Changing Workforce / Control Systems / Industrial Robotics

Manufacturing expert: Don't fear automation, but be ready for fierce competition

By Florida Today

Aug 25, 2017

Get Plant Services delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday! Sign up for  Plant Services' complimentary Smart Minute (Monday-Thursday) and Smart Digest  (Friday) e-newsletters to get maintenance and reliability know-how you can put  to use today, plus the latest manufacturing news from around the Web, white  papers, and more. Learn more and subscribe for free today.

If anyone can lay claim to knowing about cars and manufacturing it’s John Fleming, former president and chief executive officer of Ford of Europe and group vice president.

FLORIDA TODAY was able to ask Fleming a few questions prior to a lecture next Tuesday at Florida Institute of Technology. He currently is the senior adviser to Changan Automobile Company in China, as well as a board member for Republic Airlines and an adviser to startups.

QUESTION: Is it a valid concern for humans to fear automation and a subsequent job loss?

Jobs lost to automation have usually been replaced by growth and the opening of new markets. For the foreseeable future I see this continuing. The time when automation leads to wholesale job losses is still a long way away and provided we can become more competitive, then I do not believe people need to be concerned. I believe the threat of being uncompetitive is much greater than the threat of people being replaced.

Read the full interview at