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Man and machine can merge to beat the Covid-19 Pandemic

In the midst of this global health emergency, for many of us our ordinary everyday lives have crashed to a sudden halt. Social distancing to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus has become a key tactic employed in Ireland and throughout the world. As stated by Leo Varadkar, the restrictions being imposed on people to stop the spread of Covid-19 are “absolutely necessary” to protect human life and human health. It is a time to protect and look out for each other, by following guidelines and advice from experts all over the world. In these uncertain times, things we may have taken for granted are now seen as a luxury from toilet paper to bread, shelves of some supermarkets lie completely barren. Allowing for these shelves continue to get restocked throughout this crisis is a huge responsibility for many companies throughout Ireland, especially when they have to consider the safety of their own workers from the virus. This is why automation and technology are playing such a key role to help combat the coronavirus and allow people to continue to have the goods they need.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak more and more people are working from home due to social distancing and other measures in place to protect workers and the people of Ireland many workplaces simply cannot open unless they are heavily automated as the risk to the health of their workers is far too great. The benefits of technology in our working lives are now plain to see for everyone. Through the use of applications such as Microsoft Teams, workers now have the ability continue working even when isolated in their own homes. The same can be said about third level institutions and secondary schools showing the capabilities of technology through the running of online classes, lectures and examinations. Though the Covid-19 pandemic may be a freak occurrence that we have not seen the like of before, it highlights the fact that technology leads to increased productivity, efficiency and it undoubtedly helps keep people across all industries remain safe in these challenging and uncertain times. Automated manufacturing companies have been able to continue to keep the supply chain moving helping to provide much needed products to people throughout the world.

In a time where some goods are at a premium it is important to keep production in motion and  one company that has remained open throughout this outbreak and are working tirelessly to ensure their customers can continue production are Horan Automation based in Tipperary. By automating manufacturing processes their customers have been able to remain open and provide essential products to their customers during the virus, everything from food and beverages to medical devices and pharmaceuticals to help at this time of international emergency. Emma Lacy, Horan Automation’s Commercial Director said “During this difficult and confusing time for businesses it has become apparent that many manufacturing companies are indeed on the front line when it comes to demand for their products.  Many of our customers produce lifesaving medicines, medical devices or food and beverages so they simply cannot stop production.  With a mix of selfless employees and supported by automation our customers are meeting demand and hopefully the economy will bounce back quickly once the pandemic is over.  Our only priority at present in Horan Automation is to support these crucial manufacturing companies; we see this as our way of contributing in a time of crisis.  Our own engineers are working tirelessly so that we can all play our part together to beat this.  In times of crisis teamwork and a positive frame of mind is everything.”

Automation can be applied to almost everything and is not a way of replacing humans but instead a way of keeping them safe and allowing for the most efficient way of managing the supply chain. We can see now more than ever the benefits being highlighted. This pandemic will likely make companies throughout the world speed up on their path to automation and Ireland is likely to follow suit. The decision to automate for about 50% of Horan Automation’s customers prior to the Covid-19 outbreak was derived from health and safety issues.  Either the product their operators are working with or the process of manufacturing is dangerous.  The customer would rather automate these areas of production and re-deploy operators to less dangerous, less repetitive work. The other 50% of their customers are due usually due to an increase in demand and with relatively low unemployment they don’t have a choice but to automate. The demand now within Horan’s main industries of food and beverage and pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing is at an all-time high and due to the safety measures in place to protect workers and keep them apart automation is the only viable option. Horan Automation’s engineers can use applications like Team Viewer and Microsoft Teams to help ensure machines are running to their optimum capacity and allowing them respect social distancing protocol. For more information about Horan Automation and to learn about their products and services please visit www.horan.ie

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