MHI Solutions - Volume 1, Issue 3 - (Page 22)

FEATURE ROBOTICS ON THE RISE Robot use could boost domestic manufacturing, reshoring, industry leaders say A “I thought automation was keen Till you were replaced by a 10-ton machine It was a computer that tore us apart, dear Automation broke my heart.” utomation has advanced significantly in the half century since comedian Allan Sherman sang about a computer taking over factory jobs, and robotics leaders say industry growth actually bodes well for workers and manufacturing. Technological innovations and lower component prices are placing robotics within reach of far more companies now, allowing manufacturers to cut costs, provide better jobs and wages, modernize plants and move production onshore from overseas factories, executives say. Industry leaders cite research showing that manufacturing jobs have grown at the same time robotics sales increased in industrialized nations, and say the rising adoption rate should translate into many more jobs in coming years. This notion challenges popular, long-held concerns about robots taking jobs from people. “We believe we will increase the quality of work for workers,” says Mitch Rosenberg, vice president of BY DINAH WISENBERG BRIN 22 MHI SOLUTIONS • Q3 • 2013 marketing and product management for Boston-based Rethink Robotics Inc., a five-year-old company whose flagship product is Baxter, a “low-cost humanoid industrial robot with common sense.” Baxter, he says, may be the first robot intended to work shoulder-to-shoulder with humans, and can be trained by people with no more than a high school education. Just as office computers helped secretaries do more work rather than putting them out of jobs, Baxter can do the same for factory workers, enabling them to manage robots on the manufacturing line rather than performing repetitive tasks themselves, according to Rosenberg.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MHI Solutions - Volume 1, Issue 3

Companies Find Many Happy Returns in Green Manufacturing
The LEEDer Board
CEO Update
Technology Watch
Economic Market Analysis
Solutions Spotlight
MHI News
Robotics on the Rise
Material Handling Education Foundation 2013-2014 Scholarship Winners
Index of Advertisers
Lean Thinking Leads to Improved Business Operations
Inventory Optimization

MHI Solutions - Volume 1, Issue 3