M VHB Tapes to automate repetitive bonding applications in industrial manufacturing. By leveraging the benefits of 3M tape, manufacturers can improve production, improve quality, and reduce manual labor and rework.
3M also introduced the 3M On-Demand Bonding System, which combines the benefits of 3M VHB Tapes with the versatility of a liquid adhesive in a single workspace. This automated end-to-end bonding solution can be deployed at any scale and provides greater efficiency and flexibility.
With labor shortages expected to persist for years to come, companies are increasingly turning to automation to fill the gaps. 3M’s robotic solutions and adhesives expertise have made the company a valued partner in helping companies overcome labor shortages and improve operational efficiencies.