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Robots: Making Manufacturing Safer, Faster, and Better for the U.S. Economy

What once scared the manufacturing industry is now looking like the key driving force behind productivity and job growth. Robots should no longer seem like a threat to manufacturers as we see significant improvements to the American workforce with the use of technology and robotics.

In a recent white paper by The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) called “Robots Fuel the Next Wave of U.S. Productivity and Job Growth,” explains how the increasing use of robots is associated with increased employment. The white paper also shows interesting statistics and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and data from manufacturing firms to prove it.

For example, figure 1 below shows the U.S. from 1996 to 2014 and the rate at which robot shipments increased correlated with the increase in American employment.

A3 graph











“Exploit Technology, Not People”

Introducing robotics to American manufacturing is a far better trend than outsourcing manufacturing operations to other countries with lower labor costs. Offshoring not only hit the manufacturing sector hard, but it also hit America’s economy.

According to Working America’s report “Sending Jobs Overseas: The Cost of America’s Economy and Working Families”, “Manufacturing plants have declined sharply in the last decade, shrinking by more than 51,000 plants, or 12.5 percent, between 1998 and 2008.” Offshoring not only hurts the economy but it also exploits people with low-cost labor, rather than exploiting technology.

New Opportunities to Skilled Laborers

Another issue that the manufacturing industry is faced with is not enough Americans are skilled enough or qualified for the job. Now, with technology and robots flooding into the industry, manufacturers are no longer looking for brawn, they are looking for brains.

The A3 whitepaper also points out that the robots make manufacturing jobs safer by doing the more dangerous, repetitive work while the employees focus on safer operations. The manufacturing industry is seen to be a very profitable one, overall, with the addition of technology and highly skilled employees.

Connect with our MEP Supply Chain experts for more details on how you can optimize your supply chain and manufacturing sectors using technological advancements.

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