As robots continually take over work duties formerly performed by humans, displaced manufacturing workers are taking on new roles rather than leaving the industry altogether.
The rise of so-called smart manufacturing is driving our factories
to evaluate the processes that are most suitable to becoming automated due to
safety issues or the inability of a human worker to keep pace with the various
According to a report on IT Pro Portal, "Although some industry
insiders predict that increasingly complex machines and artificial intelligence
will eliminate the need for human workers altogether, others feel just as
strongly that running a manufacturing plant will always require human decision-making
Reporter Andrew Armstrong notes that for 'lights out'
manufacturing to truly flourish and take advantage of the amount of automation
technologies that now exist we must undertake an exacting process of Return on
Investment (ROI) analysis.
A robotic workforce has advantages in terms of human safety in many scenarios, but machine failure and predictive maintenance still remain key engineering issues.