The current social and economic issues surrounding manufacturing span everything from the ramifications for the American workforce to the international race towards technological dominance. Manufacturing has been a hot topic in politics for awhile now. For those of us working in the manufacturing space, however, these issues are nothing new. I recently sat down with Mark Jagiela, the CEO of Teradyne, a company that automates repetitive manual tasks and electronic tests for the semiconductor and electronics markets. Teradyne is the parent company of Universal Robots, a manufacturer of collaborative robots that automate human-scale tasks in manufacturing. During our conversation, we pinpointed one idea that no one has been talking about, but should be: the lagging adoption of automation technology across the manufacturing space – in the United States and elsewhere – and what that means for the future of manufacturing.
From reading the headlines, it would be reasonable to have the misconception that automation was already in a rapid adoption phase – that is frankly not the case. While ubiquitous automation tools exist, like Surface Mount Assembly lines or Kuka robots assembling the body of cars, many would be surprised to learn just how many manual processes exist. For those of us in the space, the concept of Industry 4.0, where all of the machines will be connected together, is mythological: in many places, there aren’t even machines to connect.
To learn more, read "Automation Might Be Here, But Industry 4.0 Is Still Far Off" from Forbes.