The ongoing fear that robots will one day take over all of our jobs may not be as accurate as once believed. Many manufacturing companies are beginning to focus more effort on increasing the efficiency of their workforce, rather than investing in automation and equipment. Their thought is that investments in machines have a higher risk of going to waste if there’s a downturn in the economy. The chance that robots can be left sitting unused out weighs the benefit of increased productivity.
However, this isn’t the case at every manufacturing company. Big name corporations like Tesla are making huge investments in equipment in an effort to make the entire factory floor automated. This method certainly has the benefit of a faster and more efficient process but if business begins to dip these investments will be hard to reverse.
Spending on robotics is estimated to be about $90 billion in 2018, with a large portion of that spending coming from the industrial and manufacturing industries. Yet many companies are beginning to optimize how they use employees rather than purchasing more machines. Skilled workers are a key component in making these machines run efficiently. The integration of employees AND technology is what will make these manufacturing companies more productive.
It seems that humans are coming out on top in the race between humans and robots. These machines still need human hands operating them. The next challenge is finding the skilled workers necessary to operate this equipment, and with unemployment below 4% wages are going up and skilled workers are harder to find. Moving forward it will be increasingly important to invest in current employees.
For more information about the race between robots and humans read the full article here.