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Thought Leaders in Automation

Dan Hasley

Dan Hasley

Senior Director of Sales & Marketing
Kawasaki Robotics (USA), Inc.

Dan Hasley, Senior Director of Sales & Marketing at Kawasaki Robotics (USA), Inc., got his start with automation in 1994. His interest in robotics sparked early on while working on the electric motors used in robotic arms, and it has only grown in scope and complexity ever since. Over the course of his 26+ year career, Dan saw the field of industrial automation evolve firsthand and cultivated a multifaceted understanding of the industry. With experience ranging from robotic performance testing and offline programming software to advanced, large-scale automotive production lines, he uses his breadth of knowledge to drive his decision-making and suggestions for his team and Kawasaki customers alike.

Since starting at Kawasaki Robotics in March 2017, Dan has leveraged his expertise while working with key customers, where a large part of his responsibility includes growing Kawasaki’s Paint and Dispense business. In day-to-day operations, Dan utilizes his diverse skill set to help Kawasaki partners and end users grow through automation. Dan received his Bachelor's degree in Finance from Michigan State University, and a Master's degree in Business Administration from University of Michigan-Flint.

QUESTION

There’s been a shift in how robotics are used, and we’d love to hear your take on how robots have moved from primarily a tool for big companies in automotive and electronics to products that are used by companies of all sizes and virtually every industry.

ANSWER

Of course, collaborative robots have become very popular outside of the traditional "big company" users, by enabling a certain level of automation for manufacturers with low volume, high mix applications. Also, I am very excited to see the tremendous increase in activity from robot technology start-up companies who are creating new opportunities for robotic automation using advanced vision systems and sensors to not only work collaboratively in new ways, but to handle objects with odd shapes, random locations, etc. These technologies are breaking barriers by enabling even more industries to automate, which is helping to push higher growth in robotics.

 

International Robot Safety Conference

QUESTION

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed many vulnerabilities in areas such as supply chain, business operations, manufacturing processes, etc. What are the most important lessons you’ve learned that will help your company be better prepared for future pandemics?

ANSWER

We have learned that we are actually much better at remote working that we had assumed in the past. Being forced to adapt, while remaining productive and responsive to our customers, has shown us how creative and dedicated we can be. I think this will permanently change thinking about our workforce, even long after COVID-19 has been resolved.

QUESTION

During the last 20 years, manufacturing companies have seen a 25 percent improvement in productivity as a result of automation. This has caused a recalibration in the tasks of the workforce. How does this benefit not only the company, but also the worker? Also, what other changes do you see coming to the workforce?

ANSWER

I think the benefits of productivity improvements are obvious to the company, and even the worker, who can move out of repetitive and hazardous tasks. Also, it gives workers the opportunity to learn new skills and move toward tasks requiring a higher level of creativity. We commonly think of factory work being automated when, actually, advances in robotics are designed to automate very high skilled work such as medical workers, including surgeons.

QUESTION

Robotics, Machine Vision, Industry 4.0, Artificial Intelligence, 5G, Blockchain, Quantum Computing – the number of technology advancements and “buzz words” that companies have to know about and be able to take advantage of seems dizzying these days. What is your advice to users on how to get started with automation and how to make sure they are staying abreast of all the latest developments?

ANSWER

Users have great resources available from the RIA's Robotics.org website, which provides excellent up-to-date guidance and information for new users. Virtual events like Robotics Week are great ways that help to demystify the buzzwords and put users directly in touch with industry experts; even with the shutdown of most in-person trade shows.

QUESTION

With economists forecasting larger uses of robotics and automation, especially coming out of the COVID-19 landscape, this potentially means a lot of new customers – what would you tell business leaders about getting started with automation?

ANSWER

How can I answer this without suggesting that you drop everything you are doing and call me at Kawasaki! With more than 50 years of experience in the robotics industry, Kawasaki robots have been used tackle a wide range of applications in just as many industries. Our customers are backed by the support of Kawasaki's regionally-based sales managers, experienced engineers and 24/7 customer service teams, who are ready to assist first-time robot users with any questions that arise during the automation process.

QUESTION

While we all know downtime can help relieve stress, several science-backed studies confirm you actually improve productivity when you take time to enjoy life outside of the office. What are some of your favorite things to do in your free time?

ANSWER

I love sailing, which is my favorite way to de-stress while enjoying the wind and lakes that are so abundant here in Michigan.

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