In the modern world all the branches of the economy are intent on automating business processes and reducing manufacturing costs. The Belarusian light industry follows the trend, too. The enterprises think about the introduction of robotized technologies and see the technologies as a way to bolster their competitive ability. Chairwoman of the Belarusian state light industry concern Bellegprom Tatiana Lugina sketched out what functions robots can do as part of light industry and when such technologies can be introduced on a massive scale.
The Bellegprom head said: “The relevant work has been in progress for many years. Our so-called anchor project was implemented at SOOO Belwest. The company is working on robotizing a number of its footwear manufacturing operations. We are already in the final stage of the project: this process is about to reach the designed output capacity. We are now thinking and considering what other operations can be robotized.”
In her opinion, in any industry the robotization of warehousing and logistics looks promising because tried and tested methods are available and can fit virtually all the enterprises. “As for the light industry, we need to take a look at every case, evaluating where semi-automatic or manual labor can be replaced with robots. For instance, workers of the Dobrush porcelain factory place crockery on the conveyor belt and remove it manually. In my opinion, such operations should be automated. Apart from that, I believe we could use robotized solutions for sewing T-shirts, bed linen, towels,” Tatiana Lugina noted.
Belarusian light industry enterprises are now busy automating business processes and manufacturing processes, including such enterprises as Vitebsk Carpets, Kamvol, and Orsha Linen Mill. Robotization may be the next step, Tatiana Lugina believes. “We keep up with the digitization tasks that the country intends to accomplish and the time dictates. We understand that transition to robotization is inevitable. Light industry enterprises operate in a harsh competitive environment. The product price comes to the forefront among all the competitive advantages. Robotization is one of the ways to reduce costs,” she said.
A seminar on the development of digitization at production sector enterprises took place in Svetlogorsk some time ago. Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Yuri Nazarov took part in it. Representatives of leading Belarusian enterprises talked about the practical introduction of digitization tools at their facilities. Such meetings are supposed to take place at various enterprises every month. People from various industries will make reports. Certainly, an algorithm that works in one industry cannot be blindly copied by another industry but some elements can be borrowed, Tatiana Lugina noted.
Belarus is also considering the international experience of introduction of robotized technologies in the manufacturing sector. In particular, the Bellegprom head met with Director General of FANUC Russia and Belarus (a representative office of the international company headquartered in Japan) Aleksandr Yashkin. “We compared our notes, shared the vision of robotization of light industry and discussed how we are going to interact in the near future in order to produce results,” Tatiana Lugina said.
“But it is necessary to understand that all the projects in the sphere of robotization are designed to run for 5-10 years. We cannot get results tomorrow. We have yet to go a long way until we see results. But competition in this industry is tough. We have to reduce costs and build a long-term effective strategy,” the Bellegprom head said. In her opinion, despite the difficulties that need to be overcome robotization is necessary and will contribute to further development of the Belarusian light industry.