In our modern world of rapid technological progress, labor-saving technologies that can replace anywhere from one worker to multiple workers are being implemented across numerous industries daily.
We will explore some of the best new labor-saving technologies and innovations quickly becoming mainstream and bringing significant enhancements in productivity, efficiency, and reduced costs to businesses worldwide.
With these technologies, what used to take multiple individuals and a great deal of time to plan and execute can now be streamlined into an automated process or simplified workflow. From QR codes to robotics in farming and agriculture, there’s no doubt these labor-saving technologies will continue to expand and develop in the near future.
1. QR Codes
QR codes have taken the restaurant industry by storm, gaining immediate momentum after the 2020 pandemic shut down thousands of restauranteurs and forced them to reinvent themselves.
With QR codes, restaurants can reduce the number of servers they need on staff to handle an increasing number of patrons, turn tables quicker, get more tips, increase the average spend per customer, and save time and money in the process.
Instead of waiting for their server to retrieve the check and process their payment method, QR codes give restaurant customers the ability to scan the code on their mobile device, split the check if necessary, add a tip, and pay in under a minute.
2. Smart Factories
Since the industrial revolution, factories have followed a consistent and predictable shift schedule where workers would operate machinery, perform quality control, and ensure the factory is in working condition in order to meet product quotas.
In our modern world, manufacturers and factories are able to reduce human error, increase output, and save on labor and costs through the use of smart factories.
Smart factories are manufacturing centers where machinery is fully automated, and robotic technology with sensors is used to monitor production lines from start to finish. Rather than having hundreds of employees working and operating machinery, smart factories only require a few workers to oversee their automated production lines.
3. Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented reality (AR) is a labor-saving technology that simplifies how companies execute their training programs and how they give demonstrations to customers or stakeholders.
In the past, training a new employee would take a business many months, tying up experienced employees in training and onboarding and requiring a training budget. This was even more difficult for jobs where complex systems and processes were taught, ones that required absolute precision on the part of the employee.
With AR, companies can now do all the work upfront and create a comprehensive training solution that an employee can follow using augmented reality. They follow a visual training program that shows them the systems, components, and processes they’re working with, cutting down significantly on training costs.
4. Robotics in Farming & Agriculture
Labor-saving technology in the farming and agriculture industries has significantly reduced the number of workers required to harvest crops and process them for consumption.
With combine harvesters, GIS-based harvesting, soil and water sensors, weather tracking, and farming automation, farmers can do the same amount of work as an army of workers just a few short decades ago.
5. 3D & 4D Printing
When a manufacturer or engineering company needs to create a new part, a precision machinist with the skills to turn an engineering drawing into that part is required.
Since 3D and 4D printing came about, those machinists can now be replaced by printers that construct parts layer by layer, saving on labor and costs in the process.
With 3D printing, solid material is layered until a part is produced. With 4D printing, objects are “printed” from advanced materials that perform different functions or change shape when interacting with light, heat, or hot water.