/ The 4th D

The 4th D®

Industrial robots are typically known for tackling dull, dirty, and dangerous jobs – commonly referred to as the 3 Ds.

The common misconception is that robots are eventually going to take jobs from humans; however, robots excel at the 3-D jobs that people generally do not want to do. While robots are employed doing dangerous, tedious jobs at a faster rate, humans are allotted time to focus on creative, cognitive tasks that require emotional intelligence and skill acquisition.


The 4th D® stands for Distance. Robots are the ideal solution to create safe distance between people in the work environment. A wide range of robots can be safely integrated in manufacturing and processing operations, particularly in areas with limited physical space between employees.

Collaborative and traditional industrial robots are designed to fulfill tedious tasks, eliminating the number of employees in a designated work space. With the impact of COVID-19, robots help minimize the potential spread of infection, decreasing the probability of a facility shut down. Creating distance equals a safer work environment for all employees.

As Industry 4.0 bridges the gap between physical and digital worlds, the ability to remotely monitor assets in real-time is increasingly possible. In combination with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), new methods of communication have been formed in the fourth industrial revolution to develop predictive maintenance capabilities. Real-time data becomes available to optimize the lifecycle of equipment, increasing customer-to-consumer interaction.

As artificial intelligence, machine learning, and IIoT continue to advance, the distance barrier between technical experts and customers slowly recedes. This new wave of digital transformation enhances productivity and optimizes operational processes, as Adaptec’s customers can leverage experts to attempt issue resolution without dispatch. Technicians can provide support and advice concerning the installation, repair, and maintenance of electric components, equipment, and devices used for automated industrial operations.

Adaptec’s integration of a standardized mobile service processing platform allows field technicians to easily capture asset data, work order details, and both inspection and preventative maintenance information to send in for review and further product lifecycle support. The ability to monitor conveyor systems, industrial robots, CNC machines, and other manufacturing equipment will ensure proper functioning and less downtime for customers. Additionally, managing all customer requests – from remote support cases to dispatched work orders – results in effective communication and resolution of customer issues by the Adaptec service team.

Dull jobs, such as loading/unloading parts into a machine, are repetitive and require little human creativity. A robot performing these tasks affords humans the opportunity to be available for jobs that require innovative and critical thinking.

Dirty jobs, such as spray painting/coating applications, expose operators to hazardous materials. Implementing a robot increases precision and material usage effectiveness, while removing the operator from an unsuitable environment.

Dangerous jobs that subject humans to harmful situations include processes ranging from high temperature part handling to other instances comprised of factors beyond human knowledge. Robots integrated to perform these functions eliminate the risk of exposure.