Manufacturing and Process Management

Augmented Support: Robots can be co-workers, not replacements

Automation is one of the most pertinent issues of today. Ignoring the hyperbole around whether robots will rise up and destroy humanity, there is the much more real issue about how the rise of automation will affect jobs.

According to the International Federation of Robotics, sales of industrial robots are predicted to see double-digit percentage growth for the rest of the decade. Depending on the study, job losses because of automation range from a fairly low 5% to almost 50% of the population. But the IFR is a strong proponent that instead of replacing human workers, robots actually augment their human counterparts, making them more productive and increase demand for labour.


Automation is about agility, not reducing labour

Automation isn’t about taking jobs, according to Peter Bos, Vice President Engineering Manufacturing and Automation at CommScope, during a tour of the telecom company’s new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centre in Kessel-Lo, Belgium.

He says automation is about agility; ensuring that CommScope can “build close and quickly” to the customer. Areas the company is looking at, for example, include 3D printing for its cable casing, machine vision for casing inspection, further automation of the production and testing of fibre-optic cabling, and more.

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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