Manufacturers that aren’t jumping at the opportunity to automate are missing out in a number of ways. Collaborative robots and other automation solutions act as workforce multipliers, increase productivity and improve quality. Competitors who choose to leverage this technology, for those reasons alone, will most certainly pull ahead. Sure seems like the way to go, but for those still wondering if a workforce made up of people and machines has a place on the factory floor, here are five of the latest headlines addressing this important topic.
“No one has ever lost a job because of our robots. Customers need us because they just can’t hire enough people. There’s 20 percent annual turnover and an estimated 600,000 jobs in the United States going unfilled.” –Melonee Wise of Fetch Robotics via MIT Tech Review
Over the last few years several reports have predicted a massive skills shortage in the global manufacturing sector, with many millions of positions forecast to be left unfilled up to 2025. Yet the demand for consumer goods is predicted to rise. Robots working alongside humans could be the answer. via Raconteur
Adding robots to warehouses hasn’t dented Amazon’s hiring spree. The company had 351,000 employees at the end of March, up 43% from a year earlier. via Transport Topics
The real world of manufacturing is full of situations that have little structure, predictability or definition. That’s a key reason skilled employees will continue to play a vital role in the operation of highly automated factories. via IndustryWeek
In Canada, an estimated 85 per cent of our machines are 28 years old or older. In the U.S., the numbers are likely better, but it is still an issue. Our people will be retiring faster than these machines will be replaced, and companies are finding it a challenge to attract — and then retain — a younger workforce. via Manufacturing Automation
For more headlines, videos and news about collaborative robots, the workforce of the future and manufacturing automation, check out the rest of the Rethink Robotics blog or drop by Cobot Central. And for a daily dose of industrial chatter, connect with us on the Twitter machine.
About the Author
I'm Jeff Green, senior content and social media strategist at Rethink Robotics. When I'm not socializing Sawyer and Baxter, our smart, collaborative robots, I'm usually caught up in the home tornado, also known as my three kids. Love them, my wife, old-school Chinese food, movies, and of course game-changing technology.