Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Year Ahead


Taxes, recession, health insurance, disaster recovery…. 

What will 2013 look like?

This year promises to be a challenging one. While the general economic news seems to indicate some stability and slow growth in the economy, higher taxes and health care costs are likely to dampen progress.

Automation
Baxter on the packaging line 
With higher health care costs and increased regulations, employers are looking for ways to increase productivity without having to increase head count. Automating certain tasks can be an answer.

The new robot, ‘Baxter’, from ReThink Robotics is one way to automate mundane tasks such as carton filling and parts transfer. ReThink Robotics created Baxter with the goal of being able to compete favorably with overseas labor rates. In fact, Baxter can be applied for around $5.00 per hour, making it very competitive. Baxter is a ‘collaborative robot’ designed to work with and next to humans. It does not require a cage or guarding and can be shown what to do by a co-worker.

ONExia has many solutions and many years of experience applying automation methods to a wide variety of tasks.

Economy
ONExia belongs to three industry organizations; the Association of High Technology Distributors (AHTD) and the Control Systems Integrators Association (CSIA) and the Motion Control Association (MCA). Each of these organizations have annual or twice-annual conferences, presenting a variety of good speakers and workshops. All three organizations also utilize the services of an economics firm called ITR Economics. ITR has an incredible track record for predicting changes in the economy. They claim an accuracy of 94.7% over the past 60 years and, more recently, correctly forecast the financial crisis of 2007-2009.

Alan Beaulieu, President and Principal of ITR, is often the presenter at AHTD, CSIA and MCA events. For the past couple of years Alan has been predicting slow growth and recovery from the recession through the end of 2013, followed by a slowing economy. He further predicts that we will be in a mild recession during 2014, recovering during 2015.

We are planning, accordingly.

Greg Selke
CEO ONExia Inc