The manufacturing and automation trend in U.S. companies can be characterized more as one of collaboration than of replacement.
Robots are being designed to enhance human capabilities and boost their effectiveness, not to replace them. For example, PwC writes in their “2016 Industrial Manufacturing Trends” report that a Mexico-based Black & Decker factory is utilizing the Internet of Things (IoT). Equipment effectiveness increased 24 percent, production increased 10 percent, and labor efficiency increased 10 percent since implementation of the new technology.
The same cannot be said for Chinese firms, though. According to the same PwC report, Chinese manufacturing companies are developing and implementing new automation technology to replace workers. In fact, Changing Precision Technology – a firm that manufactures mobile phone parts – in Dongguan, China is the first company in the world to use a completely automated factory.
The manufacturing industry is being completely revolutionized with the advent of automation. While this may seem daunting to people who work in factories, and there will obviously be an impact on the workforce, it should be heartening to know that new jobs are actually being creating in tandem with an increase in the use of robotics. In addition to an increasing demand for people who have the coding and software development skills to develop robots, there is also an increasing demand for workers with computer skills to operate and repair these machines. Manufacturing isn’t going anywhere, in other words. It will just require different skills.
With the seismic shifts associated with manufacturing and automation, it is of the utmost importance to invest in your employees. At IRD Glass, we know that our most valuable asset is our employees. We invest a great amount of time and resources into hiring the very best technicians and engineers in the industry, and put just as much time and resources into keeping them happy. Our 60+ employees are fully trained and, in most cases, even cross-trained in multiple disciplines.
IRD Glass has been using automation for over 10 years, and is actively looking for ways to implement automation in a collaborative way. We aim to alleviate errors caused by repetitive functions, subjective interpretations and ergonomic fatigue, to make the employee’s job easier, not to replace it.
IRD Glass has over 35 years of experience providing optical precision, glass machining, thin-film coating, and ceramic machining for myriad industries. IRD Glass has become a sole-source provider to both large and small corporations across the planet. For more insights into the future of manufacturing and automation, check out our previously posted blogs. For more information on our services, visit our homepage today!