In a recent Pi Limited blog post, Jeff Christensen, VP of products at Seegrid, discussed how automation will ultimately have a net positive impact on job creation within the manufacturing and supply chain industry.
Christensen points out that the workforce has undergone seismic tech-driven transformations before. Christensen noted, “In the 19th century, as railroads began crisscrossing our country, the steel-making and track-laying industries soared, absorbing many of blacksmiths that were finding steady employment more difficult to find. When the ATM machine was invented, many bemoaned that it would mark the end of the personal bank teller. Decades later, banks now employ more tellers than ever to serve their larger customer bases.”
“The introduction of new technologies creates new job requirements, skills, and opportunities. Today’s companies are using automation technology, including robots, to become more competitive by lowering costs, reducing downtime, and improving throughput productivity with reliable and predictable delivery of goods. Robots handle the dull, dangerous, dirty, and repetitive jobs, enabling their human co-workers to occupy more safe, fulfilling, and valuable positions,” added Christensen.
Christensen pointed to the example of Seegrid, where the deployment of autonomous vehicles often results in the reassignment – rather than the elimination – of jobs. “Many times the individual that was responsible for driving a forklift is now managing a fleet of VGVs. Human workers are therefore trained to fill more value-added roles, and the company as a whole becomes more productive and efficient. This complementary relationship represents the future of manufacturing: humans and robots working alongside each other to improve production overall,” explained Christensen.
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