Kuka Robotics has created an Infographic that presents the advantages that robotics and automation bring to US manufacturing. Feel free to argue all you want that Kuka has a dog in this fight – you’re right.
But now what? Does that make them wrong? I say it doesn’t. As a matter of fact, I happen to agree with the premise that the use of robotics/automation to support the right applications can in fact play a strong role in reshoring production back to the US.
Check out this Infographic from Kuka to get a clearer picture of this premise. (And look below the Infographic for a few more points from me on the subject.)
Robots And Automation Bring Jobs Back To The U.S. <- Link to the Kuka Web site.
The article I posted last year that Kuka quotes, Challenging The ‘Manufacturing Labor Shortage Vs. Automation’ Myth, takes on the mistaken belief that automation has played a substantial role in the loss of US manufacturing jobs. The fact is, offshoring of production in the chase for cheap labor and lax regulations has caused the vast majority of industrial job loss in the US – not automation, and not robots.
And yet, we continue to hear knee-jerk reactions that blame automation and ‘productivity’ for our manufacturing job losses and skills shortages.
For those that hold this opinion or some sort of grudge against manufacturers of – and innovators in – automation technologies, consider these two points:
- The US has lost 7-million manufacturing jobs since 1980.
- That is the same percentage of our population as was killed in the US Civil War.
Let’s forget for just a moment what ’caused’ this travesty.
We are in a crisis NOW that involves not just short-term employment in the US, but the long-term viability of the US to compete and excel in a global manufacturing eco-system. Not to mention, the security & growth of our citizenry. To create and regain even HALF those jobs while some are lost forever to progress, efficiency, and technology seems like a no-brainer to me. Especially if it also means repatriating the downstream job benefits and economic vitality that a strong manufacturing base brings to a region, or a country.
The fact is that automation is but one useful tool in the revitalization of the US manufacturing base.
We should be embracing it intelligently, and without misguided emotions or ignorance.