There is a widely held view about what is coming in manufacturing. It goes something like: Move over, humans. We don’t need you anymore. Robots will take it from here.
But it isn’t true. This is not manufacturing’s future.
People have feared the march of the machine for centuries. Yet for just as long, machines have changed work; they have not replaced it. And the emerging fourth industrial revolution — even with its digital, automated assembly lines — is not an exception to this trend. As this new way of doing business becomes a reality, humans and machines will each play a critical role in manufacturing’s success.
Yes, more and more routine, repetitive assembly tasks will be taken over by machines. But as certain jobs disappear, new ones open up in other parts of the factory. Germany in many ways exemplifies this trend. Today, German manufacturers deploy three times more robots than U.S. companies, but they also still employ more humans. Relative to the size of our economies, German’s manufacturing workforce is twice the size of America’s.
Read the full perspective at time.com.