Robots are becoming more capable and a lot cheaper. For manufactures, that means the prospect of hiring one or more to complete different jobs on the factory floor looks increasingly realistic and affordable. Many manufactures are already using robots to weld autos, pack shipping crates, assemble parts, install fasteners, and even inspect and prepare food. A popular notion is that for every robot a factory adopts, that means less of the same work for humans. In the case of low skilled workers, that may be true. But will an automation-based future in manufacturing also create new opportunities for humans–apart from just robotics designers and engineers? It turns out what we consider to be a typical manufacturing job may soon change.
“While robotics will displace a bunch of workers today, it’s going to create opportunities for new types of jobs. There’s a whole set of tasks that come along with plugging these types of robotics into your production system.”
– Justin Rose, Boston Consulting Group
When robots start doing the work of welders, inspectors, and line technicians, more manufacturing companies will rely on programmers and robotics operators to ensure automation goes as smoothly as intended and capabilities can be modified. This will certainly change the way manufacturers structure their business and how they hire, but it could amount to good things for U.S. productivity and our ability to complete globally?
Do you think more robots and cheaper automation are a good thing for manufacturing and the U.S.?